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Mark Bowick

Mark Bowick

Mark Bowick

Research Professor





Biophysical Science


Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics
Kohn Hall
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4030

Research Interests
  • Soft Matter.
  • Interplay of order and geometry.
  • Building blocks for supramolecular self-assembly.
  • Shaped structures.
  • Topological defects and common themes in condensed matter and particle physics.

Research Spotlight


A snapshot of a hexatic membrane with its characteristic dislocations (yellow-blue dimers). Any sufficiently flexible elastic membrane with finite bond energies will melt via the formation of such dislocations to create a fluctuating analog of a bond-orientationally ordered planar hexatic. Mark Bowick, Chapter 11 in "Statistical mechanics of Membranes and Surfaces", ed. by D.R. Nelson, T. Piran and S. Weinberg (World Scientific, Singapore, 2004)

News Articles
Curious Properties

(Sept. 7, 2017)

Researchers at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics analyze flocking behavior on curved surfaces

Physics Student Named Kavli Graduate Fellow

(June 6, 2017)

Suraj Shankar is second person in Syracuse history to win prestigious fellowship

Syracuse Professor Serving as Deputy Director of Premier Physics Institute

(Jan. 9, 2017)

Mark Bowick oversees Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics programming

Syracuse Physicists Achieve Success with Shape-Shifting Water Droplets

(March 10, 2016)

Findings may have important implications for soft robotics

Syracuse Physicists Excel at Gordon Research Conference in New Hampshire

(Aug. 25, 2015)

Professors Bowick, Manning, Marchetti, and Paulsen among presenters

Syracuse Goes Global with I-CAMP School for Physicists

(March 6, 2015)

Recent article reveals talent pipeline between CNY, South Africa


1983 Ph.D. in Physics California Institute of Technology

1979 M.S. in Physics California Institute of Technology

1977 B.Sc. (Honors) University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Awards & Professional Honors
  • First prize award in the 1986 Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competition
  • Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, D.O.E., 1987-1994
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, DCMP, 2004-present.
  • Chancellor's Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement, Syracuse University, 2006
  • William Wasserstrom Prize for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Advising, Syracuse University, 2009
Selected Publications

Bowick, MJ et al; The Cosmological Kibble Mechanism in the Laboratory – String Formation in Liquid-Crystals, Science 263 943 (1994).

Bausch, A.R et al; Grain boundary scars and spherical crystallography, Science 299 1716 (2003).

Bowick, MJ and Travesset, A, The statistical mechanics of membranes, Phys. Rep. 344 255 (2001).

Bowick, MJ and Wijewardhana, LCR, Superstrings at High Temperature, Phys. Rev. Lett. 54 2485 (1985).

Bowick, MJ and Giomi, L, Two-Dimensional Matter: Order, Curvature and Defects, Adv. Phys. 58 449 (2009).