Levine, Alexander J.
California NanoSystems Institute
Young Hall 3044A
Young Hall 3086
Professor Levine received his B.S. in Mathematics and Physics at UCLA and received his Ph.D. at UCLA in 1996. He was a postdoctoral researcher at Exxon Research & Engineering Co. from 1996 to 1998. He then was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania from 1998 to 2001. After a year as a postdoc at UCSB, he joined the faculty of the Department of Physics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 2005 he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UCLA.
Alex Levine has been a faculty member at UCLA since July of 2005. Before that he was an assistant professor of Physics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He has done postdoctoral work at Exxon Research & Engineering Co., UPENN, and UCSB. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1996 where he did research on the non-equilibrium statistical mechanics of sedimenting suspensions and on the fractional quantum hall effect. In addition, he worked with Sue Coppersmith at AT&T Bell Labs on the dynamics of driven charge density waves. He is currently a member of the California Nanosystems Institute and the UCLA representative on the Science Steering Committee of the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter. He is the co-organizer of the Frontiers in Microrheology Workshop to be held at UCLA in February 2008. He currently works on a variety of problems at the interface of soft condensed matter physics and biophysics.
Soft Condensed Matter and Biophysics
We study a variety of problems in the field of soft condensed matter and biophysics. Frequently, our research involves the application of continuum mechanics and hydrodynamics to biomaterials ranging in length scale from single proteins to biopolymer networks spanning tens of microns. We are also studying some aspects of the statistical mechanics of neuronal networks, phase transitions in colloidal crystals, and even laser trapping of colloidal particles with more complex shapes.
We benefit from collaborations with a number of experimentalists, working closely with Michael Dennin (UCI), Gabriel Popescu (UIUC), Tony Dinsmore (UMASS), Jeff Urbach (Georgetown), Christoph Schmidt (Göttingen) Giovanni Zocchi (UCLA), Tom Mason (UCLA), Jack Feldman (UCLA), Robijn Bruinsma (UCLA), and Fred MacKintosh (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam). Please see their webpages to learn more about their exciting work.
The Levine group also does theoretical research on the elasticity and dynamics of biomaterials focusing on the mechanical properties of the semiflexible biopolymer networks such as those found in the cytoskeleton and on the mechanics/dynamics of viscous and viscoelastic membranes. To better understand the mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton and other semiflexible polymer networks, they are working to develop an extension of the theory of rubber elasticity that takes into account elastic energy stored in filament bending as well as filament stretching. Additionally, they are exploring the statistical mechanics of non-equilibrium networks in which the filaments are stochastically tensed by molecular motors. This motor activity has been shown to play a large role in the determining the elastic moduli of the F-actin networks. The Levine group has also been exploring the effect of curvature and topology on hydrodynamics in membranes. This work is currently being augmented by more detailed studies of the mobility of transmembrane proteins.
Image: schematic of affine vs. nonaffine deformation. In the case of affine deformation, each sub-volume shown in green and grey deforms in the same way as the entire material (light blue) under a uniformly imposed shear (green arrows).
Honors & Awards
AT&T Graduate Fellowship
Phi Beta Kappa Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship
Julian Schwinger Graduate Fellowship
Election to Mathematics Honors Society
Election to Phi Beta Kappa
Sigma Pi Sigma Joined Physics Honor Society Sigma Pi Sigma
University of California Four Year Regents Scholarship
Freshman Honors Society
Golden Key Honors Society
American Physical Society
Materials Research Society
Society of Rheology
[ Articles in Preparation ]
Jeremy D. Schmit and Alex J. Levine Intermolecular adhesion in semiconducting polymers, Submitted to Physical Review E. (2009).
Chiao-Yu Tseng, Andrew Wang, Giovanni Zocchi, Biljana Rolih, and Alex J. Levine, The elastic energy of protein-DNA chimeras, Submitted to Physical Review Letters (2009).
J.R. Rothenbuhler, J.-R. Huang, B.A. DiDonna, A.J. Levine and T.G. Mason, Diffusion-limited aggregation of colloidal rods and disks, Submitted to Soft Materials (2009).
David Schwab, Robijn F. Bruinsma, and Alex J. Levine, Rhythmogenic Neuronal Networks and k-Core Percolation, Submitted to Physical Review Letters (2008).
Biswaroop Mukherjee and Alex J. Levine, The effect of colored noise on stochastic resonance, Submitted to American Journal of Physics (2008).
YongKeun Park, Catherine Best-Popescu, Kamran Badizadegan, Ramachandra R. Dasari, Michael S. Feld, Tatiana Kuriabova, Mark L. Henle, Alex J. Levine, and Gabriel Popescu, Measurement of red blood cell mechanics during morphological changes, Submitted to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (2008).
[ Published ]
Mark L. Henle and Alex J. Levine, Effective Viscosity of a Dilute Suspension of Membrane-bound Inclusions, Physics of Fluids 21, 033106 (2009).
Alex J. Levine and F.C. MacKintosh, The Mechanics and Fluctuation Spectrum of Active Gels, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 113, 3820-3830 (2009). P.-G. de Gennes memorial issue.
