Michael Rubinstein

Michael Rubinstein

Aleksandar S. Vesic Distinguished Professor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Professor of Biomedical Engineering (Joint)

Professor of Physics (Joint)

Professor of Chemistry (Joint)

Office Location: 
Hudson Hall, Rm. 144, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-5365


The research of the Rubinstein group is in the field of polymer theory and computer simulations. The unique properties of polymeric systems are due to the size, topology and interactions of the molecules they are made of. Our goal is to understand the properties of various polymeric systems and to design new systems with even more interesting and useful properties.

Our approach is based upon building and solving simple molecular models of different polymeric systems. The models we develop are simple enough to be solved either analytically or numerically, but contain the main features leading to unique properties of real polymers. Computer simulations of our models serve as an important bridge between analytical calculations and experiments.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1983

Rubinstein, Michael, et al. “Giant fluctuations of crosslink positions in gels.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 68, no. 3, American Physical Society (APS), pp. 405–07. Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.68.405. Full Text

Everaers, Ralf, et al. “Flory theory of randomly branched polymers.” Soft Matter, vol. 13, no. 6, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), pp. 1223–34. Crossref, doi:10.1039/c6sm02756c. Full Text

Obukhov, S., and Michael Rubinstein. “Topological glass transition in entangled flux state.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 65, no. 10, American Physical Society (APS), pp. 1279–82. Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.65.1279. Full Text

Liu, Andrea J., et al. “Opportunities in theoretical and computational polymeric materials and soft matter.” Soft Matter, vol. 11, no. 12, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), pp. 2326–32. Crossref, doi:10.1039/c4sm02344g. Full Text

Wang, X. R., et al. “Analysis of multiscaling structure in diffusion-limited aggregation: A kinetic renormalization-group approach.” Physical Review A, vol. 39, no. 11, American Physical Society (APS), pp. 5974–84. Crossref, doi:10.1103/physreva.39.5974. Full Text

Kalathi, Jagannathan T., et al. “Rouse mode analysis of chain relaxation in polymer nanocomposites.” Soft Matter, vol. 11, no. 20, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), pp. 4123–32. Crossref, doi:10.1039/c5sm00754b. Full Text

Rubinstein, Michael. “Dynamics of Ring Polymers in the Presence of Fixed Obstacles.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 57, no. 24, American Physical Society (APS), pp. 3023–26. Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.57.3023. Full Text