Falk (born April 19, 1965) grew up on the campus of the University of North Carolina, where his father Werner chaired the Philosophy Department. Falk studied at UNC (1987), has a Ph.D in physics from Harvard University and joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University in 1994, after a post-doc. He became full professor rapidly, in 2000. He later served as the James B. Knapp Dean at the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University from 2005. He joined Williams College in 2010. He lives off-campus in Williamstown and is married with three children. He has several siblings including an older brother, Jim Falk, also a physicist and former university leader, in Melbourne, Australia.
Falk is a high-energy physicist whose research focuses on elementary particle physics and quantum field theory, particularly the interactions and decay of heavy quarks. Some of his work is cited over 700 times - for example;