Lawrence M. Krauss

Lawrence M. Krauss
Krauss at Ghent University, October 17, 2013
Born Lawrence Maxwell Krauss
(1954-05-27) May 27, 1954
New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality American and Canadian
Alma mater Carleton University (1977, BSc)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982, PhD)
Known for
Katherine Kelley
(m. 1980; div. 2012)

Nancy Dahl (m. 2014)
Awards Andrew Gemant Award (2001)
Lilienfeld Prize (2001)
Science Writing Award (2002)
Oersted Medal (2004)
Richard Dawkins Award (2016)
Scientific career
Thesis Gravitation and phase transitions in the early universe (1982)
Doctoral advisor Roscoe Giles[1]

Lawrence Maxwell Krauss (born May 27, 1954) is an American-Canadian theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is a Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. He founded the university's Origins Project to investigate fundamental questions about the universe and served as its director until July 2018.[2] ASU replaced him in that role upon determining that he had groped a woman's breast without her consent in late 2016.[3][4]

He is an advocate of the public understanding of science, of public policy based on sound empirical data, of scientific skepticism and of science education, and works to reduce the influence of what he regards as superstition and religious dogma in popular culture.[5]

Krauss is the author of several bestselling books, including The Physics of Star Trek (1995) and A Universe from Nothing (2012), and chaired the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board of Sponsors.

Early life and education

Krauss was born in New York City, but spent his childhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was raised in a Jewish household.[6] Krauss received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics with first-class honours at Carleton University (Ottawa) in 1977, and was awarded a Ph.D. in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982.[7][8]


After some time in the Harvard Society of Fellows, Krauss became an assistant professor at Yale University in 1985 and associate professor in 1988. He was named the Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, professor of astronomy, and was chairman of the physics department at Case Western Reserve University from 1993 to 2005. In 2006, Krauss led the initiative for the no-confidence vote against Case Western Reserve University's president Edward M. Hundert and provost John L. Anderson by the College of Arts and Sciences faculty. On March 2, 2006, both no-confidence votes were carried: 131–44 against Hundert and 97–68 against Anderson.

In August 2008, Krauss joined the faculty at Arizona State University as a Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at the Department of Physics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also became the Director of the Origins Project, a university initiative "created to explore humankind's most fundamental questions about our origins".[2][9] In 2009, he helped inaugurate this initiative at the Origins Symposium, in which eighty scientists participated and three thousand people attended.[10]

Krauss appears in the media both at home and abroad to facilitate public outreach in science. He has also written editorials for The New York Times. As a result of his appearance in 2002 before the state school board of Ohio, his opposition to intelligent design has gained national prominence.[11]

Krauss attended and was a speaker at the Beyond Belief symposia in November 2006 and October 2008. He served on the science policy committee for Barack Obama's first (2008) presidential campaign and, also in 2008, was named co-president of the board of sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. In 2010, he was elected to the board of directors of the Federation of American Scientists, and in June 2011, he joined the professoriate of the New College of the Humanities, a private college in London.[12] In 2013, he accepted a part-time professorship at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics in the Physics Department of the Australian National University.[13]

Krauss is a critic of string theory, which he discusses in his 2005 book Hiding in the Mirror.[14] In his 2012 book A Universe from Nothing Krauss says about string theory "we still have no idea if this remarkable theoretical edifice actually has anything to do with the real world".[15][16] Another book, released in March 2011, titled Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science, while A Universe from Nothing with an afterword by Richard Dawkinswas released in January 2012 and became a New York Times bestseller within a week. Originally, its foreword was to have been written by Christopher Hitchens, but Hitchens grew too ill to complete it.[17][18] The paperback version of the book appeared in January 2013 with a new question-and-answer section and a preface integrating the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC. On March 21, 2017, his newest book, 'The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far: Why Are We Here?' was released in hardcover, paperback, and audio version.

