Contact Information:

Physics Department, Broida Hall

University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106

(805) 893-7597


















James S. Langer is a Research Professor of Physics at the University of  California in Santa Barbara. His primary scientific interests have been in theories of nonequilibrium phenomena such as the kinetics of phase transitions, pattern formation in fluid dynamics and crystal growth, earthquakes, and – most recently – the dynamics of deformation and failure in solids.


Langer was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1934.  He graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in physics in 1955.  He was a Marshall Scholar at the University of Birmingham, England, where he earned a Ph.D. in mathematical physics in 1958 under the supervision of R.E. Peierls.  He then returned to Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a member of the physics faculty until moving to the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1982.  At UCSB, he served as Director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics from 1989 to 1995. He was awarded the American Physical Society’s Oliver Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize in 1997.  He was President of the American Physical Society in 2000 and Vice President of the National Academy of Sciences in 2001-2005.  He was the inaugural editor of the Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics, 2008-2015. 


List of Recent Publications