Larry Silverberg


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Research Area: Dynamics. Modern physics, system modeling and algorithm development.

My Daily Calendar

I am a dynamicist. I study motion at its most basic level and also study its applications. At the most basic level, motion occurs in space-time and force is an action that changes the direction of a line in space-time. Space-time dynamics is at the root of modern physics. At the applied level, as it pertains to modelling physical processes, one of the large challenges lies in integrating the disciplines and the phases of matter. On that subject, I teach the course entitled Discrete Element Method (MAE 789). The method is a modern computational approach to two-scale modeling which compliments the more traditional Finite Element Method which is a single-scale method. The majority of my published work deals with advancements at the applied level. Along these lines, there is a growing need for algorithm development, like in autonomous operation of robotic systems. Much of my work in this area focuses on the development of unmanned systems, mostly with aerial systems. I also teach the course entitled Mechatronics (MAE 320). In this introductory course, students learn how to integrate electronics and computer algorithms into hardware, then they form small teams and build their own electromechanical systems.


Community Engagement 

Science speaker on the modern developments in physics and their impact

Science writer for The Conversation


Ongoing Research


Basic Concepts: 

Basic research that advances the space-time framework that governs physical behavior. This research builds on recent developments in four-dimensional geometry and in four-dimensional vector fields. 

Alex Gellios, MS candidate, visualization of the space-time change equation

Ricky Puyana, undergraduate, visualization of the fragment of energy

Marley Cook, undergraduate, visualization of vector continuity

This is joint research with Dr. Jeffrey Eischen and others with the assistance of students.


Namibia Wildlife Aerial Observatory (WAO):

A unique study-abroad program in which field units of undergraduate students spend a semester flying unmanned aerial vehicles over large, endangered animals in an animal reserve for the purposes of studying them and to better understand how to protect them

Each field unit collects aerial data to answer a research question, doing so under the guidance of a graduate research assistant.

Joe Manning, PhD candidate, deployment of aerial technologies in private and public organizations

Andrew Zulu, PhD candidate, unmanned aerial systems for anti-poaching

Josh Glazer, MS candidate, unmanned aerial systems for anti-poaching in Africa

Pawel Obyrcki, MS candidate, unmanned aerial systems for animal counting in Africa


Discrete Element Method:

Research that concerns the development of the DEM method

Stephen Coppola, PhD candidate, advancement of the DEM method


Autonomous Systems:

Research that concerns the development of algorithms for motion control

Huzefa Lightwala, MS candidate, evolutionary  algorithm that models the movement of the tarantula

Michael Picinich, MS candidate, development of a quad copter with a central propeller


Basketball Dynamics:

An extracurricular activity that began more then twenty years ago with the development of a suite of simulation tools that accurately predict the trajectory of a basketball, its collisions with the backboard and rim, and statistically analyze the probability of a shot.

The tools are applied to best practices in the free throw and the bank shot. This is a joint project with Dr. Chau Tran and with the assistance of many students.



Larry M. Silverberg (2008), “Unified Field Theory for the Engineer and the Applied Scientist,” J. Wiley, Inc. ISBN-13: 978-3527407880

Larry M. Silverberg and J. P. Thrower (2001) “Mark’s Mechanics: Problem-Solving Companion,” McGraw Hill Book Co. ISBN 0-07-136278-9







Engineering Mechanics

Virginia Polytechnic Institute


Engineering Mechanics

Virginia Polytechnic Institute


Engineering Mechanics

Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Research Description

My basic research focuses on advancing the space-time framework that governs physical behavior. My applied research contributes to dynamic system modeling and develops algorithms for dynamic systems.


Artificial Lumbered Flight for Autonomous Soaring
Powers, T. C., Silverberg, L. M., & Gopalarathnam, A. (2020), JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE CONTROL AND DYNAMICS, 43(3), 553–566.
A New System Development Framework Driven by a Model-Based Testing Approach Bridged by Information Flow
Zhu, D., Pritchard, E. G. D., & Silverberg, L. M. (2018), IEEE SYSTEMS JOURNAL, 12(3), 2917–2924.
Gender comparison in consistency in the basketball free throw by an event-driven approach
Silverberg, L. M., Tran, C. M., & Laue, C. (2018), SPORTS ENGINEERING, 21(4), 333–340.
Cellular growth algorithms for shape design of truss structures
Tschida, C. E., & Silverberg, L. M. (2013), Computers and Structures, 116, 1–6.
Optimal Targets for the Bank Shot in Mens Basketball
Silverberg, L. M., Tran, C. M., & Adams, T. M. (2011), Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, 7(1).
Autonomous soaring: The montague cross-country challenge
Edwards, D. J., & Silverberg, L. M. (2010), Journal of Aircraft, 47(5), 1763–1769.
Control of underwater vehicles in full unsteady flow
Levedahl, B. A., & Silverberg, L. (2009), IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, 34(4), 656–668.
Fourier series of half-range functions by smooth extension
Morton, J., & Silverberg, L. (2009), Applied Mathematical Modelling, 33(2), 812–821.
Characterizing hydrodynamic loads in full unsteady flow
Silverberg, L., & Levedahl, B. (2008), AIAA Journal, 46(12), 3159–3163.
Optimal release conditions for the free throw in men's basketball
Tran, C. M., & Silverberg, L. M. (2008), Journal of Sports Sciences, 26(11), 1147–1155.

View all publications via NC State Libraries