Professor N. Brilliantov


+44 (0)116 252 3917

Personal details

M.Sc, PhD, Doctor of Science

I studied at the Moscow State University, Faculty of Physics where I earned an M.Sc (1980), PhD (1984) and Doctor of Science (1999). I have a daughter, she is a biochemist and my hobbies include sport, travelling, art and literature.


Google Scholar Profile

Editorial work

Editor:                        Member of the Editorial Board of The Physical Review Letters

Editor:                        of the book (with T.Poeschel) "Granular Gas   Dynamics", 
Lecture Notes in Physics, v. 624.

Editor:                         of the topical issue "Granular Hydrodynamics" of the journal "Mothematical Modelling of Natural Phehomena", v. 6 (4)  2011


  • Permanent Affiliation: Department of Mathematics University of Leicester, Leicester, UK Professor,  Chair in Applied Mathematics
  • Other Appointments:  Nonlinear Dynamics Group Department of Physics University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.  Visiting Scientist, 2004-2007.
  • Statistical Physics and Theory of Chaos Group Department of Physics,  University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.  Visiting Scientist, 2003.

    Humboldt University / Charite Department of Biochemistry, Berlin, Germany. Visiting Scientist, 2002-2003.

    University of Barcelona, Department of Physics, Barcelona, Spain.  Invited  Professor, 2001.

    Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam, Germany. Max-Planck Fellow, 2000.

    Humboldt University, Department of Physics, Berlin, Germany. Visiting Scientist, 1998-1999.

    University of Toronto, Department of Chemistry
    Toronto,  Canada. Research Associate,  Lecturer,1995-1997

    Nonlinear Dynamics Group,
    Department of Physics,  University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.  Max-Planck Fellow, 1993.

    Moscow State UniversityFaculty of Physics, Senior Researcher, Assistant Professor, 1989-1995.

    All-Union Research Institute of Current Sources, Moscow,  Russia, Senior Researcher, Group Leader,  1985-1989.

    Reviewing work

    Peer Review:              Physical Review LettersPhysical Review EEuropean Physical Journal, Europhysics Letters, Journal of Physics A, Uspekhi Fizicheskikh Nauk.

    Honors, Fellowships and Service to the Scientific Community

    Organizer of the International 
    Workshop "The Enigma of Enceladus: Observation and Modeling", Leiester,  June 19-20, 2009

    Organizer of the International 
    CECAM Workshop "Granular Gases", Lyon, Sept. 2-5, 2002

    Member of the Scientific Committee of the International 
    The 14th International Conference on Discrete Simulation of Fluid Dynamics in
    Complex Systems Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, August 22 - 26 (2005)

    Member of the Scientific Committee of the International 
    DSFD 2004 13th International Conference on the Discrete Simulation of Fluid
    Dynamics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 16-20 August 2004

    Member of the Scientific Committee of the International 
    XII International Conference on the Discrete Simulation of Fluid Dynamics,
    Augist 25-29 (2003), Beirut, Lebanon.

    Co-organizer and member of the Scientific Committee of the International 
    "Statistical Mechanics of Complex Networks" XVIII Sitges Conference on Statistical Mechanics, Sitges, Barcelona, SPAIN, 10-14 June 2002

    Member of the Scientific Committee of the International 
    XI international Conference of Discrete Simulation of Fluid Dynamics and
    Soft Condensed Matter August 5-9 (2002), Shanghai, China

    Fellowship in Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, 
    Potsdam, Germany, 2000.

    International Science Foundation Grant award, 1994.

    Fellowship in Max-Planck-Institute,  Nonlinear Dynamics Group, 
    University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany, 1993.

    Positive pressure coverage:

    The Daily Mail (2015)

    The Telegraph (2015)

    The Huffington Post (2015)



    N. V. Brilliantov and T. Poeschel, Oxford University Press 2004T. Poeschel, N. Brilliantov, Granular Gas Dynamics, Lecture Notes in Physics, Vol. 624, Springer (2003)N.V. Brilliantov, O.P. Revokatov, Molecular Dynamics of Disordered Media, Moscow University Press (1996)

    Complete publications list


    Granular matter

    Granular Gases are dilute systems of particles which collide inelastically. 
    Being rather simple by their nature, Granular Gases reveal very rich 
    behaviour: Cluster and vortex formation, characteristic shock waves 
    and non-Maxwellian velocity distribution may be mentioned as some 
    representative examples.

    Main publications on granular gases


    N.V.Brilliantov and T.Poeschel,
    Kinetic Theory of Granular Gases,
    Oxford University Press, (2004).

    T.Poeschel, and  N.V.Brilliantov  (Eds.)
    Granular Gas Dynamics,
    Lecture Notes in Physics, vol. 624, Springer (2003).

