Haverford College
370 Lancaster Ave.
Haverford, PA 19041
Electronic mail:
Phone: 610-896-1196
(on leave in Cambridge UK in 08-09)

Jerry Gollub is Professor of Physics (and also holds the Chair in Natural Sciences endowed by John Bush, Founder of Millipore Corporation).  He does experiments on nonlinear and non-equilibrium phenomena, including especially studies of chaotic phenomena in ordinary and elastic fluids, the behavior of particle suspensions, and recently fluid motion related to biology.   He has co-authored Chaotic Dynamics: An Introduction, an undergraduate textbook, and he teaches courses for a broad audience.  He is also affiliated with the Physics Department of the University of Pennsylvania.

Click here for Nonlinear Physics Lab home page.


Gollub was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1993, and became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992. He was awarded the Fluid Dynamics Prize of the American Physical Society in 2003, and was the first recipient of the APS Award for Research in an Undergraduate Institution in 1985. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1984-85, won an international "Science for Art" Award in 1994, and earlier held Danforth and Woodrow Wilson Fellowships. Gollub was a Morris Loeb Lecturer in Physics at Harvard University in 1990, a Sigma Xi National Lecturer in 1983-85, and a Visiting Professor at Ecole Normale in 1985, and 1991. He previously served as Provost (Chief Academic Officer) at Haverford. Gollu received his Ph.D. in experimental condensed matter physics at Harvard University in 1971.


Gollub serves on the Governing Board of the National Research Counci (NRC)l, the research arm of the National Academy.  He recently completed a term on the NAS governing Council.  He is a past Chair of the Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Society, and served on the Editorial Boards of Physics of Fluids, and Physical Review Letters. He was Co-Chair of the NRC Committee on Programs for Advanced High School Science and Mathematics Education. He is an invited columnist for Physics Today, and has been a member of the Executive Board of the American Physical Society.

Research Summary

Gollub's research is in the general area of Nonlinear Physics, which is concerned with the mesoscopic and macroscopic behavior of complex systems. Often these systems are described by nonlinear partial differential equations such as the Navier-Stokes equations of fluid motion. His group has conducted experimental work on many aspects of nonlinear systems over the years, addressing questions such as these:  How can we use topological ideas to understand the onset of chaotic space-time motion in fluids?  How do particles suspended in a fluid move? How do swimming microorganisms affect the fluid around them?  And to what extent are granular flows similar to or different from ordinary fluids.  Many Haverford students, postdoctoral associates, and visitors have participated in these projects.

Teaching Activities

Courses for a broad audience are a particular interest; examples over the years include "Energy Options and Science Policy", "Living in a Fluid World", "About Time", and "Predictability in Science".  He also teaches material on fluid dynamics, a subject with many applications, in our upper level mechanics course.