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Dept of Physics

Karen E. Daniels

Professor of Physics

ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-6852-3594

Office: 258C Riddick Hall
Lab: 229-234 Riddick Hall
Phone: (919) 513-7921
Fax: (919) 515-6538
Email: kdaniel {at} ncsu.edu
Twitter: @karenedaniels

[ CV ]

Mailing address:
Dept. of Physics
Box 8202
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695

Professional History

A.B. Physics Dartmouth College, 1994
Science Teacher, St. Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY, 1994-1997
Ph.D. Physics Cornell University, 2002
Postdoc Duke University, 2002-2005
Asst-Assoc-Full Professor of Physics, NCSU, 2005-present

Other Appointments

Visiting Scientist, Department of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Goettingen, Germany, 2011-2012
Divisional Associate Editor, Physical Review Letters, 2017-present


NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, 2007
Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, 2011
LeRoy and Elva Martin Award for Teaching Excellence, 2013
North Carolina State University Faculty Scholar, 2013-2018
Equity for Women Award, North Carolina State University, 2015
Outstanding Referee, Physical Review Letters, 2017


Karen Daniels is a Professor of Physics at NC State University. She received her BA in Physics from Dartmouth College in 1994, taught school for a few years, and then pursued a PhD in Physics at Cornell University. After receiving her doctorate in 2002, she moved to North Carolina to do research at Duke University and then joined the faculty at NC State in 2005. Her lab at NC State investigates a number of problems in the deformation and failure of materials, from fluid flows, to piles of sand, to fracturing gels. When not working with her students on experiments in the lab, she likes to spend time in the outdoors, which has led her to contemplate the implications of her research for geological and ecological systems. In 2011-2012, she received an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship which allowed her to spend the year conducting research in Goettingen, Germany.


Soft Matter, Fluids, and Statistical Physics

Women in Physics


Courses Taught

Teaching Publications

  • K. E. Daniels. "Student Blogging about Physics." The Physics Teacher. 48: 366-7 (Sept 2010) [PDF]

Introductory Fluid Dynamics

In connection with the Matter & Interactions curriculum, I wrote an appendix which covers fluid statics and dynamics in language consistent with the rest of the course. [Link to PDF]

Instructors: I also have a set of WebAssign-coded problems and buoyancy lab which I'd be happy to share if you email me.

Computational Activities for Modern Physics

I have written a set of Jupyter notebooks for use in conjunction with our introductory Modern Physics class, approximately one for each chapter in Krane Modern Physics. If you'd like tor try them out, contact me. After Fall 2017 (their second draft), I'll find a way to post them more permanently/publicly.


  • Squish! Not-so-Solid Science 50-minute workshop suitable for 5th-8th grade students [Link to PDF]

Course Registration

Prior to our meeting during the course registration period, please prepare a list of what courses you intend to take for at least the next semester. You should confirm that these courses are in fact being offered during the semester in question and that you have already satisfied the prerequisites. You can either use the "Plan of Work" feature on MyPack Portal, email me the list, or bring it written out.


Career Guidance

What do physics majors do after graduation? Here are some links to information which looks beyond the "grad school in physics" option.

Looking for a science-related summer/campus job?

Instructions for Recommendation Letters

So that I can effectively advocate for you, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Make sure that I know enough information about you to write an effective letter. These can be either hard copy or email if I don't know them already:

    • your legal name (if it's not what I call you), year, major(s)
    • a copy of your transcript (printout from MyPack Portal is fine)
    • a copy of your personal statement (or other application materials)
    • what classes did you take from me?
    • any special academic awards/accomplishments?
    • any special non-academic awards/accomplishments (particularly if relevent to the mission of the program)?
    • how does the program fit into your long-term goals?
    • any other pertinent information about yourself which I might be able to address
  2. Make sure that I have enough information about about the program to be able to write an effective letter. These can be either hard copy or email:

    • list of all programs with deadlines and instructions (web vs. paper, whether I should mail or give to you)
    • information about what the program cares about (i.e "scholarship for scientists with artistic ability and red hair" or "PhD program in applied beekeeping" if it's not obvious from the title of the program)
    • for paper submission: all required paper forms and pre-addressed envelopes (no stamps required, I can give you official NCSU envelopes)
  3. Please send email reminders as the deadlines approach, and I will send you email confirmation as I submit materials to the programs. (Online applications will probably send this confirmation directly.)

  4. Finally, please keep me posted about whether you were successful in your applicaton(s), and what your experiences were with a particular program. This will help me to advise future students looking for similar opportunties.

Good luck!

:: Updated: 26 Aug 2010 :: LABlog (restricted) :: Copyright © 2010 by Daniels Lab :: [Powered by Blosxom]