Patrick Crotty

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Patrick Crotty

Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy

Department/Office Information

Physics and Astronomy
411 Ho Science Center


I am a theoretical physicist by training and came to Colgate in 2007.  My Ph.D. and first postdoc were in cosmology, and my second postdoc was in computational neuroscience.  I now work in both fields.  My cosmology research is on the production of dark matter in the early Universe, and my neuroscience research is on the effects of neural network structure on dynamical behavior.  I also have a longstanding collaboration with Profs. Ken Segall (Physics) and Dan Schult (Math) on modeling biologically realistic neurons with superconducting circuits containing Josephson junctions.

  • 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

Current course names and numberings



Course #   Course Title  Last Taught
 FSEM 130    Energy and Sustainability (also as CORE 101)    2017
 PHYS 131    Atoms and Waves (Recitation and/or Lab)    2015
 PHYS 201    Mathematical Methods of Physics I (MATLAB)    2015
 PHYS 205    Mathematical Methods of Physics    2018
 PHYS 232    Introduction to Mechanics (Recitation, Lab, and/or Lecture)    2018
 PHYS 233    Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism (Lab)    2018
 PHYS 334    Introduction to Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity    2014
 PHYS 431    Classical Mechanics    2011
 PHYS 432    Electricity and Magnetism    2018
 PHYS 448    Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos    2018
 PHYS 451    Computational Mechanics    2018
 PHYS 456    Relativity and Cosmology    2017



*: 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.  Physical Review E 95:032220.

- 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.

  • Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

     Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 2017 - present
     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