Theoretical and Computational Statistical Physics

Our group consists of four faculty members with an interest in equilibrium and nonequilibrium properties of matter, including the emergence of complex collective behavior and biophysical applications. Investigations concern pattern formation under far from equilibrium conditions, the physics of the glass transition, fracture propagation in glasses under thermal stress, dynamical synchronization in complex networks, self-organized criticality,optimization, quantum-field theory and the renormalization group studies of disordered systems, nonequilibrium growth phenomena,fractals, kinetic roughening of surface and interfaces, and similar subjects.

Interface pinning in
disordered anti-ferromagnet

Fractals and self-similarity

Theoretical and computational methods and tools of statistical mechanics are also being applied to a variety of problems in biological physics. Statistical physics is used to understand how biological systems, from molecular circuits and single neurons, to brains and populations learn from their surrounding environments and respond to it. Further research concerns the development of choroidal neovascularizatioin in age-related macular degeneration, dynamics of molecular motors, embryonic skeletal development, intracellular active transport and jamming, biological computing, and genetic network oscillations in morphogenesis.


  • Stefan Boettcher
      Self-organized criticality, optimization, statistical mechanics, quantum-field theory.
  • Fereydoon Family
      Nonequilibrium growth phenomena, pattern formation, fractals, surface and interface physics.
  • H. George E. Hentschel
      Neural networks, spin glasses, nonlinear dynamics, chaos, biomorphogenesis, and turbulence.
  • Ilya Nemenman
      Theoretical biophysics, information transduction in biological systems, learning and adaptation in molecular, neural, and evolutionary systems.

Dynamics of non-equilibrium systems

Neural networks
Neuronal morphogenesis
Aggregation cluster