Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Harold Wyckoff

Headshot of Harold Wyckoff


Harold Wyckoff received his B.S. in physics from the University of Washington in 1934. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1940. His thesis was on X-ray dosimetry for cancer therapy and was undertaken at the Tumor Institute of the Swedish Hospital. Wyckoff was hired into the National Bureau of Standards (NBS, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST) Atomic Physics Section, Optics Division in 1941. In 1943, he was detailed to the Operations Research Division of the U.S. Army Ninth Air Force in Europe. Wyckoff was promoted in 1948 to chief of the X-Ray Physics Section in the Radiation Physics Laboratory and in 1954 to director of the Radiation Physics Laboratory in the Atomic and Radiation Physics Division. He left NBS in 1966 to become scientific director of the U.S. Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI). 

Notable honors and awards:

  • Bronze Star, U.S. Department of Defense, 1945
  • Silver Medal, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1952
  • Gold Medal, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1960
  • Gold Medal, Radiological Society of North America, 1963
  • Exceptional Civilian Service Award, Defense Atomic Support Agency, 1971
  • Gold Medal, American College of Radiology, 1976

Other appointments: 

  • Board of directors, National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements 
  • Secretary and chairman, International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements
  • U.S. delegate to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation

Research interests: dosimetry for radiation protection; radiation therapy dosimetry; radiation effects and conditions on a nuclear battlefield; quantities and units for measurements of ionizing radiations

Created July 26, 2019, Updated September 20, 2019