James S. Langer

James S. Langer
Born 1934
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Residence United States
Citizenship American
Fields Physicist
Institutions Carnegie Mellon University
University of California, Santa Barbara
Alma mater Carnegie Mellon University
University of Birmingham
Doctoral advisor Rudolf Peierls
Doctoral students Alain Karma
Michael Marder
James A. Warren
Michael Falk
Notable awards Oliver Buckley Prize (1997)

James S. Langer is Professor of Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara.[1]

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1934, Langer graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in 1951. He attended Carnegie Institute of Technology and the University of Birmingham, earning a B.A. in physics from the former in 1955 and a Ph.D. in mathematical physics from the latter in 1958.[2] A Marshall Scholar at Birmingham, his thesis advisor was Rudolf Peierls. After receiving his doctorate, he began his career in the Physics Department at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (which later became Carnegie Mellon University), where he would stay until 1982. He then joined UCSB's Institute for Theoretical Physics as professor. Between 1989 and 1995, he served as its director.

According to his profile at UCSB, Langer's research focuses on theories of nonequilibrium phenomena, including the kinetics of phase transitions, pattern formation in crystal growth, the dynamics of earthquakes, and deformation and failure in noncrystalline solids.[1]

Langer served as President of the American Physical Society in 2000 and as Vice President of the United States National Academy of Sciences from 2001 to 2005. His awards include the APS's Oliver Buckley Prize in 1997.


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