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

Azbel, M. Ya, and Michael Rubinstein. “Resistance and phase diagram of quasiperiodic systems.” Physical Review B, vol. 27, no. 10, American Physical Society (APS), pp. 6530–33. Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevb.27.6530. Full Text

Xu, Hui, et al. “Molecular Motion in a Spreading Precursor Film.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 93, no. 20, American Physical Society (APS). Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.93.206103. Full Text

Rubinstein, Michael, and M. Ya Azbel. “Boundary resistance and "pseudolocalization" in one-dimensional periodic systems.” Physical Review B, vol. 27, no. 10, American Physical Society (APS), pp. 6484–86. Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevb.27.6484. Full Text

Xu, Hui, et al. “Molecular Visualization of Conformation-Triggered Flow Instability.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 94, no. 23, American Physical Society (APS). Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.94.237801. Full Text

Azbel, M. Ya, and Michael Rubinstein. “Phase Correlations in One-Dimensional Disordered Systems.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 51, no. 9, American Physical Society (APS), pp. 836–39. Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.51.836. Full Text

Du, Rose, et al. “Unexpected Scenario of Glass Transition in Polymer Globules: An Exactly Enumerable Model.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 84, no. 11, American Physical Society (APS), pp. 2417–20. Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.84.2417. Full Text

Azbel, M. Ya, and Michael Rubinstein. “One-dimensional random Ising ferromagnets and antiferromagnets.” Physical Review B, vol. 28, no. 7, American Physical Society (APS), pp. 3793–98. Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevb.28.3793. Full Text

Deshkovski, Alexander, et al. “Counterion Phase Transitions in Dilute Polyelectrolyte Solutions.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 86, no. 11, American Physical Society (APS), pp. 2341–44. Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.86.2341. Full Text

Rubinstein, Michael, and Sergei Panyukov. Nonaffine Deformation and Elasticity of Polymer Networks.

Zheng, X., et al. “Long-Range Effects on Polymer Diffusion Induced by a Bounding Interface.” Physical Review Letters, vol. 79, no. 2, American Physical Society (APS), pp. 241–44. Crossref, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.79.241. Full Text