The theme of my research program is the cell's mechanical design and its evolution during the first two billion years of life on Earth. As an interdisciplinary project, it draws from theoretical physics, microbiology and paleontology in roughly equal fractions. Through computer simulations, the division cycles of structurally simple cells are predicted, with a focus on shapes such as diplococci and filaments. These predictions are tested against the measured division cycles of modern cyanobacteria that are cultured in my lab. Then, the cycles of microfossils more than two billion years old are analyzed and compared against the catalog of modern cycles to determine the likely structural components and functioning of ancient cell lines. Sources for the microfossil specimens include both public collections as well as my own material. An overview of the methodology can be found in a pair of summer school lectures given at Odense, Denmark.

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Links to scientific papers and books are organized according to research area. The papers cannot be viewed on-line; rather they are stored as PDF files. To produce a good quality printed copy, the PDF files have been scanned at a higher resolution than a typical monitor, with the result that the on-screen versions may look a little ragged.         Click to download the PDF file.

Inorganic chemistry (1970 - 1973)

Elementary particle physics (1975 - 1979)

Heavy ion physics (1979 - 1990)

Statistical mechanics and biophysics (1988 - present)

Books and reports

Inorganic chemistry

1. D. H. Boal and G. A. Ozin, The Raman spectrum and molecular structure of Me3SiOReO3 in the solid, liquid, solution and gaseous phases, Can. J. Chem. 48:3026-3028 (1970).

2. D. Boal, G. Briggs, H. Huber, G. A. Ozin, E. A. Robinson and A. vander Voet, Matrix isolation laser Raman spectroscopy in inorganic chemistry, Nature 231:174-175 (1971).

3. D. Boal and G. A. Ozin, Matrix isolation laser Raman spectroscopy: the Raman spectrum and molecular structure of xenon dichloride, Spectroscopy Lett. 4:43-46 (1971).

4. D. H. Boal and G. A. Ozin, Matrix Raman spectrum and structure of the tribromine radical Br3, J. Chem. Phys. 55:3598-3599.

5. D. H. Boal and G. A. Ozin, Preparation, vibrational spectra, normal coordinate analysis and structures of bis-pyridine and orthophenanthroline complexes of mixed halogenosilanes, Can. J. Chem. 50:2484-2490 (1972).

6. D. H. Boal and G. A. Ozin, Studies of some thermally unstable complexes of Group V trihalides with trimethylamine and (2H9)-trimethylamine by infra-red, Raman and matrix isolation spectroscopy, normal coordinate analysis and structural methods, J. Chem. Soc. (Dalton) 1824-1828 (1972).

7. D. H. Boal and G. A. Ozin, Vibrational spectra, vibrational analysis and stereochemistries of the pentacoordinate molecules SiCl3X-N(CH3)3 and SiCl3X-N(CD3)3 where X=H, F, Br or I, Can. J. Chem. 51:609-617 (1973).

8. D. H. Boal, P. A. Grunberg and J. A. Koningstein, Electronic Raman spectra: crystal field in terbium aluminum garnet and europium gallium garnet, Phys. Rev. B7:4757-4763 (1973).

9. D. H. Boal, J. T. Hoff, P. A. Grunberg, J. Prudhomme and J. A. Koningstein, Light scattering of transition metal ions II: correlation of electronic Raman transitions and magnetic susceptibilities, J. Raman Spectroscopy 1:489-498 (1973).

Elementary particle physics

10. D. H. Boal, R. H. Graham, J. W. Moffat and P. J. O¹Donnell, SU(4) explanation of the narrow resonances in e+e- annihilation, Phys. Rev. Lett. 34:541-543 (1975).

11. J. W. Moffat and D. H. Boal, Solutions of the nonsymmetric unified field theory, Phys. Rev. D11:1375-1382 (1975).

12. D. H. Boal and J. W. Moffat, Physical consequences of a solution of the nonsymmetric unified field theory, Phys. Rev. D11:2026-2030 (1975).

13. D. H. Boal, R. H. Graham and B. Weisman, Current algebra theorems for K-pi scattering, Phys. Rev. D12:1472-1487 (1975).

14. D. H. Boal, The Kerr-Newman metric in the nonsymmetric unified field theory, Can. J. Phys. 54:1274-1276 (1976).

15. D. H. Boal and J. W. Moffat, pi-pi scattering in a model satisfying crossing symmetry, analyticity and approximate unitarity, Can. J. Phys. 54:1022-1033 (1976).

16. D. H. Boal, R. H. Graham and J. W. Moffat, SU(4) symmetry and the decays of the new hadrons, Phys. Rev. D13:3107-3110 (1976).

17. D. H. Boal, B. J. Edwards, A. N. Kamal and R. Torgerson, Evidence for SU(3) octet mixing, Phys. Rev. D14:2998-2999 (1976).

