Boris Shraiman

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Boris Isay Shraiman is an American theoretical physicist and biophysicist.

Shraiman received his PhD in theoretical physics from Harvard University in 1983 (with Paul C. Martin ) and was a post-doctoral student at the University of Chicago with Leo Kadanoff . He was then a member of Bell Laboratories (theoretical physics department) in Murray Hill for 16 years . In 2002 he became a professor at Rutgers University and from 2004 he was at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara .

He deals with statistical physics (such as models of antiferromagnets), chaos theory including turbulence and biophysics, where he examines the interactions of cells in morphogenesis (especially the formation of organs such as wings in Drosophila ) and of individuals and gene variations ( polymorphisms ) in population genetics investigates with the aim of using methods of statistical mechanics to better understand the mechanisms of evolution.

He also investigated how bacteria search for chemical substances on the basis of their perception (chemotaxis), which is not always possible due to the gradient, especially when the scent trail is interrupted by turbulence (he proposed a strategy for this which he called infotaxis).

In statistical hydrodynamics he developed Lagrangian function models to describe the statistics of large fluctuations in homogeneous turbulence on small scales (which cannot be described by the theory of Andrei Kolmogorow ).

Shraiman was a Loeb lecturer . In 2011 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences .


  • with CE Wayne, PC Martin: Scaling Theory for Noisy Period Doubling Transitions to Chaos , Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 46, 1981, p. 935
  • with Predrag Cvitanović , B. Soderberg: Scaling Laws for Mode Locking in Circle Maps , Physica Scripta, Volume 32, 1985, p. 263
  • with D. Bensimon, L. Kadanoff, S. Liang, C. Tang: Viscous Fingering , Rev. Mod. Phys., Volume 58, 1986, p. 977.
  • with Eric D. Siggia: Symmetry and Scaling in Turbulent Mixing , Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 77, 1996, p. 2463
  • with A. Pumir: Lagrangian Particle Approach to Large Eddy Simulations of Hydrodynamic Turbulence , J. of Statistical Physics, Volume 113, 2003, pp. 693-700
  • with ED Siggia: Scalar turbulence , Nature, Volume 405, 2000, pp. 639-646
  • with A. Punir, M. Chertkov: Geometry of Lagrangian Dispersion in Turbulence , Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 85, 2000, p. 5324
  • with A. Pumir, M. Chertkov: Lagrangian View of Turbulent Energy Transfer , Europhys. Lett., Vol. 56, 2001, pp. 379-385
  • with E. Balkovsky: Olfactory search at high Reynolds numbers , Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., Vol. 99, 2002, pp. 12589-93, arxiv : nlin / 0109019
  • Mechanical feedback as a possible regulator of tissue growth , Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 102, 2005, pp. 3318-3323.
  • with L. Hufnagel, AA Teleman, SM Cohen, H. Rouault: On the mechanism of wing size determination in fly development ; Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 104, 2007, pp. 3835-3840.
  • with M. Vergasolla, E. Villermaux: Infotaxis as a strategy for search without gradients , Nature, Volume 445, 2007, pp. 406-409, PMID 17251974 .
  • with R. Neher, DS Fisher: Rate of adaptation in large sexual populations , Genetics, Volume 184, 2010, pp. 467-481, arxiv : 1108.3464
  • with R. Neher: Statistical genetics and evolution of quantitative traits , Rev. Mod.Phys., Volume 83, 2011, p. 1301
  • with Richard A. Neher: Fluctuations of fitness distributions and the rate of Muller's ratchet, Genetics, Volume 191, 2012, pp. 1283-1293, arxiv : 1206.6782

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