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Clifford G. Shull: A Memoir of a Pioneer in Neutron Scattering

Clifford G. Shull pioneered the use of neutron scattering to probe the properties of the neutron, to determine atomic structures, and to clarify the magnetic behavior of materials. He did this with no access to present-day tools like spreadsheets, computational algorithms, computer graphics, or computer control of equipment. In 1994, Cliff Shull was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics with Bertram Brockhouse.

After Cliff's death in 2001, the National Academy of Sciences asked his son, Robert Shull, to write a memoir on the elder Shull. The memoir is a history, a love story, and an allegory on how to practice science. In his talk, Bob will not only outline the milestones in Cliff's development of neutron scattering as a measurement tool, but also how Cliff Shull approached problems, and how his problem selection was influenced by what was going on in the physics community at the time. You will note that Cliff was not the only actor in this history, but that he was central to it.

Anyone outside NIST wishing to attend must be sponsored by a NIST employee and receive a visitor badge. For more information, contact Stephanie Shaw at 301-975-2667. Colloquia are videotaped and available in the NIST Research Library.

Robert D. Shull, NIST Fellow, Materials Science and Engineering Division, Material Measurement Laboratory

Created May 3, 2013, Updated January 5, 2017