18. D. H. Boal, SU(4) multiplet mixing, Phys. Rev. Lett. 37:1333-1335 (1976).

19. D. H. Boal and R. Torgerson, The rho -> pi + gamma decay rate and vector meson dominance, Lett. Nuovo Cimento 15:417-420 (1976).

20. D. H. Boal, R. H. Graham and J. W. Moffat, Radiative decays of the vector mesons and the meson mixing angles, Phys. Rev. Lett. 36:714-716 (1976).

21. D. H. Boal, B. J. Edwards, A. N. Kamal, R. Rockmore and R. Torgerson, Vector meson couplings and the observability of the K* -> K pi pi decays, Phys. Lett. 66B:165-166 (1977).

22. D. H. Boal and R. Torgerson, Quark loop anomalies and the SU(4) mixing angles, Phys. Rev. D15:327-334 (1977).

23. D. H. Boal and R. H. Graham, A parameter-free, hard-meson prediction of the Kl3 form factors, Phys. Rev. D15:1878-1884 (1977).

24. D. H. Boal, Regge trajectories in SU(4), Phys. Lett. 69B:237-239 (1977).

25. D. H. Boal and A. C. D. Wright, Some electromagnetic properties of charmed mesons, Phys. Rev. D16:1505-1509 (1977).

26. D. H. Boal, Mesons with b-quarks: spectroscopy and electromagnetic properties, Phys. Rev. D18:3446-3452 (1978).

27. D. H. Boal and D. R. Noakes, Physical interpretation of and light propagation in the nonsymmetric unified field theory, Can. J. Phys. 57:79-87 (1979).

Heavy ion physics

28. D. H. Boal and R. M. Woloshyn, A direct knockout model for nuclear fragmentation, Phys. Rev. C20:1878-1883 (1979).

29. D. H. Boal, Probing inclusive production mechanisms with the (p,2p) reaction, Phys. Rev. C21:1913-1920 (1980).

30. D. H. Boal, Clusters, nucleons and quarks in intermediate energy reactions, in Proceedings of the Intermediate Energy Nuclear Chemistry Workshop (Los Alamos, 1980), 46 pages.

31. D. H. Boal and R. M. Woloshyn, The role of direct emission in strong and electromagnetically induced inclusive reactions, Phys. Rev. C23:1206-1216 (1981).

32. G. Roy et al., Inclusive scattering of protons on He, Ni and Ta at 500 MeV, Phys. Rev. C23:1671-1678 (1981).

33. D. H. Boal, R. E. L. Green, R. G. Korteling and M. Soroushian, Tests of models for inclusive production of energetic light fragments at intermediate energies, Phys. Rev. C23:2788-2790 (1981).

34. D. H. Boal and M. Soroushian, Snowball model for light fragment production, Phys. Rev. C25:1003-1011 (1982).

35. D. H. Boal, Coalescence models in nucleon and light ion induced reactions, Phys. Rev. C25:3068-3077 (1982).

36. D. H. Boal, Light fragment formation at intermediate energies, in Proceedings of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Winter School (Banff, 1982) 26 pages.

37. D. H. Boal, J. Schachter and R. M. Woloshyn, Thermodynamic limits of the quark plasma phase, Phys. Rev. D26:3245-3253 (1982).

38. D. H. Boal, Fragment emission and the lifetime of pre-equilibrium states, Phys. Rev. C28:2568-2570 (1983).

39. R. E. L. Green, D. H. Boal, R. Helmer, K. P. Jackson and R. G. Korteling, Large angle proton emission in the 9Be(p,2p) reaction at 300 MeV, Nucl. Phys. A405:463-496 (1983).

40. D. H. Boal, Approach to chemical equilibrium in thermal models, Phys. Rev. C29:967-972 (1984).

41. D. H. Boal and J. H. Reid, Thermal equilibrium in proton induced reactions, Phys. Rev. C29:973-984 (1984).

42. D. H. Boal, Experimental signature ambiguities in nuclear liquid-gas transitions, Phys. Rev. C30:119-124 (1984).

43. D. H. Boal, Hadronic thermometry and final state interactions, Phys. Rev. C30:749-751 (1984).

44. D. H. Boal, Energetic particle emission in nuclear reactions, Adv. Nucl. Phys. vol. 15, J. W. Negele and E. Vogt eds. (Plenum, New York, 1985), p. 85-214.

45. D. H. Boal, The nuclear liquid-gas phase transition, in Proceedings of the Conference on the Intersections Between Nuclear and Particle Physics (Steamboat Springs, 1984) (AIP, New York, 1984), p. 735-743.

46. D. H. Boal, Low temperature phase transitions, in Proceedings of the Conference on Local Equilibrium in Strong Interaction Physics - I (World Scientific, 1985), p. 364-378; p. 387-389; p. 415-425.

