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Joshua Socolar


Professor of Physics

Prof. Socolar is interested in collective behavior in condensed matter and dynamical systems. His current research interests include:

  • Limit-periodic structures, quasicrystals, packing problems, and tiling theory;
  • Self-assembly and phases of designed colloidal particles;
  • Shear jamming and stick-slip behavior in dry granular materials;
  • Organization and dynamics of complex networks;
  • Topological elasticity of mechanical lattices.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Physics

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 096 Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: +1 919 660 2557
  • Email Address:


  • Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 1987
  • B.A. Haverford College, 1980

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Top 5% in undergraduate instruction at Duke University. Dean of Arts and Sciences and Dean of Academic Affairs, Trinity College. 2013
  • Top 5% in undergraduate instruction at Duke University. Deans of Arts and Sciences and Trinity College. 2011
  • Outstanding Referee. American Physics Society. 2008
  • Harvard Society Junior Fellows. Harvard Society of Fellows. 1987

Courses Taught

  • PHYSICS 363: Thermal Physics
  • PHYSICS 136: Acoustics and Music
  • MUSIC 126: Acoustics and Music

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Socolar, JES, Quasicrystalline structure of the hat monotile tilings, Physical Review B, vol 108 no. 22 (2023) [10.1103/PhysRevB.108.224109] [abs].
  • Basak, R; Kozlowski, R; Pugnaloni, LA; Kramar, M; Socolar, JES; Carlevaro, CM; Kondic, L, Evolution of force networks during stick-slip motion of an intruder in a granular material: Topological measures extracted from experimental data., Physical review. E, vol 108 no. 5-1 (2023) [10.1103/physreve.108.054903] [abs].
  • Socolar, JES, Quasicrystalline structure of the Smith monotile tilings (2023) [abs].
  • Zhao, Y; Wang, D; Zheng, H; Chakraborty, B; Socolar, JES, Microscopic reversibility and emergent elasticity in ultrastable granular systems, Frontiers in Physics, vol 10 (2022) [10.3389/fphy.2022.1048683] [abs].
  • Kozlowski, R; Zheng, H; Daniels, KE; Socolar, JES, Stick-Slip Dynamics in a Granular Material With Varying Grain Angularity, Frontiers in Physics, vol 10 (2022) [10.3389/fphy.2022.916190] [abs].

Affiliate Topics in Materials Research