Fronefield Crawford Charles A. Dana Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Director of Grundy Observatory



Ph.D. in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2000)

B.A. in Astrophysics, Williams College (1994)

More About Professor Crawford


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Froney Crawford teaches physics and astronomy at all levels of the curriculum as well as an energy and environment course for the non-scientist. His research interests are mainly in the field of radio pulsars, with an emphasis on surveys and searches for pulsars and on trying to understand the physical characteristics and observational manifestations of these objects. His research interest in pulsars also extends to the use of millisecond pulsars as detectors (precise clocks) for detecting low frequency gravitational waves, and he is part of the NANOGrav consortium which is using pulsars to try to detect and study these signals. Other research interests include radio transients, burst sources, and other time-variable radio phenomena in the universe. He has also conducted radio cosmology studies, several theoretical investigations, and modeling work on visible/infrared remote sensing systems. He has worked with undergraduate physics and astrophysics students on a variety of research projects, some of which have been published in journals or conference proceedings. He also has observed with student colleagues at various international telescope facilities. At F&M, he manages the NANOStars program, where each semester students participate in research supporting the NSF-funded NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center. More recently he has begun work with Tim Bechtel (Department of Earth and Environment) and colleagues in Italy, Ukraine, and Jordan on a NATO-sponsored landmine detection and discrimination effort.

Apart from research, teaching, and service internal to Franklin and Marshall, he has served both as an independent technical consultant on an internal R&D initiative for Raytheon Corporation and as a strategy consultant for an investment firm specializing in quantitative market-neutral strategies. He was named the Most Influential Professor in the Natural Sciences by the Franklin and Marshall Class of 2009. He has served as a reviewer for the Astrophysical Journal, the American Journal of Physics, Physical Review Letters, the National Science Foundation, NASA , the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the German Research Foundation, and several publishers of textbooks in physics and astronomy.

From 2016 to 2019 he was the Faculty Don of Weis College House, and in 2017 he became the director of the Grundy Observatory at F&M.

2022 - present: Charles A. Dana Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Franklin and Marshall College

2020 - 2022: Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Franklin and Marshall College

2018 - 2022: Professor of Astronomy, Franklin and Marshall College

2017 - present: Director of Grundy Observatory, Franklin and Marshall College

2016 - 2019: Faculty Don of Weis College House, Franklin and Marshall College

2011 - 2018: Associate Professor of Astronomy, Franklin and Marshall College

2006 - 2011: Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Franklin and Marshall College

2002 - 2006: Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics, Haverford College

2000 - 2002: Senior Systems Engineer, Lockheed Martin Corporation

1994 - 2000: Graduate Research Assistant, MIT


Pulsar astronomy (mostly)

Searches for technosignatures in astrophysical observations

Landmine, IED, and unexploded ordnance (UXO) detection and discrimination

See also the NANOStars research and education program

Grants & Awards

2024 ICBS Frontiers of Science Award in Theoretical Physics

Named Most Influential Professor in the Natural Sciences by the Franklin & Marshall Class of 2009.

For research grant information, click here.


Click here (for physics and astronomy publications) or here (for landmine detection and remote sensing publications).

Student Collaborations

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Course Information

For previous courses, click here.