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Herman Brenner White, Jr.

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Information about Herman Brenner White, Jr.

Profile image of Herman Brenner White, Jr.

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Physicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pie (Apple)
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Outstanding!

Birthplace

Born:
9/28/1948
Birth Location:
Tuskegee, Alabama

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Physicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pie (Apple)
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Outstanding!

Birthplace

Born:
9/28/1948
Birth Location:
Tuskegee
See how Herman Brenner White, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Physicist Herman Brenner White was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on September 28, 1948. He attended Macon County public schools and developed a great interest in science at an early age. Growing up so close to the Tuskegee Institute, White was able to talk to the professors there about science. In 1966, he graduated from the Tuskegee Institute High School. He decided to attend Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana for his undergraduate studies where he obtained his B.A. degree in physics in 1970. During graduate school at Michigan State University, White split his time at Michigan State's Cyclotron Laboratory in East Lansing, Michigan and the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois. As an award for excellent graduate research, White became an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow and was sent to study in Geneva, Switzerland at the CERN European Laboratory for Particle Physics in 1972. He found a new passion there and shifted his research areas from nuclear and acceleration physics to particle physics. In 1974, he received his M.S. degree in physics from Michigan State University.

White was initially a neutrino physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and has held various positions there since 1974. Fermilab is the highest energy particle accelerator in the world where White has been a senior scientist. He was a university fellow in physics from 1976 to 1978 at Yale University. He taught physics again starting in 1987 during his doctoral studies at Florida State University and received his Ph.D. degree in 1991. At Fermilab he has collaborated on numerous high-energy particle physics experiments in addition to the design of high-energy particle beam and detector systems. One notable collaboration was when White worked as a kaon researcher and diplomat with Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi in Central Mexico.

White has been an adjunct physics professor at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. In addition to his earlier fellowships, White was selected as an Illinois Industrial Research Corridor Fellow for North Central College in 1994. He has served on various physics communication and advisory panels for governmental agencies and the American Physical Society and has been a member of the American Physical Society’s Public Face of Physics Team.

Herman White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 13, 2006.

See how Herman Brenner White, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Herman White's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Herman White shares his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Herman White talks about his mother's side of the family, part 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Herman White discusses the Tuskegee Institute as well as Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Herman White talks about his perception of Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Herman White talks about his mother's side of the family, part 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Herman White discusses his family origins on both sides
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Herman White talks about how he takes after his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Herman White talks about his aunts and uncles
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Herman White talks about his sister, Zepherine White Finch, and her name origin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Herman White describes his earliest memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Herman White remembers taking piano lessons and his family's appreciation for music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Herman White recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Herman White talks about how he was perceived in school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Herman White shares his early interest in science
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Herman White talks about his favorite teachers in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Herman White recalls the names of his schools
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Herman White talks about growing up in Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Herman White talks about the church community and well-known parishioners
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Herman White recalls how integration was a dangerous and intense time during high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Herman White remembers Sammy Younge Jr., the first black college student to be killed during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Herman White recalls how the Civil Rights Movement affected his college choices
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Herman White talks about Earlham College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Herman White talks about his interest in science at age sixteen and choosing Earlham, College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Herman White talks about his interest in physics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Herman White talks about his summer job at Chrysler Corporation and his interests in computer programming and engineering
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Herman White talks about how he switched from nuclear physics to particle physics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Herman White describes his mentor, Professor Henry Blosser, at Michigan State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Herman White talks about Michigan State University president, Dr. Clifton Wharton
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Herman White explains his work at the cyclotron lab
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Herman White explains the difference between a nuclear physicist and a particle physicist
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Herman White discusses atoms and the laws of nuclear and particle physics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Herman White talks about high energy beams and accelerator laboratories
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Herman White talks about his first two years working at Fermilab and going for his Ph.D. at Yale University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Herman White talks about his particle physics research at the CERN laboratory
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Herman White explains the kaon
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Herman White talks about how Fermilab was named
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Herman White explains the Stefanski and White model for a neutrino production equation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Herman White shares how he chose Florida State University for his Ph.D.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Herman White talks about Fermilab's Illinois location and his number 711 experiment on constituent scattering
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Herman White describes his ten year long experiment
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Herman White talks about the kaons of the tevatron experiment and his essay about how the public needs physics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Herman White talks about increasing representation for women and other minorities in physics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Herman White shares his plans for a future neutrino experiment and the international linear collider
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Herman White describes how scientific training could be useful for politicians to make more informed decisions
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Herman White explains why accelerators are underground for safety and regulation
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Herman White talks about employee safety at Fermilab and how his former teachers perceive him
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Herman White talks about employee safety at Fermilab
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Herman White talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Herman White hopes his legacy will be that of an innovator