Robert Brewster, Gary S. Grest, and Alex J. Levine Effects of cohesion on the surface angle and velocity profiles of granular material in a rotating drum, Physical Review E 79, 011305 (2009).
Mark L. Henle, R. McGorty, A.B. Schofield, A.D. Dinsmore, and A.J. Levine The effect of curvature and topology on membrane hydrodynamics, Europhysics Letters 84, 48001 (2008).
Moumita Das, Alex J. Levine, and F.C. MacKintosh, Buckling and force propagation along intracellular microtubules, Europhysics Letters 84, 18003 (2008).
Robert Brewster, Leonardo Silbert, Gary S. Grest, and Alex J. Levine Relationship between interparticle contact lifetimes and rheology in gravity-driven granular flows, Physical Review E 77, 061302 (2008).
Jeremy D. Schmit and Alex J. Levine Statistical model for Intermolecular Adhesion in conjugated polymers, Physical Review Letters 100, 198303 (2008).
Tatiana Kuribova and Alex J. Levine, Nanorheology of viscoelastic shells: Applications to viral capsids, Physical Review E 77, 031921 (2008).
Robert Walder, Alex J. Levine, and Michael Dennin, Rheology of two-dimensional F-actin networks associated with a lipid interface, Physical Review E 77, 011909 (2008).
F. C. MacKintosh and Alex J. Levine, Non-equilibrium mechanics and dynamics of motor-activated gels, Physical Review Letters 100, 018104 (2008).
Ali Naji, Alex J. Levine, and P.A. Pincus, Corrections to the Saffman-Delbr¨uck mobility for membrane bound proteins, Biophysical Journal: Biophysical Letters 93, L49-L51 (2007).
Leonardo Silbert, Gary S. Grest, Robert Brewster, and Alex J. Levine Rheology and Contact Lifetimes in Dense Granular Flows, Physical Review Letters 99, 068002 (2007).
Moumita Das, F.C. MacKintosh, and Alex J. Levine Effective medium theory of semiflexible filamentous networks, Physical Review Letters 99, 038101 (2007).
M.L. Henle and Alex J. Levine, Erratum: Capillary wave dynamics on supported viscoelastic films: Single and double layers, Physical Review E 75, 059909(E) (2007).
B.A. DiDonna and Alex J. Levine Unfolding cross-linkers as rheology regulators in F-actin networks, Physical Review E 75, 041909 (2007).
Mark L. Henle and Alex J. Levine Capillary wave dynamics on supported viscoelastic films: Single and double layers, Physical Review E 75, 021604 (2007).
J.R. Savage, D. Blair, A.J. Levine, R.A. Guyer, and A.D. Dinsmore Imaging the Sublimation Dynamics of Colloidal Crystallites Science 314(5800), pp. 795-798 (2006).
Buddhapriya Chakrabarti and Alex J. Levine The nonlinear elasticity of an -helical polypeptide: Monte Carlo studies Physical Review E 74, 031903 (2006).
B.A. DiDonna and Alex J. Levine Filamin cross-linked semiflexible networks: Fragility under strain Physical Review Letters 97, 068104 (2006).
M. Atakhorrami, J.I. Sulkowska, K.M. Addas, G.H. Koenderink, J.X. Tang, A.J. Levine, F.C. MacKintosh, and C.F. Schmidt Correlated fluctuations of microparticles in viscoelastic solutions: Quantitative measurement of material properties by microrheology in the presence of optical traps, Physical Review E 73, 061501 (2006).
R. Brewster, J. Landry, G.S. Grest, and A.J. Levine Breakdown of Bagnold scaling in cohesive granular flows, Physical Review E 72, 061301 (2005).
David A. Head, Alex J. Levine, and F.C. MacKintosh Mechanical response of semiflexible networks to localized perturbations. Physical Review E 72, 061914 (2005).
Jeremy D. Schmit and Alex J. Levine Intermolecular adhesion in conducting polymers Physical Review E 71, 051802 (2005).
Buddhapriya Chakrabarti and Alex J. Levine The nonlinear elasticity of an -helical polypeptide Physical Review E 71, 031905 (2004).
Alex J. Levine, David A. Head, and F.C. MacKintosh The elasticity of semiflexible networks, Proceedings of the XIVth Congress on Rheology. ed. The Korean Society of Rheology (2004).
Alex J. Levine, David A. Head, and F.C. MacKintosh The Deformation Field in Semiflexible Networks, Journal of Physics, Condensed Matter 16, S2079 (2004).
Alex J. Levine, T.B. Liverpool, and F.C. MacKintosh Dynamics of rigid and flexible extended bodies in viscous films and membranes, Physical Review Letters 93, 038102 (2004).
Alex J. Levine, T.B. Liverpool, and F.C. MacKintosh The mobility of extended bodies in viscous films and membranes, Physical Review E 69, 021503 (2004).
David A. Head, Alex J. Levine, and F.C. MacKintosh Distinct regimes of elastic response and deformation modes of cross-linked cytoskeletal and semiflexible polymer networks, Physical Review E 68, 061907 (2003).
