Dr Craig McNeile

Dr Craig McNeile

Lecturer in Theoretical Physics

School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics (Faculty of Science and Engineering)


  • 2009 - 2013 University of Wuppertal, Postdoc
  • 2006 - 2009, an advanced SUPA research fellowship based in the department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow.
  • 2004 - 2006 fixed term lecturer at the University of Liverpool in the department of mathematical sciences.
  • 2002 - 2004 software manager for the UKQCD collaboration, based at the University of Liverpool.
  • 2001 - 2002 physicist programmer at the University of Liverpool working for Prof. Chris Michael and Prof. Alan Irving
  • 1998 - 2001 postdoc at the University of Liverpool working for Prof. Chris Michael and Prof. Alan Irving
  • 1995 - 1998, postdoc at the University of Utah, working for Professor Carleton DeTar
  • 1992 - 1995, postdoc at the University of Kentucky, working for Professor Terry Draper.
  • 1989 - 1992, Graduate studies for PhD at The University of Edinburgh. My supervisors were Dr. Ken Bowler and Dr. Brian Pendleton

Professional membership

I am a member of the Institute of Physics and I can use CPhys MInstP after my name. I am a member of the British Computer Society (MBCS).

Teaching interests

I am currently teaching:

  • PHYS051 A foundation year course in basic physics.
  • MATH1607PP , The Quantum Universe. A first year immersive course, in which a module is taught over 1 month.
  • MATH1606, I teach in the computer lab with Maple and Matlab.

At the University of Liverpool I taught the following lecture courses:
  • Special and General Relatively.
  • Mathematical methods to first year science students.
At the University of Utah I taught
  • computational physcs to undergraduates

Staff serving as external examiners

I was an external examiner for a PhD exams in 2006 and 2013 at Trinity College Dublin.

Research interests

I am working on solving QCD (Quantum Chromodynamics) via numerical simulations of lattice QCD. QCD is a well defined theory, but it is extremely difficult to solve. One set of the fundamental building blocks of matter are called quarks. We would like to study the masses and decay properties of quarks to find evidence for some more profound theory of particle physics than we have now. Unfortunately the quarks interact with each other and other particles via QCD. To study quarks, we need to tame QCD.

My research interests in nuclear/hadronic physics

QCD contains both quarks and gluons. Quarks and gluons combine to form
bound states called meson and baryons. In principle the gluons can produce
novel bound states, such as glueballs or hybrid mesons. However, currently,
there is no conclusive evidence for QCD bound states where the gluons
play a dynamical role. Perhaps, this is because QCD is difficult to solve.

The goals of my research in this area are:
  • The determination of the masses of light J^PC = 0++ and 2++ flavour singlet mesons, because glueball degrees of freedom may be hidden in these states (Recent papers, 2010 , 2006 , 2000 and a review) .
  • One of my medium term goals is to determine the mass spectrum of exotic mesons in the charmonium system.
  • Validation of lattice QCD techniques against basic light meson spectroscopy, such as the masses of the a0 and b1 mesons. To understand novel bound states, we must also understand standard hadrons.
  • Application of techniques to deal with resonances using lattice QCD.

There are new experimental facilities such as the 12 GeV upgrade of the Jefferson lab, and the PANDA experiment at GSI, whose main goal is to search for the effects of non-perturbative gluons. These experiments will start taking data after 2015. The BES experiment in China is already taking data and plans to look for glueball degrees of freedom.

There is more information about my research on my personal web site.

Other research

I am a member of the  Centre for Mathematical Science (CMS)

at Plymouth University.

Overview of Publications

Recent publications

  • Strong coupling and quark masses from lattice QCD
    Craig McNeile (Bergische U., Wuppertal (main)). Jun 14, 2013. 12 pp.
    Published in Mod.Phys.Lett. A28 (2013) 1360012  
    e-Print: arXiv:1306.3326
  • Direct determination of the strange and light quark condensates from full lattice QCD
    C. McNeile (Wuppertal U., Dept. Math.), A. Bazavov (Brookhaven), C.T.H. Davies, R.J. Dowdall (Glasgow U.), K. Hornbostel (Southern Methodist U.), G.P. Lepage (Cornell U., LNS), H.D. Trottier (Simon Fraser U. & TRIUMF). 
    Published in Phys.Rev. D87 (2013) 3, 034503  
    e-Print: arXiv:1211.6577.
  • Precision tests of the J/ψ from full lattice QCD: mass, leptonic width and radiative decay rate to ηc
    G.C. Donald, C.T.H. Davies, R.J. Dowdall (Glasgow U.), E. Follana (Zaragoza U.), K. Hornbostel (Southern Methodist U.), J. Koponen (Glasgow U.), G.P. Lepage (Cornell U., LEPP), C. McNeile (Wuppertal U., Dept. Math.). Aug 2012. 21 pp.
    Published in Phys.Rev. D86 (2012) 094501  
    e-Print: arXiv:1208.2855

Reports & invited lectures

In July 2012, I presented two lectures about hadron physics and the PANDA experiment, as part of Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and Ion Research (HGS-HIRe) for FAIR in Germany. I presented two lectures on heavy quarks in lattice QCD at the international school on heavy quark physics in Dubna, Russia (June 2002).

Other academic activities

There is additional information about my computational interests on an external