D. Zeb Rocklin
Ph.D. in Physics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2013
B.Sc. in Physics and Economics, California Institute of Technology, 2008
Honors & Awards
Best Faculty Paper, Georgia Tech 2021
Bethe/KIC fellow in theoretical physics, Cornell, 2016
Visiting Fellow, Delta Institute of Physics, Leiden, 2015
Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter (ICAM) Fellowship 2015
University Fellow, University of Illinois, 2012
I have a broad range of interests in soft condensed matter physics and adjacent fields like statistical physics, physics of living systems and hard condensed matter. My particular focus is on the relationship between the geometric structure of a system and its mechanical response. Both biological and engineered systems often have some structure, such as networks of struts, particles jammed together or patterns of creases in thin sheets, that grant them flexibility and strength with a minimum of weight. These structures can lead to subtle and surprising mechanical response:
Topological mechanics: In which the flexibility of surfaces and interfaces is determined not by the structure of the surface itself but of the bulk material.
Mechanism mechanics: In which a single global zero-energy deformation leads to a large family of low-energy deformations.
Origami mechanics: In which seemingly independent stretching and bending modes of an origami sheet are revealed to have corresponding properties due to a symmetry.