David A. Head, F.C. MacKintosh, and Alex J. Levine Non–universality of elastic exponents in random bond–bending networks. Physical Review E 68, 025101 (R) (2003).
David A. Head, Alex J. Levine, and F.C. MacKintosh Deformation of cross-linked semiflexible polymer networks, Physical Review Letters 91, 108102 (2003).
Victor Breedveld and Alex J. Levine Shear induced diffusion in dilute suspensions of charged colloids, Soft Materials 1, 235-244 (2003).
D.T. Chen, E.R. Weeks, J.C. Crocker, M.F. Islam, R. Verma, J. Gruber, A.J. Levine, T.C. Lubensky, and A.G. Yodh Rheological Microscopy:Local Mechanical Properties from Microrheology, Physical Review Letters 90, 108301 (2003).
Alex J. Levine and F.C. MacKintosh Dynamics of viscoelastic membranes, Physical Review E 66, 061606 (2002).
Deniz Erta¸s, Thomas C. Halsey, Alex J. Levine, and Thomas G. Mason, Stability of monomer–dimer piles, Physical Review E 66, 051307 (2002).
K.M. Addas, J.X. Tang, A.J. Levine, and C.F. Schmidt Extracting local and bulk viscoelasticity of entangled FD virus solutions by two–bead microrheology, Biophysical Journal 82 (1) 2432 (2002).
KarimM. Addas, Alex J. Levine, Jay X. Tang, and Christoph F. Schmidt One- and Two-Particle Microrheology in Entangled Solutions of fd Virus, Physical Characterization of Biological Materials and Systems Symposium. Boston, MA USA 26 Nov. – 30 Nov. 2001. Warrendale, PA, USA Materials Research Society, (2002).
Alex J. Levine and T.C. Lubensky Two–point microrheology and the electrostatic analogy, Physical Review E 65, 011501 (2001).
R. Bruinsma, F. Rondelez, and A. Levine Flow-Controlled Island Growth in Langmuir Monolayers, European Physics Journal E 6, 191 (2001).
Alex J. Levine and T.C. Lubensky The response function of a sphere in a viscoelastic two–fluid medium, Physical Review E, 63, 041510-1 (2001).
Alex J. Levine and T.C. Lubensky One- and two–particle microrheology, Physical Review Letters 85, 1774 (2000).
Randall D. Kamien and Alex J. Levine Boundary Effects in Chiral Polymer Hexatics, Physical Review Letters 84, 3109 (2000).
T. G. Mason, A. J. Levine, D. Erta¸s, and T. C. Halsey The Critical Angle of Wet Sand Piles, Physical Review E 60, R5044 (1999)
A. Levine, S. Ramaswamy, E. Frey, and R. Bruinsma “Hydrodynamic Screening in Stokesian Fluidized Beds” in Structure and Dynamics of Materials in the Mesoscopic Domain (Prox. 4th Royal Society–Unilever Indo-UK Forum in Materials Science and Engineering), Eds. Moti Lal, R.A. Mashelkar, B.D. Kulkarni, V.M. Naik (Imperial College Press and The Royal Society, 1999) pp. 195–206.
Amy B. Herhold, Deniz Erta¸s, Alex J. Levine, and Hubert E. King Jr. Impurity mediated nucleation in hexadecane-in-water emulsions. , Physical Review E 59, 6946 (1999).
Amy B. Herhold, Deniz Erta¸s, Alex J. Levine, and Hubert E. King Jr. Impurity induced slowing of nucleation in emulsified liquids in Dynamics in Small Confining Systems IV Symposium, Boston, MA USA 30 Nov. – 3 Dec. 1998. Warrendale, PA, USA: Materials Research Society, pp.85–96 (1999).
Alex Levine, Sriram Ramaswamy, Erwin Frey, and Robijn Bruinsma, Screened and Unscreened Phases in Sedimenting Suspensions, Physical Review Letters 80, 5944 (1998).
Alex J. Levine and Scott T. Milner, Star Polymers and the Failure of Time-Temperature Superposition, Macromolecules 31 (24) 8623 – 8637 (1998).
Alex J. Levine and Thomas C. Halsey, How Sandcastles Fall , Physical Review Letters 80, 3141 (1998)
Martin-D. Lacasse, Gary S. Grest, and Alex J. Levine, Capillary-wave and chain-length effects at polymer/polymer interfaces, Physical Review Letters 80, 309 (1998).
S. N. Coppersmith, T. C. Jones, L. P. Kadanoff, A. Levine, J. P.McCarten, S. R. Nagel, S. C. Venkataramani, and Xinlei Wu, Self-Organized Short-Term Memories, Physical Review Letters 78, 3983 (1997).
Shechao Feng, Alex Levine, and Lan Yin, Suppression of the Josephson Effect and Little-Parks Oscillations in the Quantum Hall Effect , in Coulomb and Interference Effects in Small Electronic Structures ed. D. C Glattli, M. Sanquer, and J. Tran Thanh Van, ´ Editions Fronti`eres (1994). Shechao Feng, Alex Levine,