Fereydoon Family

Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor

Office: MSC - RM N230

Phone: 404-727-4293

Email: phyff@emory.edu

Additional Contact Information

Mailing Address:

400 Dowman Drive
MSC - RM N230

Atlanta, GA 30322-2430

Additional Websites


  • Ph.D., Clark University, 1974


Awards and Honors

Professor Family holds the Samuel Candler Dobbs Chair of Physics in the Physics Department. He has published over 200 scientific articles and seven books. His contributions in the study of pattern formation, particularly dendritic solidification, which is commonly known as the "The Snowflake Problem", has been widely featured in the media including the New York Times, CBS News, CNN, PBS, Physics World, and James Gleick's popular best selling book "Chaos". His most widely cited work is known as the Family-Vicsek Scaling that for over two decades has formed the basis for investigations of kinetic roughening of surfaces and interfaces in thousands of publications in many fields of science and engineering. Professor Family is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society and the recipient of many honors and prizes, including the Lawton-Plimpton Prize, the Jesse Beams Prize from the American Physical Society Southeastern Section for outstanding research, as well as the Williams Distinguished Teaching award for excellence in teaching.


Research Area

Theoretical and Computational Physics.

Research Interests

Complex phenomena occurring under far from equilibrium conditions are ubiquitous in nature. But in contrast to equilibrium statistical mechanics no standard approach exists for describing nonequilibrium phenomena. Professor Family's research interests lie in the development of theoretical concepts and computational techniques for investigating nonequilibrium phenomena, particularly in the areas of Condensed Matter Physics and Biological Physics.

Condensed Matter Physics

Professor Family's research in the area of Condensed Matter Physics has been directed towards the development and application of scaling theory, fractal concepts, the renormalization group theory, Kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations and rate equations to study pattern formation and growth under from equilibrium conditions, including the kinetics of aggregation and gelation, the evolution of thin film morphology and the kinetic roughening of surfaces and interfaces.

Physics of Biological Systems

Professor Family's research in the area of the Physics of Biological Systems have been focused on three areas: (1) understanding the role of molecular motors in transport processes in cells using the Brownian ratchet approach, (2) investigations of the physics of aging, particularly the phenomenon of neovascularization in Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), and (3) the physics of cancer, particularly pattern formation in tumor growth and invasion.