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Conrad Williams

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Information about Conrad Williams

Profile image of Conrad Williams

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Physicist
Physics Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Fish, Yogurt
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Thailand, Malaysia
Favorite Quote:
You Know.

Birthplace

Born:
3/1/1936
Birth Location:
Warsaw, North Carolina

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Physicist
Physics Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Fish, Yogurt
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Thailand, Malaysia
Favorite Quote:
You Know.

Birthplace

Born:
3/1/1936
Birth Location:
Warsaw
See how Conrad Williams is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Physicist and physics professor Conrad Williams was born on March 1, 1936 in Warsaw, North Carolina. Williams grew up on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and as a seven year. Williams had a strong interest in science, and his mentor, a geology curator for the Museum of Natural History, taught him about rocks and rock formations. Williams graduated from Spingarn Senior High School in 1954 and then earned his B.S. degree from Morgan State University in 1958. In 1960, Williams joined the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) as a solid state physicist. He continued to work at the Naval Research Laboratory while earning his M.S. degree in physics from Howard University. He also received his Ph.D. degree in physics from Howard University in 1971 under the guidance of Dr. Arthur N. Thorpe and Dr. Albert I. Schindler (NRL).

Williams worked at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory for thirty one years. In 1980, he resigned and joined the National Science Foundation as program director of the college and university faculty programs; and, in 1981, became the associate program director for condensed matter physics and superconductivity. In 1983, he returned to NRL and retired in 1993 as the head of the Applied Magnetics Section. In 1993, Williams joined the faculty of Morgan State University as a physics professor. During his tenure, he made significant contributions to the development of the research infrastructure, particularly in the area of condensed mater physics.

Williams made significant contributions to the field of magnetism and magnetic materials for over five decades. His research interests centered on the physical properties of magnetism in unique compounds, such as magnetic anisotropy, magnetostriction and magnetization. Williams designed and constructed the world’s first low temperature 6-Tesla high field torque magnetometer that was instrumental in developing the theory and experimental verification of the magnetic properties of novel rare earth intermetallic compounds. Many of these materials are utilized in parts of the U.S. Navy’s fleet as well as other applications.

Williams has received several awards, including the Naval Research Laboratory’s prestigious Sigma Xi Award for Pure Science in 1977 for his research in establishing origin of the magnetic anisotropy energy of rare earth laves phase compounds. He was named a “Giant in Science,” by the Quality Education for Minorities in Mathematics, Science and Engineering Network. Williams is also a fellow of the American Physical Society and the National Society of Black Physicists. Williams has been a distinguished invited professor and/or scientist at many institutions that include: the Indian Institute of Technology, Howard University, the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University. He has served on many national and international committees which include the Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, appointed by the Secretary of Energy; the National Science Foundation's Materials Research Advisory Committee; the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), appointed by the Secretary of State; and the NSF Advisory Panel on Scientific Opportunities in High Magnetic Field Research, which served as the basis for the National High Field Magnetic Laboratory in Tallahassee, Flordia.

Conrad Williams was interviewed by The History makers on July 17, 2012.

See how Conrad Williams is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Conrad Williams' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Conrad Williams lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Conrad Williams describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Conrad Williams talks about his mother's life in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Conrad Williams describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Conrad Williams describes his father's upbringing in Kenansville, North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Conrad Williams talks about his parents' meeting and their separation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Conrad Williams talks about visiting his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Conrad Williams describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Conrad Williams describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Conrad Williams describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up (part one)
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Conrad Williams describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up (part two)
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Conrad Williams continues to describe his childhood experiences in Washington D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Conrad Williams describes his experience in school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Conrad Williams talks about his childhood role models, George Coleman and Charley Johnson
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Conrad Williams describes his interests in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Conrad Williams describes his experience as an amateur radio operator
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Conrad Williams describes how radios work
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Conrad Williams talks about his mother's place of employment
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Conrad Williams describes his interest in music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Conrad Williams describes his decision to attend Morgan College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Conrad Williams describes his first week at Morgan College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Conrad Williams describes his experience at Morgan College and his relationship with Dr. Julius Taylor
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Conrad Williams talks about his professors at Morgan College [now Morgan State University]
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Conrad Williams describes Sputnik's influence on the U.S. scientific community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Conrad Williams describes his decision to work at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Conrad Williams describes his dissertation research on the effects of charged particle irradiation on the magnetic anisotropy of iron-nickel alloy films
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Conrad Williams describes his experience earning a Ph.D. at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Conrad Williams describes his relationship with Dr. Norman Coon
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Conrad Williams describes how cordless machines were invented
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Conrad Williams talks about intellectual property rights of research
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Conrad Williams talks about Dr. Norman Coon's death
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Conrad Williams talks about how he met his wife
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Conrad Williams describes his approach to problem-solving
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Conrad Williams describes his experience at the National Science Foundation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Conrad Williams talks about returning to the Naval Research Laboratory in 1983
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Conrad Williams describes his most significant research contributions in condensed matter physics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Conrad Williams talks about his experience as a faculty member at Morgan State University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Conrad Williams talks about the importance of recruiting faculty with diverse professional experiences
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Conrad Williams talks about his research on exchange and spin spring materials and ferra-fluids
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Conrad Williams describes his ongoing research projects
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Conrad Williams talks about the lack of analytical thinking among students in science
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Conrad Williams reflects upon the lessons from his childhood
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Conrad Williams reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Conrad Williams describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Conrad Williams talks about church and the role of religion in his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Conrad Williams reflects upon being taped by The HistoryMakers
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Conrad Williams displays his Hall of Fame watch
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Conrad Williams' interview
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Conrad Williams describes his visiting professorships
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Conrad Williams describes his service on the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee at the U.S. Department of Energy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Conrad Williams describes his service on the UNESCO committee in the 1980s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Conrad Williams describes his service on the National Science Foundation Advisory Panel on Scientific Opportunities and High Magnetic Field Research
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Conrad Williams describes his interest in electric vehicles