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Patrick Crotty

Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy; Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Physics & Astronomy , 411 Ho Science Center
p 315-228-6617
I am a theoretical physicist by training.  I began my career as a cosmologist, and then switched as a postdoc into computational neuroscience. I came to Colgate in 2007. My current research concerns the use of techniques from physics, mathematics, and engineering to understand the dynamics of networks of neurons.


Ph.D., Physics, University of Chicago, 2002
M.S., Physics, University of Chicago, 2001
B.S., Physics and Mathematics, College of William and Mary, 1995

Teaching Experience

Current course names and numberings

Course #
  Course Title
 Last Taught
 FSEM 130
   Energy and Sustainability (also as CORE 101)
 PHYS 131
   Atoms and Waves (Recitation and/or Lab)
 PHYS 232
   Introduction to Mechanics (Recitation, Lab, and/or Lecture)
 PHYS 201
   Mathematical Methods of Physics I (MATLAB)
 PHYS 205
   Mathematical Methods of Physics
 PHYS 334
   Introduction to Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity
 PHYS 431
   Classical Mechanics
 PHYS 432
   Electricity and Magnetism
 PHYS 451
   Computational Mechanics
 PHYS 456
   Relativity and Cosmology
 PHYS 458
   Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos


*: Colgate student; ^: Colgate faculty

- K. Segall^, M. LeGro*, S. Kaplan, O. Svitelskiy^, S. Khadka*, P. Crotty, D. Schult* (2017) Synchronization dynamics on the picosecond timescale in coupled Josephson junction neurons.  Accepted for publication in Physical Review E.

- K. Segall^, S. Guo*, P. Crotty, D. Schult^, M. Miller* (2014) Phase-flip bifurcation in a coupled Josephson junction neuron system.  Physica B 455:71-75.

- P. Crotty, E. Lasker*, S. Cheng (2012) Constraints on the synchronization of entorhinal cortex stellate cells.  Physical Review E 86:011908.

- P. Crotty, T. Sangrey (2011) Optimization of battery strengths in the Hodgkin-Huxley model.  Neurocomputing 74:3843-3854.

- J. Seely*, P. Crotty (2010) Optimization of the leak conductance in the squid giant axon.  Physical Review E 82:021906; republished in Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research (15 August 2010).

- P. Crotty, D. Schult^, K. Segall^ (2010) Josephson junction simulation of neurons. Physical Review E 82:011914; republished in Virtual Journal of Applications of Superconductivity (1 August 2010).

- P. Crotty, W. B. Levy (2007) Effects of Na+ channel inactivation kinetics on metabolic energy costs of action potentials.  Neurocomputing 70:1652-1656.

- W. B. Levy, T. Sangrey, W. O. Friesen, P. Crotty (2006) Reply to Jurisic and Bezanilla’s Letter to the Editor. Journal of Neurophysiology 96:960.

- P. Crotty, T. Sangrey, W. B. Levy (2006) Metabolic energy cost of action potential velocity. Journal of Neurophysiology 96:1237-1246.

- P. Crotty, W. B. Levy (2006) Intersymbol interference in axonal transmission. Neurocomputing 69:1006-1009.

- P. Crotty, W. B. Levy (2005) Energy-efficient interspike interval codes. Neurocomputing 65:371-378.

- P. Crotty, J. Lesgourgues, S. Pastor (2004) Current cosmological bounds on neutrino masses and relativistic relics. Physical Review D 69:123007.

- P. Crotty, J. Garcia Bellido, J. Lesgourgues, A. Riazuelo (2003) Bounds on isocurvature perturbations from cosmic microwave background radiation and large scale structure data. Physical Review Letters 91:171301.

- J. M. Cline, P. Crotty, J. Lesgourgues (2003) Does the small CMB quadrupole moment suggest new physics? Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 9:010.

- P. Crotty, J. Lesgourgues, S. Pastor (2003) Measuring the cosmological background of relativistic particles with the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. Physical Review D 67:123005.

- P. Crotty (2002) High-energy neutrino fluxes from supermassive dark matter. Physical Review D 66:063504.

- J. F. Beacom, P. Crotty, E. W. Kolb (2002) Enhanced signal of astrophysical tau neutrinos propagating through Earth. Physical Review D 66:021302.

- D. J. H. Chung, P. Crotty, E. W. Kolb, A. Riotto (2001) Gravitational production of superheavy dark matter. Physical Review D 64:043503.

Professional Experience

Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
     Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, 2013 - present
     Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, 2007 - 2013

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
     Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Neurosurgery, 2004 - 2007
     Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Neurosurgery, 2003 - 2004

Laboratoire d'Annecy-le-Vieux de Physique Théorique, Annecy, France
     Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2002 - 2003


KITP Scholar, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2014 - 2016

Picker Interdisciplinary Science Grant, Colgate University, 2008 - 2010 (with K. Segall and D. Schult)

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, National Institutes of Health, 2004 - 2007

McCormick Fellowship, Physical Sciences Division, University of Chicago, 1996 - 1998

James Monroe Scholarship, College of William and Mary, 1991

National Merit Scholarship, 1991