47. D. H. Boal, Freezeout of the fireball, in Proceedings of the 7th High Energy Heavy Ion Study (GSI, 1985), p. 495-514.

48. C. Chitwood et al., Final state interactions between non-compound light particles for oxygen induced reactions on gold at E/A = 25 MeV, Phys. Rev. Lett. 54:302-305 (1985).

49. E. J. Levinson and D. H. Boal, Self-energy corrections to fermions in the presence of a thermal background, Phys. Rev. D31:3280-3284 (1985).

50. D. H. Boal, A cascade approach to thermal and chemical equilibrium, in Proceedings of the RHIC Workshop, P. E. Haustein and C. L. Woody eds. (Brookhaven Report BNL 51921, 1985) p. 349-363.

51. D. H. Boal, The nuclear liquid-gas phase transition, Nucl. Phys. A447:479c-488c (1985).

52. D. H. Boal and J. C. Shillcock, Nuclear interferometry and thermal freezeout, Phys. Rev. C33:549-556 (1986).

53. B. K. Jennings, D. H. Boal and J. C. Shillcock, Two-particle correlation functions in the thermal model and nuclear interferometry descriptions, Phys. Rev. C33:1303-1306 (1986).

54. D. H. Boal, Thermalization in ultrarelativistic heavy ion collisions: a parton cascade approach, Phys. Rev. C33 [rapid. comm.]:2206-2208 (1986).

55. D. H. Boal and A. L. Goodman, Fragmentation in the mechanical instability region, Phys. Rev. C33:1690-1698 (1986).

56. C. B. Chitwood et al., Energy dependence of source radii and emission temperatures for N-induced reactions at E/A = 35 MeV, Phys. Lett. B172:27-31 (1986).

57. J. Pochodzalla et al., Two-particle correlation functions at small relative momenta for N-induced reactions on Au at E/A = 35 MeV, Phys. Lett. B174:36-39 (1986).

58. D. H. Boal, Reaction trajectories in the hadronic phase transition region, in Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Local Equilibrium in Strong Interaction Physics, P. Carruthers and D. D. Strottman eds. (World Scientific, 1986), p. 364-377.

59. D. H. Boal, Mechanical instability of nuclear matter, in Proceedings of HICOFED Œ86, X. Campi ed., J. Physique 47:C4-409 - C4-417 (1986).

60. D. H. Boal, Simulations of reaction trajectories in the phase transition region, in Proceedings of the Int¹l Summer School on Nuclear Phase Transitions and Heavy Ion Reactions, T. T. S. Kuo, D. Strottman and S. S. Wu eds. (World Scientific, 1987), p. 327-386.

61. D. H. Boal and H. DeGuise, Energy dependence of source sizes in nuclear interferometry, Phys. Rev. Lett. 57:2901-2904 (1986).

62. C. K. Gelbke and D. H. Boal, Dynamical and statistical aspects of intermediate energy nucleus-nucleus collisions, Prog. Part. Nucl. Phys. (Pergammon, 1987) p. 33-106.

63. J. Pochodzalla et al., Two-particle correlations at small relative momenta for 40Ar-induced reactions on 197Au at E/A = 60 MeV, Phys. Rev. C35:1695-1719 (1987).

64. G. E. Beauvais, D. H. Boal and J. C. K. Wong, Computer simulations of fragmentation in nuclear reactions: a semiclassical model, Phys. Rev. C35:545-555 (1987).

65. D. H. Boal, Computer simulations of nuclear dynamics, Ann. Rev. Nucl. Part. Sci. 37:1-31 (1987).

66. G. E. Beauvais, D. H. Boal and J. Glosli, Computer simulations of fragmentation, Nucl. Phys. A471:427c-448c (1987).

67. D. H. Boal and J. N. Glosli, From binary breakup to multifragmentation: a computer simulation, Phys. Rev. C37:91-100 (1988).

68. D. H. Boal and J. N. Glosli, Quasiparticle model for nuclear dynamics studies: ground state properties, Phys. Rev. C38:1870-1878 (1988).

69. D. H. Boal and J. N. Glosli, Computational model for nuclear reaction studies: quasi-particle dynamics, Phys. Rev. C38:2621-2629 (1988).

70. D. H. Boal, J. N. Glosli and C. Wicentowich, Computer simulation of temperature measurements in heavy ion collisions, Phys. Rev. Lett. 62:737-740 (1989).

71. D. H. Boal, J. N. Glosli and C. Wicentowich, Temperatures in heavy ion reactions: simulation via quasiparticle dynamics, Phys. Rev. C 40:601-609 (1989).

72. D. H. Boal and J. C. K. Wong, A computer simulation of reaction plane memory via quasiparticle dynamics, Phys. Rev. C41:118-126 (1990).

