Paul M Goldbart

Adjunct Professor


Paul M Goldbart

Primary Research Area

  • Condensed Matter Physics


Professor Paul M. Goldbart received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of London's Imperial College in 1985. He joined the Department of Physics as an assistant professor in 1987, advanced to associate professor in 1993, and to professor in 1998.

A theoretical condensed matter physicist, Professor Goldbart has made remarkably diverse contributions to his field. He has made deep and pioneering contributions to the theory of random solids, such vulcanized rubber and certain gels, formed when the motion of the constituents (atoms, molecules or polymers) is constrained by random permament chemical bonds. In addition to laying the conceptual foundations of the subject, Professor Goldbart has also gone on to develop many related theoretical avenues, including establishing connections with glassy systems.

He has explored novel implications of quantal geometric phases in a range of condensed matter settings, including mesoscopic quantum systems, superfluid helium, and magnetic media, for example, discovering that such phases can cause a variety of strange and unanticipated currents. He has also introduced and investigated the subject of Andreev billiards, in which the motion of quasiparticles confined by superconducting "walls" and its connection with the shape of the confined region are examined, thus weaving together physics of superconductivity and quantum chaology with the mathematics of spectral geometry.

In the area of liquid crystals, Professor Goldbart has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of phase transitions under shear flow and to the kinetics of phase ordering in uniaxial and biaxial systems, addressing issues that lie at the heart of nonequilibrium physics, such as critical phenomena, state selection, and the approach to equilibrium.

Professor Goldbart contributes regularly to the University's outreach activites, giving popular lectures to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. He is one of the department's most enthusiastic and gifted teachers, and his name regularly appears on the University's list of "Teachers Rated as Excellent by their Students."

Research Statement

Theoretical condensed matter physics, random systems, mesoscopic physics, superconductivity and superfluidity


  • Presidential Young Investigator Award (September 1991)
    (associated with grant NSF DMR91-57018, from September 1991 to August 1996)
  • Junior Xerox Award for Faculty Research (Feb. 1992)
  • Beckman Associate, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Spring 1996)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (2001)

Semesters Ranked Excellent Teacher by Students

Fall 2010PHYS 580
Spring 2010PHYS 581
Fall 2008PHYS 580
Spring 2007PHYS 598MMB
Fall 2006PHYS 598
Spring 2006PHYS 581
Fall 2005PHYS 580
Spring 2005PHYS 581
Fall 2004PHYS 580
Fall 2003PHYS 480
Spring 2003PHYS 489
Fall 2001PHYS 481
Spring 2001PHYS 498
Spring 2000PHYS 498

Selected Articles in Journals

Books Authored or Co-Authored (Original Editions)

  • M. Stone and P. Goldbart. Mathematic for Physics: A Guided Tour for Graduate Students. Cambridge Univ. Press. 806 pp. (2009).