    N.V.Brilliantov, T. Pöschel,
    Hydrodynamics and transport coefficients for Granular Gases,
    Phys. Rev. E, 67, (2003), 061304.  pdf

    T.Poeschel, and  N.V.Brilliantov,
    Kinetic Integrals in the Kinetic Theory of dissipative gases,
    In: T. Poeschel,  N.V. Brilliantov  (Eds.) "Granular Gas Dynamics",
    Lecture Notes in Physics,  vol. 624, Springer (Berlin, 2003), p. 131-162. pdf 

    N.V.Brilliantov and T.Poeschel,
    Hydrodynamics of granular gases of viscoelastic particles,
    Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A, 360, (2002) 415-429.

    N.V.Brilliantov and T.Poeschel,
    Self-diffusion in granular gases,
    Phys.Rev. E, 61, (2000) 1716-1721.  pdf file

    N. V. Brilliantov, T. Poeschel,
    Granular Gases with Impact-velocity Dependent Restitution Coefficient,
    in  "Granular Gases",  ed. by S.Luding, and T.Poeschel,
    Lecture Notes in Physics Vol. 564, Springer (Berlin, 2000), p. 100.

    Velocity distribution in granular gases

    N. V. Brilliantov and T. Poeschel,
    Deviation from Maxwell Distribution in Granular Gases with Constant Restitution Coefficient.
    Phys. Rev. E, 61, (2000) 2809-2812.  pdf file

    N. V. Brilliantov and T. Poeschel,
    Velocity distribution in granular gases of viscoelastic particles,
    Phys. Rev. E, 61, (2000) 5573-5587.  pdf file

    T.Poeschel, N.V. Brilliantov, and T. Schwager,
    Violation of Molecular Chaos in dissipative gases,
    Int. J. Mod. Phys. C, 13, (2002) 1263-1272.

    N.V.Brilliantov and T.Poeschel,
    Granular Gases -- the early stage,
    in "Coherent Structures in Complex Systems", ed by D. Reguera,  L.L. Bonilla, M. Rubi,
    Lecture Notes in Physics, Vol.567,  Springer (2001)  p.408-419

    Clustering and pattern formation in Granular Gases

    T.Poeschel, N.V. Brilliantov, and T. Schwager,
    Long-time behavior of Granular Gases with impact-velocity dependent  coefficient of restitution,
    Physica A, 325,  (2003) 274-283.    pdf file

    Inelastic collisions

    The  theory of a collision of elastic particles was developed by H. Hertz in 1885. 
    We generalized Hertz's theory for dissipative collisions, using the simplest model 
    of viscoelastic particles. The generalized collision law allows to derive the main 
    characteristics of dissipative collisions - the restitution coefficient. It occurs, that 
    this quantity is not a material parameter, as was assumed previously, but rather 
    complicated function of elastic and dissipative material constants and of the 
    impact velocity at a collision.

    Main publications on inelastic collisions

    Generalization of Hertz's theory

    N. V. Brilliantov, F. Spahn, J.-M. Hertzsch, and T. Poeschel,
    Model for collisions in granular gases
    Phys. Rev. E, 53 (1996) 5382-5392.   pdf file

    N.V.Brilliantov, F. Spahn, J.-M. Hertzsch, and T. Poeschel,
    The collisions of particles in granular systems.
    Physica A,  231 (1996) 417-424.

    J.-M.Hertzsch, F.Spahn, and N.V.Brilliantov,
    On low-velocity collisions of viscoelastic particles.
    J. de Phys. II France, 5 (1995) 1725 - 1738.

    Coefficient of restitution

    T. Poeschel and N. V. Brilliantov,
    Extremal collision sequences of particles on a line:  optimal transmission of kinetic energy,
    Phys. Rev. E, 63, (2001) 021505.   pdf file

    R. Ramírez, T. Poeschel, N. V. Brilliantov, T. Schwager,
    Coefficient of restitution of colliding viscoelastic spheres.
    Phys. Rev. E, 60, (1999) 4465.     pdf file

    Rolling friction

    Up to our knowledge there was no first-principle theory which relates the 
    coefficient of rolling friction to material properties and a size of a rolling body 
    without any model parameters. We have developed a simple theory 
    of a rolling of a soft sphere on a hard plane.  We observe that rolling motion 
    may be treated as a "continuing collision". For a simple model of a soft plane 
    we developed a theory of a rolling of a hard cylinder on a soft plane.