A July 2012 article in Newsweek, written by Krauss, indicates how the Higgs particle is related to our understanding of the Big Bang. He also wrote a longer piece in the New York Times explaining the science behind and significance of the particle.[19]

Allegations of sexual misconduct

In a February 2018 article stating allegations that "range from offensive comments to groping and non-consensual sexual advances",[20] BuzzFeed reported a variety of sexual misconduct claims against Krauss.[21] Krauss responded that the article was "slanderous" and "factually incorrect".[20]

In response to the BuzzFeed article, Arizona State University stated that it had received no complaints related to Krauss from students, faculty or staff, but would begin an internal investigation, calling for anyone with concerns to express them. Krauss had been a professor at ASU since 2008.[20] Several organizations also canceled scheduled talks by Krauss.[20] Krauss resigned from the position of chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board of Sponsors when informed that its other members felt his presence was distracting "from the ability of the Bulletin to effectively carry out [its] work".[22][23] On March 6, 2018, Arizona State University placed Krauss on paid leave "to avoid further disruption to the normal course of business as the university continues to gather facts about the allegations".[24] In late July, Arizona State University concluded the internal investigation and found that Krauss grabbed a woman's breast without her permission.[25] As a result, Krauss was replaced as director of the Origins Project.[4]

In a public statement linked to and quoted by The New York Times and others, Krauss apologized "to anyone he made feel intimidated or uncomfortable", but stated that the BuzzFeed article "ignored counter-evidence, distorted the facts and made absurd claims about me".[26][24]

Scientific work

Krauss mostly works in theoretical physics and has published research on a great variety of topics within that field. His primary contribution is to cosmology as one of the first physicists to suggest that most of the mass and energy of the Universe resides in empty space, an idea now widely known as "dark matter", as well as his many contributions to the attempt to understand the origin and nature of dark matter, and methods for its detection. Furthermore, Krauss has formulated a model in which the Universe could have potentially come from "nothing", as outlined in his 2012 book A Universe from Nothing. He explains that certain arrangements of relativistic quantum fields might explain the existence of the Universe as we know it while disclaiming that he "has no idea if the notion [of taking quantum mechanics for granted] can be usefully dispensed with".[27] As his model appears to agree with experimental observations of the Universe (such as its shape and energy density), it is referred to as a "plausible hypothesis".[28][29] However, his model has been opposed by cosmologist George Ellis [30] and mathematical physicist I.S. Kohli [31] who have argued that many of his claims pertaining to A Universe from Nothing "are not supported in full by modern general relativity theory or quantum field theory in curved spacetime".

Initially, Krauss was skeptical of the existence of the Higgs boson.[32] However, after it was confirmed by CERN, he has been researching the implications of the Higgs field on the nature of dark energy.[33]


Krauss has argued that public policy debates in the United States should have a greater focus on science.[34][35][36][37] He criticized Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson's statements on science, writing that Carson's remarks "suggest he never learned or chooses to ignore basic, well-tested scientific concepts".[38][39]

Krauss has described himself as an antitheist[40] and takes part in public debates on religion. Krauss is featured in the 2013 documentary The Unbelievers, in which he and Richard Dawkins travel across the globe speaking publicly about the importance of science and reason as opposed to religion and superstition.[41] He has participated in many debates with religious apologists, including William Lane Craig.[42]

In his book A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing (2012), Krauss discusses the premise that something cannot come from nothing, which has often been used as an argument for the existence of a prime mover. He has since argued in a debate with John Ellis and Don Cupitt that the laws of physics allow for the Universe to be created from nothing. "What would be the characteristics of a universe that was created from nothing, just with the laws of physics and without any supernatural shenanigans? The characteristics of the universe would be precisely those of the ones we live in."[43] In an interview with The Atlantic, however, he states that he has never claimed that "questions about origins are over". According to Krauss, "I don't ever claim to resolve that infinite regress of why-why-why-why-why; as far as I'm concerned it's turtles all the way down".[44]


In an interview with Krauss in the Scientific American, science writer Claudia Dreifus called Krauss "one of the few top physicists who is also known as a public intellectual".[29] Krauss is one of very few to have received awards from all three major American physics societies: the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics. In 2012, he was awarded the National Science Board's Public Service Medal for his contributions to public education in science and engineering in the United States.[45]

In December 2011, Krauss became a non-voting honorary board member for the Center for Inquiry.[46] The Center suspended its association with Krauss in March 2018 in relation to allegations of sexual misconduct, "pending further information".[47]


Krauss has authored or co-authored more than three hundred scientific studies and review articles on cosmology and theoretical physics.



