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Think and Do The Extraordinary

Karen Daniels

Distinguished Professor and University Faculty Scholar

Distinguished University Professor

University Faculty Scholar

Riddick Hall 258C



Professor Daniels received her PhD in 2002 from Cornell University and spent 2002-5 as a postdoctoral research associate at Duke University. She joined the faculty of North Carolina State University in 2005, and was awarded a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to support a yearlong sabbatical at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany during 2011-12. She current serves as a Divisional Associate Editor for Physical Review Letters.

Research Description

Her main research interests center around experiments on the non-equilibrium and nonlinear dynamics of granular materials, fluids, and gels. These experiments have allowed her lab to address questions of how failure occurs, how non-trivial patterns arise, and what controls the transitions between different classes of behaviors. Several of these studies have used idealized systems to provide insight into biological and geological phenomena.


Complete list of publications


View CV


PhD, Physics, Cornell University (2002)
BA, Physics, Dartmouth College (1994)

Honors and Awards

  • 2018 Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • 2015 Equity for Women Award, North Carolina State University
  • 2011 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship
  • 2007 NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award

Selected Publications

Protocol-dependence and state variables in the force-Moment ensemble
Ephraim S. Bililign, Jonathan E. Kollmer, Karen E. Daniels
Physical Review Letters, 122, (2019), 038001, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.038001

The sounds of failure: forecasting granular slip events with passive acoustic measurements
Theodore A. Brzinski and Karen E. Daniels
Physical Review Letters, 120, (2018), 218003, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.218003

Nonlocal rheology of dense granular flow in annular shear experiments
Zhu Tang, Theodore A. Brzinski, Michael Shearer, and Karen E. Daniels
Soft Matter, 14, (2018), 3040, doi:10.1039/C8SM00047F

Oxidation-mediated fingering in liquid metals
Collin B. Eaker, David C. Hight, John D. O'Regan, Michael D. Dickey, Karen E. Daniels
Physical Review Letters, 119, (2017), 174502, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.174502

Capillary fracture of ultrasoft gels: heterogeneity and delayed nucleation
Marion Grzelka, Joshua B. Bostwick, and Karen E. Daniels
Soft Matter, 13, (2017), 2962, doi:10.1039/C7SM00257B

Extraction of force-chain network architecture in granular materials using community detection
Danielle S Bassett, Eli T Owens, Mason A Porter, M Lisa Manning, Karen E Daniels
Soft Matter, 11, (2015), 2731-2744, doi:10.1039/C4SM01821D

Equilibrating temperaturelike variables in jammed granular subsystems
James G. Puckett and Karen E. Daniels
Physical Review Letters, 110, (2013), 058001, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.058001

Acoustic measurement of a granular density of modes
Eli T. Owens and Karen E. Daniels
Soft Matter, 9, (2013), 1214, doi:10.1039/C2SM27122B

Flow-driven formation of solid-like microsphere heaps
Carlos P. Ortiz, Robert Riehn, and Karen E. Daniels
Soft Matter, 9 (2), (2013), 543-549, doi:10.1039/C2SM26762D

Equipartition of rotational and translational energy in a dense granular gas
Kiri Nichol and Karen E. Daniels
Physical Review Letters, 108, (2012), 018001, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.018001

Granular controls on periodicity of stick-slip events: kinematics and force-chains in an experimental fault
Nicholas W. Hayman, Lucie Ducloué, Kate L. Foco, Karen E. Daniels
Pure and Applied Geophysics, 168, (2011), 2239-2257, doi:10.1007/s00024-011-0269-3

Universal shapes formed by two interacting cracks
Melissa L. Fender, Frederic Lechenault, Karen E. Daniels
Physical Review Letters, 105, (2010), 125505, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.125505

Fluorescent visualization of a spreading surfactant
David W. Fallest, Adele M. Lichtenberger, Christopher J. Fox, and Karen E. Daniels
New Journal of Physics, 12, (2010), 073029, doi:10.1088/1367-2630/12/7/073029

A porous convection model for small-scale grass patterns
Sally E. Thompson and Karen E. Daniels
The American Naturalist, 175, (2010), E10-E15, doi:10.1086/648603

Supervised Students