    Main publications on rolling friction

    N.V.Brilliantov and T.Poeschel,
    Rolling friction of a soft sphere on a hard plane.
    Europhys. Letters, 42  (1998) 511.   pdf file

    N. V. Brilliantov, T. Poeschel,
    Rolling as a "continuing collision,
    Europ. Phys. J. B, 12, (1999) 299.    pdf file

    T. Poeschel, T. Schwager, and  N. V. Brilliantov,
    Rolling of a hard cylinder on a viscous plane,
    Europ. Phys. J. B, 10, (1999) 169-174.    pdf file

    Complex fluids

    Polyelectrolytes and colloids

    Many important biological macromolecules, such as e.g. DNA,  are Polyelectrolytes.  Solutions of Polyelectrolytes and of Charged Colloidal paricles exhibit very interesting phase behavior: Phase transitions may be accompanied by a sudden change of  a gyration radius of a polymer chain,  of an average charge of a macromolecule, etc. We developed a theory of electrostatically driven  chain collapse in dilute polyelectrolyte solutions,  which occurs as a first-order phase transition (PRL 81, 1998).  Later this phase  transition has been detected in experiments (Mel'nikov  et al, JACS, 121  (1999) 1130).  We also developed a theory of phase transitions in colloidal solutions of particles with variable  surface charges.

    Main publications

    N.V.Brilliantov, D.V.Kuznetsov and  R.Klein,
    Chain Collapse and Counterion Condensation in Dilute Polyelectrolyte Solutions,
    Phys. Rev. Lett., 81, (1998) 1433.

    Phase  Transitions  in  Solutions  of  Variably   Ionizable Particles,
    Phys. Rev. E., 48, (1993) 4536.

    N.V.Brilliantov, and V.V.Malinin,
    Liquid-liquid type phase transitions and variation of the particle charge in colloidal solutions,
    Colloidal Journal, 64, (2002) 261.

    Hydrodynamics and brownian motion

    Particles in Complex Fluids, such as solutions of Polyelectrolyte or Colloids,  often carry a considerable charge. Hence, the local properties of the solvent, such as e.g. viscosity,  around the particles may be altered by the strong electric field. The other effect which is called the dielectric friction may also  significantly influence the Brownian motion of particles in Complex Fluids.  The molecular motion in these systems may be analyzed using the hydrodynamics of fluids with the internal degrees of freedom. For the case of polar solvents such hydrodynamic equations are called Hubbard-Onsager equations. Solving the these hydrodynamic 
    equations we obtain the generalization of Stokes-Einstein and Stokes-Einstein-Debye relations for translational and rotational Brownian motion.

    Main publications

    N.V.Brilliantov, N.G.Vostrikova and O.P.Revokatov,
    Role of electrical interactionss in rotational motion of
    charged solute in polar solvents.
    J. Phys. Chem.B, 102, (1998) 6299.

    N.V.Brilliantov, and N.G.Vostrikova
    Rotational  motion  of  Brownian  particles  with  surface charge,
    Molecular Physics,  77, (1992) 957

    N.V.Brilliantov, and P.L.Krapivsky,
    Stokes laws for ions in solutions with ion-induced inhomogeneity,
    J. Phys. Chem., 95, (1991) 6055-6057.

    N.V.Brilliantov, V.P.Denisov, and P.L.Krapivsky,
    Generalized Stokes-Einstein-Debye relation for charged
    Brownian particles in solution,  Physica A, 175, (1991) 293-304.

    Phase transitions and critical behavior

    The critical behavior of simple fluids as well as of other fluids with a short-range interaction 
    potential corresponds to that of the Ising universality class. This follows from experiments, 
    computer simulations and theoretical reasonings.  For the  Coulombic Fluids however, it is still not completely clear to which universality class do these fluids belong. The most direct analysis of the critical properties of the system may be performed using the Landau-Ginzburg-Wilson (LGW) form of the system Hamiltonian. We develop a method which allows a rigorous mapping of the fluid Hamiltonian onto the effective field-theoretical LGW Hamiltonian,  which coefficients may be calculated analytically.  Using this approach we derive some relations between critical parameters, which have been confirmed in numerical experiments (Camp P.J., Patey G.N.,  J. Chem.Phys. 114 (2001) 399) and analyze the  coulombic criticality.

    Main publications

    Effective magnetic Hamiltonian and Ginzburg criterion for fluids,
    Phys.Rev.E, 58, (1998)  2628.

    N.Brilliantov, and  J.Valleau,
    Thermodynamic Scaling Monte Carlo Study of the Liquid--Gas Transition in the Square--Well Fluid,
    J.Chem.Phys., 108, (1998) 1115.

    N.Brilliantov, and J.Valleau,
    Effective Hamiltonian Analysis of Fluid Criticality and Application to the Square--Well Fluid,
    J.Chem.Phys., 108, (1998) 1123.