  • 100 Things to Do Before You Die (plus a few to do afterwards). 2004. Profile Books.
  • The Religion and Science Debate: Why Does It Continue? 2009. Yale Press.


  • The Energy of Empty Space that isn't Zero. 2006. [49]
  • A dark future for cosmology. 2007. Physics World.
  • The End of Cosmology. 2008. Scientific American.
  • The return of a static universe and the end of cosmology. 2008. International journal of modern physics.
  • Late time behavior of false vacuum decay: Possible implications for cosmology and metastable inflating states. 2008. Physical Review Letters.
  • Krauss, Lawrence M. (June 2010). "Why I love neutrinos". Scientific American. 302 (6): 19. Bibcode:2010SciAm.302f..34K. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0610-34. 


Documentary films





  1. "Alumni notes" (PDF). MIT. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  2. 1 2 "About The Origins Project". Arizona State University. Archived from the original on 2018-07-31. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  3. "Lawrence Krauss replaced as director of The Origins Project". The Arizona State Press. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  4. 1 2 Wadman, Meredith (2018-08-03). "University finds prominent astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss grabbed a woman's breast". Science | AAAS. Archived from the original on 2018-08-04.
  5. Krauss, Lawrence (June 1, 2010). "Faith and Foolishness: When Religious Beliefs Become Dangerous". Scientific American. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  6. Physicist Lawrence Krauss on Our Cosmic Origins, the Beauty of Science, and Outgrowing Religion., August 17, 2012
  7. "Lawrence M. Krauss, BSc / 77". Carleton University Alumni Association. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  8. "Alumni/ae Notes - MIT" (PDF). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2003. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  9. 1 2 Krauss, Lawrence. "Curriculum Vitae". Arizona State University. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  10. "Origins Symposium 2009". Arizona State University - Origins Project. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  11. Ratliff, Evan. 2004. "The Crusade Against Evolution." 12 (October): 157–161.
  12. "The professoriate" Archived June 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., New College of the Humanities, accessed June 8, 2011.
  13. "Renowned cosmologist makes ANU a long-term fixture". May 31, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  14. Boutin, Paul (November 23, 2005). "Theory of Anything? Physicist Lawrence Krauss Takes On His Own". Slate. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  15. Reynosa, Peter. "Some of the Changes Lawrence M. Krauss Should Make to the Second Edition of "A Universe From Nothing"". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  16. Krauss, Lawrence M. (2012). A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing. New York: Free Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-1-4516-2445-8.
  17. "Afterword from Lawrence Krauss' New Book - A Universe From Nothing - Richard Dawkins - RDFRS". January 16, 2012. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  18. Dennis Overbye (Feb 21, 2012) "There's More to Nothing Than We Knew", New York Times p.D1
  19. Krauss, Lawrence M. (July 9, 2012). "How the Higgs Boson Posits a New Story of our Creation". Newsweek. The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 18, 2012. The Higgs particle is now arguably more relevant than God.
  20. 1 2 3 4 Scragg, Chris (2018-02-25). "ASU professor Lawrence Krauss accused of sexual misconduct". The State Press. Archived from the original on 2018-08-13.
  21. Aldhous, Peter; Ghorayshi, Azeen; Hughes, Virginia (2018-02-22). "Celebrity Atheist Lawrence Krauss Accused Of Sexual Misconduct For Over A Decade". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on 2018-08-13. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  22. Sinclaire, Janice (2018-03-06). "Lawrence Krauss resigns from Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Board of Sponsors". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Rachel Bronson. Archived from the original on 2018-08-13.
  23. "Lawrence Krauss Letter of Resignation" (PDF). Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 2018-03-06. Archived from the original on 2018-08-13.
  24. 1 2 Chang, Kenneth (March 7, 2018). "Arizona State Suspends Lawrence Krauss During Inquiry Over Sexual Misconduct Accusations". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2018-03-08.
  25. Searle, Mark (2018-07-31). "Determination of complaint of violation of ACD 401" (PDF). AAAS | Science Magazine. Archived from the original on 2018-08-13. Retrieved 2018-08-13.
  26. "ASU professor Lawrence Krauss: Sex-misconduct allegations are 'absurd,' 'libelous'". AZcentral. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  27. "On the Origin of Everything". The New York Times. March 25, 2012.