73. D. H. Boal and J. N. Glosli, Fluctuation growth and spinodal decomposition in heavy ion reactions, Phys. Rev. C42:R502-R505 (1990).

74. D. H. Boal, C.-K. Gelbke and B. K. Jennings, Intensity interferometry in subatomic physics, Rev. Mod. Phys. 62:553-602 (1990).

Statistical mechanics and biophysics

75. M. Plischke and D. H. Boal, Absence of a crumpling transition in strongly self-avoiding tethered membranes, Phys. Rev. A38:4943-4945 (1988).

76. D. H. Boal, E. J. Levinson, D. Liu and M. Plischke, Anisotropic scaling of tethered self-avoiding membranes, Phys. Rev. A40:3292-3300 (1989).

77. D. H. Boal and M. Blair, Amphiphilic platelets at a liquid interface, Phys. Rev. A43:2840-2847 (1991).

78. D. H. Boal, B. Schmittmann and R. K. P. Zia, Finger formation in a driven diffusive system, Phys. Rev. A43:5214-5222 (1991).

79. D. H. Boal, Phases of two-dimensional vesicles under pressure, Phys. Rev. A43:6771-6777 (1991).

80. D. H. Boal and M. Rao, Scaling behavior of fluid membranes in three dimensions, Phys. Rev. A45:R6947-R6950 (1992).

81. D. H. Boal, U. Seifert and A. Zilker, Dual network model for red blood cell membranes, Phys. Rev. Lett. 69:3405-3408 (1992).

82. D. H. Boal and M. Rao, Topology changes in fluid membranes, Phys. Rev. A46:3037-3045 (1992).

83. D. H. Boal, Rigidity and connectivity percolation in heterogeneous polymer-fluid networks, Phys. Rev. E47:4604-4606 (1993).

84. D. H. Boal, U. Seifert and J. Shillcock, Negative Poisson ratio in two-dimensional networks under tension, Phys. Rev. E48:4274-4284 (1993).

85. B. Bergersen, D. H. Boal and P. Palffy-Muhoray, Equilibrium configurations of particles on a sphere: the case of logarithmic interactions, J. Phys. A27:2579-2586 (1994).

86. D. H. Boal, Computer simulation of a model network for the erythrocyte cytoskeleton, Biophys. J. 67:521-529 (1994).

87. D. H. Boal and S. K. Boey, Barrier-free paths of directed protein motion in the erythrocyte plasma membrane, Biophys. J. 69:372-379 (1995).

88. J. C. Shillcock and D. H. Boal, Entropy-driven instability and rupture of fluid membranes, Biophys. J. 71:317-326 (1996).

89. D. H. Boal, Statistical physics of membranes and lamellar systems, in Encyc. Applied Phys. G. Trigg ed., 19:541-562.

90. D. E. Discher, D. H. Boal and S. K. Boey, Phase transitions and anisotropic responses of planar triangular nets under large deformation, Phys. Rev. E 55:4762-4772 (1997).

91. D. H. Boal, Mechanical properties of the cellular cytoskeleton, Phys. in Canada 228-235 (1997).

92. D. H. Boal, Two-dimensional cytoskeletons under stress, Biol. Bull. 194:331-333 (1998).

93. S. K. Boey, D. H. Boal and D. E. Discher, Simulations of the erythrocyte cytoskeleton at large deformation. I. Microscopic models, Biophys. J. 75:1573-1583 (1998).

94. D. E. Discher, D. H. Boal and S. K. Boey, Simulations of the erythrocyte cytoskeleton at large deformation. II. Micropipette aspiration, Biophys. J. 75:1584-1597 (1998).

95. D. H. Boal, Mechanical characteristics of very small cells, Proc. of NASA Workshop on Cell Size Limits (1998).

96. D. H. Boal, The cell's biological rods and ropes, MRS Bulletin Oct. 27-31 (1999).

97. F. Tessier, D. H. Boal, and D. E. Discher, Networks with fourfold connectivity in two dimensions, Phys. Rev. E 67: 011903 (2003).

98. D. H. Boal, Nature's building code: The Bauhaus school of cell design, Physics in Canada (2004).

99. S. Bennett, D. H. Boal and H. Ruotsalainen, Growth modes of 2-Ga microfossils, Paleobiology 33:382-396 (2007).

100. D. H. Boal and R. Ng, Shape analysis of filamentous Precambrian microfossils and modern cyanobacteria, Paleobiology 36:555-572 (2010).

101. D. Boal and C. Forde, Evolution of the Cell's Mechanical Design, in The Minimal Cell: The Biophysics of Cell Compartment and the Origin of Cell Functionality P. L. Luisi and P. Stano (eds) (Springer, 2011), Chapter 2.