    N.V.Brilliantov, A.Yu.Loskutov and V.V.Malinin
    Field-Theoretic analysis of critical behavior of a symmetric binary fluid,
    Theor. Math. Phys., 130,  (2002)   p.123-135 (in russian).

    Coulombic fluids

    Fluids  with long-range coulombic interactions, such as ionic solutions, plasma, etc. 
    are called coulombic fluids. The problem of critical behavior of  such fluids, i.e. of the 
    coulombic criticality, is still under discussion, since some the ionic fluids demonstrate 
    Ising criticality, while other - the classical one. Using the effective LGW Hamiltonian
    and nonperturbative RG approach, we show that very long crossover from the classical 
    to Ising critical behavior may be observed. For the simplest model of the coulombic fluid, 
    for the model of One Component Plasma we derived the equation of state (EOS) which is 
    very accurate for all values of plasma parameter, from the Debye-Huckel limit up to the 
    Wigner crystallization point.  To derive this EOS we propose the Restricted Random Phase 

    Main publications

    N.V. Brilliantov,  C. Bagnuls and C.Bervillier,
    Peculiarity of the Coulombic Criticality?,
    Phys. Lett. A,  245, (1998) 274.

    N.V. Brilliantov,
    Accurate First-Principle Equation of State for the One-Component Plasma,
    Contrib. to Plasma Physics, 38, (1998) 489.

    N.V.Brilliantov, V.V.Malinin and R.R.Netz,
    Systematic Field-Theory for the Hard-Core One-Component Plasma,
    Eur. Phys. J. D, 18, (2002) 339.

    Molecular Biophysics

    Molecular Models of Diseases Kinetics

    It is generally acknowledged that transmittable spongiform encephaloathies diseases (TSE), such as scrapie, kuru and kind of Creutzfeld-Jacob disease are related to formation of misfolded fibril-like prion proteins.  Using a molecular model of the aggregation kinetics we describe the kinetics of the prion growth and derived the size distribution of the fibril aggregates.

    Main publications

    T.Poeschel, N.V. Brilliantov, and C. Frommel,
    Kinetics of Prion Growth,
    Biophysical Journal, 85, (2003) 3460-3474.

    Brownian motion of biomolecules

    Biological functions of biomolecules in nature are intrinsically related to their mobility, i.e. to 
    the properties of the Brownian motion of these particles. Usually they are strongly  charged or have a large electrical dipolar moment.  The intensive electrostatic interactions between the charged and/or dipolar biomolecules or between the macromolecules and the polar solvent influence significantly their Brownian Motion .

    Main publications

    N.V.Brilliantov, N.G.Vostrikova, V.P.Denisov, Yu.M.Petrusievich and O.P.Revokatov
    Influence of dielectric friction and near-surface  increase  of viscosity  on  rotational
    Brownian  motion  of  charged  biopolymers in solution,
    Biophysical Chemistry, 46 (1993)  227-236.

    Yu. M. Petrusevitch and N. V. Brilliantov,
    Dielectric properties of protein solutions and interactionof electromagnetic fields with biosystems.
    Bull. Mosc. State Univ.,  Ser.3, N4 (1994) 63-67 (in russian).

    N.V.Brilliantov, A.I.Kviatkievich, Yu.M.Petrusievich and O.P. Revokatov,
    Influence  of  macromolecules  dipolar  moment  on  the frequency dependence of
    the NMR-relaxation  coefficients of  biopolymers  in  solution.
    Radiospektroskopiya, Perm, 1988,150-154 (in russian).

    N.V.Brilliantov, A.I.Kviatkievich, Yu.M.Petrusievich and O.P.Revokatov,
    Rotational Brownian motion of  polar  macromolecules  in solutions,
    Dokl.  Akad. Sci.  USSR,  304,  N2  (1989) 340-345   (in russian).


    Online newspapers

    The Daily Mail (2015)

    The Huffington Post (2015)

    The Guardian (2014)

    The New York Times (2008)

    In journals

    Physics Today

    Journal of  Statistical  Physics

    Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and General

    Particle Technology   Newsletter

    Other online sources







    The Cheers News Agency


    Thaindian News

    JPL News Feature

    On Space.Com



    Spaceflight now

    Saturn Daily

    Informationsdienst der Wissenschaft

    Universe Today


    Share this page:

    Contact details

    Department of Mathematics
    University of Leicester
    University Road
    Leicester LE1 7RH
    United Kingdom

    Tel.: +44 (0)116 229 7407

    Campus Based Courses

    Postgraduate Taught:

    Postgraduate Research:

    Distance Learning Course  

    Actuarial Science:

    DL Study

    Student complaints procedure

    AccessAble logo

    The University of Leicester is committed to equal access to our facilities. DisabledGo has detailed accessibility guides for College House and the Michael Atiyah Building.