  28. Boutin, Paul (November 23, 2005). "Theory of Anything? Physicist Lawrence Krauss Takes on His Own". Slate. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  29. 1 2 Dreyfus, Claudia (August 2004). "Questions That Plague Physics: Lawrence Krauss Speaks About Unfinished Business" (PDF). Scientific American. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  30. Horgan, John. "Is Lawrence Krauss a Physicist, or Just a Bad Philosopher?". Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  31. Kohli, Ikjyot Singh (2014-05-17). "Comments On: A Universe From Nothing". arXiv:1405.6091 [physics.gen-ph].
  32. Krauss, Lawrence M. (2017). The greatest story ever told... so far. New York: Atria Books. p. 255. ISBN 978-1-4767-7761-0.
  33. "Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 061802 (2013): Higgs Seesaw Mechanism as a Source for Dark Energy". August 7, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  34. Nina Burleigh (12 Aug 2015). "It's Time for Presidential Candidates to Talk About Science". Newsweek. 'Leading the national discussion requires some basic knowledge of what the important issues are, what is known and not known, and what new efforts need to be commenced,' says physicist Lawrence Krauss. 'Scientific data is not Democratic or Republican.' 
  35. Lawrence Krauss on Science Debate. YouTube. February 23, 2008.
  36. Lawrence M Krauss; Shawn Lawrence Otto (20 Mar 2012). "Americans Deserve a Presidential Science Debate". Huffington Post.
  37. "Lawrence Krauss - The LHC, going to Mars, and the US Presidential campaign". The Science Show. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 Sep 2008. Too little of the US presidential campaign mentions science, says Krauss, considering its importance.
  38. Lawrence Krauss (28 Sep 2015). "Ben Carson's Scientific Ignorance". The New Yorker.
  39. "Krauss: 'A High School Biology Student' Would Fail With Dr. Carson's Science Knowledge". Alan Colmes Show. Fox News Radio. 5 Oct 2015.
  40. "I cannot hide my own intellectual bias here. As I state in the first sentence of the book, I have never been sympathetic to the notion that creation requires a creator. And like our late friend, Christopher Hitchens, I find the possibility of living in a universe that was not created for my existence, in which my actions and thoughts need not bend to the whims of a creator, far more enriching and meaningful than the other alternative. In that sense, I view myself as an anti-theist rather than an atheist." Krauss, Lawrence M., Everything and Nothing: An Interview with Lawrence M. Krauss., January 3, 2012
  41. "THE UNBELIEVERS Official Trailer (Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss)". Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. February 8, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  42. A universe from nothing? Putting the Krauss-Craig debate into perspective by Luke Barnes, August 13, 2013
  43. Krauss, Lawrence. "Why is there something rather than nothing". IAI. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  44. Andersen, Ross (April 23, 2012). "Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete?". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
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  46. "Krauss Named Honorary Board Member". Center for Inquiry. December 15, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  47. "Center for Inquiry Official Statement".
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  51. "Salt and Fire (2016)". IMDB. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
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  55. "Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize". American Physical Society. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
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  58. "The Oersted Medal". American Association of Physics Teachers. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  59. "Joseph A. Burton Forum Award". American Physical Society. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  60. "Randi, Krauss, Kurtz Honored with Major Awards". The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
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  62. "The National Science Board Announces Recipient of the 2012 Public Service Award". The National Science Foundation. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  63. "ASU's Krauss receives Rome's most prestigious cultural award". ASU News. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  64. "International Academy of Humanism". Council for Secular Humanism. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  65. Arizona State University News, accessed April 22, 2014
  66. Krauss, Lawrence M; Wilczek, Frank (2014). "From B-modes to quantum gravity and unification of forces*". International Journal of Modern Physics D. 23 (12): 1441001. arXiv:1404.0634. Bibcode:2014IJMPD..2341001K. doi:10.1142/S0218271814410016. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
  67. "Krauss named Humanist of the Year". ASU News.
  68. "Emperor Has No Clothes Award 2016". Freedom From Religion Foundation. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
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