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


Michael McCracken, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty Support; Coordinator of Engineering Dual-degree Program

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

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 GlueX Collaboration, an international consortium of researchers investigating many features of the strong interaction.

My recent work has been on searches for beyond-Standard Model physics in the rare decays of baryons containing a single strange quark, the so-called hyperons.

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

My students have presented their research at conferences across the US and Canada (some of these are linked via Google Scholar below), and several have gone on to pursue their work in graduate programs in the sciences.

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.


  • The GlueX Collaboration, S. Adhikari et al. Measurement of the Beam Asymmetry in γ p -> K+Σ0 at Eγ = 8.5 GeV Phys. Rev. C 101, 065206 (2020) Link to entry
  • The GlueX Collaboration, S. Adhikari et al. Measurement of beam asymmetry for π-Δ++ photoproduction on the proton at Eγ=8.5 GeV, Phys. Rev. C103, L02201 (2021) Link to entry
  • 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). Link to entry
  • 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). Link to entry
  • 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). Link to entry
  • 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). Link to entry
  • 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).