Chair, Department of Physics
Director of Pre-Engineering Programs
About Dr. Craig
Professor of physics David Craig is an internationally recognized researcher with an interest in the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum gravity, and quantum cosmology. Dr. Craig received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, before becoming a National Research Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics. He has collaborated with physicists across the world, and enjoyed an appointment as a visiting scientist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Craig conducted research and taught at the University of Minnesota, Morris, Hamilton College, and the State University of New York before joining the faculty at Le Moyne.
Professor Craig believes deeply in the power and utility of a strong liberal arts education, and has an abiding interest in undergraduate physics education and research-based STEM pedagogy. Craig was named Le Moyne’s Teacher of the Year in 2010. He has served on the American Physical Society (APS) Committee on Education, and acted as a consultant to APS. In 2016, Craig was named co-chair of the national blue-ribbon Best Practices for Undergraduate Physics Programs (BPUPP) task force, charged with developing a guide to best practices in undergraduate physics programs and education for the American physics higher education community.
Professor Craig regularly involves interested undergraduate students with his own research, and has conducted research with students in single photon quantum optics and in the foundations of quantum mechanics.
Professor Craig’s research primarily concerns the so-far unsolved problem of understanding the quantum nature of spacetime structure (the putative “quantum theory of gravity”.) This problem has two complementary but equally critical facets: (a) What is the correct mathematical model for quantum gravity (e.g. string theory or loop quantum gravity)? (b) How is quantum theory – our understanding of the behavior of physical systems in space and time – to be applied to space and time itself? Might this entail modifications or extensions of the main ideas of quantum theory, or even replacement with a more fundamental theoretical framework? Much of the research in quantum gravity focuses on the technically challenging first aspect. The second aspect is less well understood and much less thoroughly investigated, but even were the first problem to be completely solved mathematically, the quantum nature of space and time will not be clear until there are clear answers to the deep questions posed by the second. Much of Dr. Craig’s research has focused on advancing understanding of this second problem in quantum gravity.
Ph.D. (Theoretical Physics) University of California, Santa Barbara; B.A. (Physics) Princeton University
General relativity; foundations of quantum mechanics; quantum gravity (the marriage of relativity and quantum theory); quantum cosmology (the application of quantum theory to the birth of the universe)
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