Phone: 724-503-1001 x6148
Office: SCI 100B


Michael McCracken

Associate Professor and Department Chair of Physics, Coordinator of Engineering Dual-degree Program

Degrees: Ph.D. and M.S. Carnegie Mellon University; B.A. Washington & Jefferson College

I am an associate professor and chair of the Department of Physics. My research is in the field of nuclear particle physics, specifically the photoproduction of mesons off of the nucleon. By performing experiments at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia, I study the interaction between quarks and gluons, the fundamental components of more familiar systems such as protons, neutrons, and atomic nuclei. I work with the CLAS Collaboration, an international consortium of researchers investigating many features of the strong interaction.

My research interests are not limited to nuclear physics! I’m currently working with undergraduates on research projects in the areas of particle physics, astronomy, machine learning, and the computational simulation of many-body systems.

I am also dedicated to the study of physics pedagogy, specifically the efficient integration of laboratory and lecture experiences, and the development of foundational skills at the undergraduate level. My particular interests in the classroom include classical and quantum mechanics, mathematical methods and teaching computer programming in the context of the Natural Sciences.


  • M.E. McCracken, M. Bellis, et al. A search for baryon- and lepton-number violating decays of Λ baryons using the CLAS detector at Jefferson Laboratory. Phys. Rev. D 92, 072002 (2015).
  • A.V. Anisovich, R. Beck, V. Burkert, E. Klempt, M. E. McCracken, V.A. Nikonov, A.V. Sarantsev, R.A. Schumacher, U. Thoma. Energy-independent PWA of the reaction γp → K+Λ. Eur. Phys. J. A 50, 8 (2014).
  • B. Dey, M. E. McCracken, D. G. Ireland, and C. A. Meyer. Polarization observables in the longitudinal basis for pseudo-scalar meson photoproduction using a density matrix approach. Phys. Rev. C 83, 055208 (2011).
  • M. E. McCracken et al. (CLAS Collaboration) Differential cross section and recoil polarization measurements for the γp → K+Λ reaction using CLAS at Jefferson Lab. Phys. Rev. C 81, 025201 (2010).
  • B. Dey, C. A. Meyer, M. Bellis, M. E. McCracken, M. Williams et al. (CLAS Collaboration) Differential cross sections and recoil polarizations for the reaction γp → K+Σ0. Phys. Rev. C 82, 025202 (2010).
  • K.Moriya et al. (CLASCollaboration), Measurement of the Spin and Parity of the Λ(1405), Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 082004 (2014).
  • K. Moriya et al. (CLAS Collaboration), Differential Photoproduction Cross Sections for the Σ0(1385) , Λ(1405) , and Λ(1520), Phys. Rev. C 88, 045201 (2013).
  • K. Moriya et al. (CLAS Collaboration), Measurement of the Σ π Photoproduction Line Shapes Near the Λ(1405), Phys. Rev. C 87, 035206 (2013).
  • M. Williams et al. (CLAS Collaboration) Differential cross sections for the reactions γp → pη and γp → pη′ . Phys. Rev. C 80, 045213 (2009).
  • M. Williams et al. (CLAS Collaboration) Differential cross sections and spin density matrix elements for the reaction γp → pω. Phys. Rev. C 80, 065208 (2009).
  • M. Williams et al. (CLAS Collaboration) Partial wave analysis of the reaction γp → pω and the search for nucleon resonances. Phys. Rev. C 80, 065209 (2009).