Granular Matter

, 20:58 | Cite as

Obituary for Professor Bob Behringer, dear friend and late Editor in Chief of Granular Matter

  • Hans J. Herrmann
  • Stefan Luding

Prof. Bob Behringer - photo by: Simone Degan

Bob Behringer co-founder and editor-in-chief of the journal Granular Matter unexpectedly passed away on July 10, 2018.

Working on low-temperature physics with Horst Meyer, Bob earned his Ph.D. in 1975 from Duke University. Subsequently Bob was postdoctoral researcher until 1977 with Guenter Ahlers at Bell Laboratories. After working five years as Assistant Professor at Wesleyan University he moved to the Department of Physics at Duke University in 1982. In 1986 he was promoted to Associate Professor, in 1991 to Full Professor, and became a James B. Duke Professor of Physics in 1994. He served as the Chair of the Department of Physics at Duke from 1999 to 2002 and as Director of the Center for Nonlinear and Complex Systems for more than 20 years. He has worked in many areas including low temperature physics, Rayleigh–Bénard convection, porous media, pattern formation, chaos, nonlinear dynamics in thin fluid films, and granular media. In particular, he has pioneered measurements of contact forces using photoelastic materials in 2D granular flows and packings, and helped launch the field of granular physics in the late 1990s. He has mentored more than 40 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Bob was a Fellow of the American Physical Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science, and won the Jesse Beams Award from the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society.

Bob’s sudden departure is a tremendous loss for our community and our journal. He was widely respected as the authority in granular media experiments. Bob was a strong advocate for the community on all aspects concerning Granular Matter. He contributed many original ideas that improved the quality, impact and visibility of our journal. His deep knowledge of the field, experience and common sense crucially guided our journal to what it stands for today. Above all, Bob will be forever remembered for his generosity, kindness, and honesty. We are in deep sorrow for having lost not only a brilliant scientist, but also a great human being and friend.


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Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rechnergestützte Physik der WerkstoffeZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Multi Scale Mechanics MSM-TFE, Faculty of Engineering Technology, MESA+University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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