David Jasnow


216 Allen Hall
(412) 624-9029
Professor Emeritus


My background is in theoretical statistical physics, in which I have gained considerable experience in phase transitions, pattern formation and kinetics and growth phenomena in condensed matter systems. Some recent work in that area focused on kinetics, growth and ordering in complex fluids, microfluidics and self–repairing systems.  I have begun a program of research in theoretical biological physics and have done work on DNA packaging kinetics, structure and energetics of condensed DNA, and bio–mimetic behavior, such as the engulfing of a particle. Currently I have a collaborative program with a colleague in the Department of Computational Biology, and we have studied the statistics of rare transition events and developed sampling methods particularly applicable to the study of transitions involving conformational changes. I also have been working on the dynamics of plastic neural networks and nuclear pore transport. I am generally interested in bringing the well–developed toolbox of condensed matter theory, with its focus on self–assembly, order and correlation, to the biological arena.

Selected Publications

  • "Shear instabilities of freely standing thermotropic smectic-A films," H.-Y. Chen and D. Jasnow, Phys. Rev. Letters :85, 2957 (2000).
  • "Interface and contact line motion in a two phase fluid under shear flow," H.-Y. Chen, D. Jasnow and J. Vinals, Phys. Rev. Letters: 85, 1686 (2000).

  • "Entropically Driven Formation of Hierarchically Ordered Nanocomposites," Lee, J. Y., Thompson, R., Jasnow, D. and Balazs, A. C., Phys. Rev. Lett. 89: 155503 (2002).

  • "Cohesive Energy, Stability and Structural Transitions in Polyelectrolyte Bundles," J. Rudnick and D. Jasnow, cond-mat/0207651; Phys. Rev. E 68: 051902 Part 1 (2003).

  •  "Local control of periodic pattern formation in binary fluids within microchannels," O. Kuksenok, D. Jasnow and A. C. Balazs, Phys. Rev. Lett. 95: 240603 (2005). 

  • "Transition-event durations in one-dimensional activated processes," B. W. Zhang, D. Jasnow and D. Zuckerman, J. Chem. Phys., 126: 074504 (2007).

  •  "Efficient and verified simulation of a path ensemble for conformational change in a united-residue model for calmodulin," Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (US) 104: 18043 (2007).

  • "The "weighted ensemble" path sampling method is statistically exact for a broad class of stochastic processes and binning procedures," B. W. Zhang, D. Jasnow and D. Zuckerman, J. Chem. Phys. 132: 054107 (2010).

  •  "Mean-field theory of a plastic network of integrate-and-fire neurons," Chun-Chung Chen and D. Jasnow, Phys. Rev. E 81: 011907 (2010).

  • "Event-driven simulations of a plastic, spiking neural network," Chun-Chung Chen and D. Jasnow, Phys. Rev. E 84: 031908 (2011).

  • "Morphological control of grafted polymer films via attraction to small nanoparticle inclusions," M. G. Opferman, R. D. Coalson, D. Jasnow, and A. Zilman, Phys. Rev. E 86: 031806 (2012).

  •  "Morphology of Polymer Brushes Infiltrated by Attractive Nanoinclusions," M. G. Opferman, R. D. Coalson, D. Jasnow and A. Zilman, Langmuir 29: 8584 (2013).

  •  "A Polymer-Brush-Based Nanovalve Controlled by Nanoparticle Additives: Design Principles," R. D. Coalson, A. E. Nasrabad, D.Jasnow and A. Zilman, J Phys. Chem. B 119: 11858 (2015).

  •  "Protein viscoelastic dynamics: A model system," C. Fogel, J. Rudnick and D. Jasnow, Phys. Rev. E 92: 032719 (2015).