Mark Robbins

Mark O. Robbins


Bloomberg 317
Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar Profile


Mark Robbins grew up near Boston and received his BA and MA degrees from Harvard University. He spent a year as a Churchill Fellow at Cambridge University and received his PhD from University of California, Berkeley, in 1983. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Exxon's Corporate Research Science Laboratory in New Jersey, he joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins in 1986. He was promoted to associate professor in 1988 and to professor in 1992.

Robbins received a Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1986 and a Sloan Foundation Fellowship in 1987. He became a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) in 2000 and was awarded a Simons Fellowship in Physics for 2012-13. He served as chair of the APS Group on Statistical and Nonlinear Physics and of the advisory board of the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics (KITP) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is on the advisory board of the Boulder School for Condensed Matter and Materials Physics. He has organized symposia and workshops for the Materials Research Society, the Aspen Center for Theoretical Physics, and KITP, most recently “From the Atomic to the Tectonic: Friction Fracture and Earthquake Physics in 2005 and “Physical Principles of Multiscale Modeling, Analysis and Simulation in Soft Condensed Matter” in 2012. He chaired the 2010 Gordon Research Conference on Tribology.

One of the cross-cutting themes in condensed matter physics is that simple interactions between particles lead to complex behavior when many particles are combined together. Many of the research projects in the group address examples of this emergent behavior. Topics include why friction is proportional to load, why adhesives are thousands of times harder to break than thermodynamic estimates, why entropic forces appear to describe polymer mechanics at zero temperature, why virus capsids seem to deform like springs, what leads to power law distributions of avalanches in magnetic domain wall motion and along earthquake faults, how continuum mechanics breaks down at atomic scales and what new physics becomes important at the nanoscale.

Talks on these research areas are available here:

Displaying the 20 most recent publications. View the Google Scholar Profile for complete publications list.

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MH Müser, WB Dapp, R Bugnicourt, P Sainsot, N Lesaffre, TA Lubrecht, ...
Meeting the contact-mechanics challenge
Tribology Letters 65 (4), 118, 2017

V Jadhao, MO Robbins
Reply to Bair: Crossover to Arrhenius behavior at high viscosities in squalane
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201715298, 2017

RM Elder, TC O’Connor, TL Chantawansri, YR Sliozberg, TW Sirk, IC Yeh, ...
Shock-wave propagation and reflection in semicrystalline polyethylene: A molecular-level investigation
Physical Review Materials 1 (4), 043606, 2017

RM Elder, TL Chantawansri, YR Sliozberg, TW Sirk, IC Yeh, TC O'Connor, ...
Simulation studies of shock wave propagation and reflection in semi-crystalline polyethylene
Bulletin of the American Physical Society, 2017

V Jadhao, MO Robbins
Probing large viscosities in glass-formers with nonequilibrium simulations
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201705978, 2017

V Jadhao, M Robbins
Bounds on the low-temperature viscosity of a fragile glass former
Bulletin of the American Physical Society 62, 2017

J Monti, T Sharp, M Robbins
Scale and Stiffness Dependence of Static Friction on Amorphous Surfaces
Bulletin of the American Physical Society 62, 2017

T O'Connor, M Robbins
Disentangling the Role of Entanglement Density and Molecular Alignment in the Mechanical Response of Glassy Polymers
Bulletin of the American Physical Society 62, 2017

M Galvani, T O'Connor, M Robbins
Effect of Flow-Induced Molecular Alignment on Welding of Polymer Interfaces
Bulletin of the American Physical Society 62, 2017

J Clemmer, M Robbins
Anisotropic Exponents for Avalanche Correlation Lengths in Self-Affine Growth of Magnetic Domains
Bulletin of the American Physical Society 62, 2017

T Ge, C Tzoumanekas, SD Anogiannakis, RS Hoy, MO Robbins
Entanglements in Glassy Polymer Crazing: Cross-Links or Tubes?
Macromolecules 50 (1), 459-471, 2016

L Guo, S Chen, MO Robbins
Effective slip boundary conditions for sinusoidally corrugated surfaces
Physical Review Fluids 1 (7), 074102, 2016

L Guo, S Chen, MO Robbins
Multi-scale simulation method for electroosmotic flows
The European Physical Journal Special Topics 225 (8-9), 1551-1582, 2016

D Meng, SK Kumar, T Ge, MO Robbins, GS Grest
Crazing of nanocomposites with polymer-tethered nanoparticles
The Journal of chemical physics 145 (9), 094902, 2016

S Cheng, MO Robbins
Nanocapillary adhesion between parallel plates
arXiv preprint arXiv:1608.00436, 2016

L Pastewka, MO Robbins
Contact area of rough spheres: Large scale simulations and simple scaling laws
Applied Physics Letters 108 (22), 221601, 2016

TA Sharp, L Pastewka, MO Robbins
Elasticity limits structural superlubricity in large contacts
Physical Review B 93 (12), 121402, 2016

L Guo, S Chen, MO Robbins
Slip boundary conditions over curved surfaces
Physical Review E 93 (1), 013105, 2016

RM Elder, TC O'Connor, IC Yeh, TL Chantawansri, TW Sirk, MO Robbins, ...
Shock wave propagation in semi-crystalline polyethylene: An atomic-scale investigation
APS Meeting Abstracts, 2016

J Clemmer, K Salerno, M Robbins
Critical scaling with strain rate in overdamped sheared disordered solids
APS Meeting Abstracts, 2016