Mark P. Taylor

On Chephran, Howse in background
Associate Professor of Physics

Ph.D., Brandeis University

B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Gerstacker 118
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Faculty Profile

Fall 12-Week Schedule

Current Courses

Physics 213 - Fundamentals of Physics I

Physics 320 - Modern Physics

Other Courses I Regularly Teach: (view all current course webpages)


Ph.D., Physics, 1991 Brandeis University
Thesis: "Statistical Mechanical Models of Liquid Crystalline Ordering"

B.S., Physics, 1982 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Academic Positions

  • 09/01-present   Hiram College, Associate Prof. of Physics (since 05/05); Assistant Prof. (09/01-05/05)
  • 12/13, 7/15     Martin-Luther-Universität, Halle, Germany, Visiting Research Prof.
  • 08/08-03/09, 12/09, 12/11   Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Germany, Visiting Research Prof.
  • 09/99-08/01   Swarthmore College, Visiting Assistant Prof. of Physics
  • 07/98-08/99   Dartmouth College, Visiting Assistant Prof. of Chemistry
  • 05/91-04/98   Dartmouth College, Postdoc and Visiting Scholar, Chemistry

Research Interests

Theoretical problems in statistical mechanics, especially in the area of fluids.  Use of analytic theory, numerical analysis, and computer simulation to study structural and thermodynamic properties of liquid crystals, polymers, biological macromolecules, and other complex fluid systems.

Much of my recent research has been concerned with polymer chain conformation and collapse.  I am especially interested in the coupling between chain conformation and local solvent structure and have been developing an approach to map the "many-body" chain-in-solvent problem to the simpler "few-body" single chain problem.  This mapping is illustrated in the following Monte Carlo snapshot that shows a 50-bead hard-sphere chain (blue) in a hard-sphere solvent (red) at volume fraction 0.40 which we are able to represent as a single chain (green) interacting via a set of effective potentials.  See the publications below with my students Sayuri Ichida, Greg Petersen, Shishir Adhikari, and Yuting Ye for more details.  My research is currently funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation Division of Materials Research (NSF-DMR grant 1607143).  This grants continues to allow me to engage Hiram students in a broad range of theoretical and computational research. [See my NSF Project Highlights].

For several years now I have also been investigating, in collaboration with Wolfgang Paul and Kurt Binder, phase transitions of an isolated polymer chain.  Using advanced computer simulation techniques we have been able to map out the complete phase behavior of a flexible square-well (SW) homopolymer chain.  Of particular interest is the finding that a chain with sufficiently short-range site-site interactions undergoes a direct freezing transition analogous the all-or-none type of folding transition exhibited by many small proteins.  Below is the temperature-interaction range phase diagram for a 128 bead SW chain.

Selected Publications (View Full List)

Other Interests: Rock Climbing and Mountaineering

I've climbed seven grade VI's on El Capitan and solo aided several grade V's in Yosemite and Zion.  Now I live in Ohio ... enough said?  I'm still dreaming about at least one more route up the captain.  I used to manage a trip to the Canadian Rockies most every summer but have missed out on this the past few years.  Most recent technical climb in Canada: solo ascent of the NW Ridge of Mt. Sir Donald (8/10) ... wild exposure with rime ice through the upper sections to keep me focused! 


Last Updated: Oct. 21, 2016

▲  Return to Top