Joseph Rudnick

Joseph Rudnick
Professor, Phys. Sci. Dean
Theoretical Condensed Matter

Office: 2-240 C Knudsen Hall
Phone: (310) 825-1042
E-Mail: [javascript protected email address]

Educational Background: 

Ph.D., UC San Diego, 1970

Research Interest: 

I do research on a variety of problems in condensed matter physics. My primary interests are in the general field of statistical mechanics. Following are some of the areas in which I've done research in the past few years.

  • Polymers and random walks:
    I have looked at some properties of chain polymers, as modeled by the ordinary and self-avoiding random walk. Among these are the shapes and winding angle distributions of randomly coiled polymers.
  • Statistical mechanics of finite systems:
    I have been interested in the properties of finite systems near the bulk critical point. General strategies for the calculation of the behavior of such systems has been worked out, but there are interesting cases in which new approaches must be developed. I have worked out one such case - percolation on a finite lattice - and am looking at others.
  • Textures and domain shapes in two dimensional systems:
    The interplay of bulk and surface properties in two dimensional systems - exemplified by Langmuir monolayers - leads to interesting results. I have been involved in a project the purpose of which is to understand the shapes taken by liquid-condensed domains in Langmuir-Blodgett films. This work is in collaboration with Professor Bruinsma.
  • Electrolyte solutions:
    I have recently done work in collaboration with Professor Andrea Liu of the UCLA Department of Chemistry on the properties of electrolyte solutions. We have developed an approach that unifies the Debye-Huckel approximation with the standard field theoretical method. This method has been generalized so that we can also explore the effect of various parameters on the stiffness of polyelectrolytes and other important aspects of electrolyte behavior.
  • Other projects:
    I have also collaborated with Professor Chakravarty on aspects of dissipative quantum tunneling and with Professor Kivelson on frustrated phase transitions. See their research descriptions.
Selected Publications: 
  1. Percolation and the Mysteries of Replication, J. Rudnick, in Random Magnetism High Temperature Superconductivity (World Scientific, Singapore, 1994), W.P. Beyerman, N.L. Huang-Liu and D.E. Maclaughlin, eds.
  2. Dissipative dynamics of a two-state system, the Kondo problem, and the inverse-square Ising Model, S. Chakravarty and J. Rudnick, Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 501 (1995).
  3. Shape of domains in two-dimensional systems: virtual singularities and a generalized Wulff construction, J. Rudnick and R. Bruinsma, Phys. Rev. Lett. 74 2491 (1995).