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Jim Crawford

Areas of expertise/Research interests:

  • Classical and quantum gravity, in particular theories whose space-time dynamics is governed by the dynamics of spin space
  • Elementary Particle Theory, especially issues involving neutrino mass
  • The possible connection between these two—specifically, whether there is a connection between the mass of the neutrino and the recently observed accelerating expansion of the universe

What do you like most about Penn State Fayette students?
Their openness, enthusiasm, and willingness to work hard at their education.

What inspires students the most in your classes and/or your academic area? The students most enjoy the discussion of contemporary topics in physics and astrophysics, including space tethers (space elevators), superconductivity, antimatter, and any of the latest astronomy news.

What is your favorite class project, and why? Frequently I have students take one of my physics classes as an “Honors Option” wherein they are required to complete a project in lieu of one of the exams. These projects vary widely, many of them being computer-based, but some involving the construction of some apparatus. Two examples are a computer study of projectile motion, including air drag, and the construction of a Tesla coil.

What is your favorite quote? “Bear in mind that the wonderful things that you learn in your schools are the work of many generations…. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it on to your children.”—Albert Einstein talking to a group of school children, 1934.


Associate Professor of Physics
Biomedical Building, 113