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Oliver Baker

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Information about Oliver Baker

Profile image of Oliver Baker

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Physicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Meat
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/18/1959
Birth Location:
McGehee, Arkansas

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Physicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Meat
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/18/1959
Birth Location:
McGehee
See how Oliver Baker is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Physicist Oliver Keith Baker was born in McGehee, Arkansas to parents Oliver Walter and Yvonne Brigham Baker. After graduating with his B.S. degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981, Baker enrolled at Stanford University where he received his M.S. degrees in physics and mathematics in 1984 and his Ph.D. degree in physics in 1987. Baker pursued post-doctoral research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory

Upon graduation, Baker joined the faculty of the physics department at Hampton University as an assistant professor with a concurrent appointment as a staff scientist at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab). He was soon promoted to full professor in the physics department before being named as the University Endowed Professor of Physics. In 2006, Baker was appointed as a Professor of physics at Yale University; and, in 2010, he became the Director of Yale University’s A.W. Wright Nuclear Structure Laboratory (WNSL), which houses the world’s most powerful tandem Van de Graaf particle accelerator. He also worked as a researcher on the ATLAS experimental team at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland where a novel particle was discovered as a candidate for the Higgs boson. An accomplished lecturer and writer, Baker has published in numerous academic and scientific journals. In addition, Baker received a presidential appointment to the board of the National Medal of Science, and serves on several national and international scientific committees.

Baker was the recipient of several teaching awards while teaching at Hampton University, including the E. L. Hamm, Sr. Distinguished Teaching Award and the National Award for Teaching Learning and Technology. The American Physical Society bestowed upon Baker the Edward Bouchet Award for his outstanding contributions to nuclear and particle physics research, and he was honored by the National Conference of Black Physics Students and the National Society of Black Physicists with the Elmer Imes Award. In addition, Baker was elected to the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame and received a citation from the governor of Arkansas for his mentorship with students pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

Oliver Keith Baker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2013.

See how Oliver Baker is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Oliver Keith Baker's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his mother's growing up in Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his paternal grandfather helping his community
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his paternal grandparents' store in Desha County, Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his interaction with his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Oliver Keith Baker describes the peaceful integration of Tillar High School in Tillar, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his siblings and their childhood household
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience in school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his childhood personality and interests
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the moon landing in 1969
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience at B.C. Pruitt High School in Tillar, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about attending the Worldwide Church of God
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Oliver Keith Baker describes the political scene during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his family's move from Tillar, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker describes what it was like to live in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience attending high school in Memphis
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his early interest in physics
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his decision to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his college preparation at Messick High School in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience at summer student programs at Louisiana Tech University and MIT
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his academic performance at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his mentors, Jim West and William Donnelly
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his decision to pursue doctoral studies in physics at Stanford University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Oliver Keith Baker reflects upon his experience as a graduate student at Stanford University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his relationship with his Ph.D. thesis advisor, Walter Meyerhof, at Stanford University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the lessons that he learned from his doctoral advisor, Walter Meyerhof
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker describes how he was funded as a graduate student at Stanford University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his living arrangements at Stanford University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his doctoral research on the nuclear resonance effect in atomic electron capture
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience as a doctoral student at Stanford University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his decision to pursue his post-doctoral research at Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker describes how he met and married his wife
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his post-doctoral research on muon-catalyzed fusion at Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his decision to work at Hampton University and Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience at Hampton University and Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the Ph.D. program in physics at Hampton University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his work at Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory, on the kaon/K meson particle
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience working at Hampton University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker describes how he became involved with the ATLAS particle detector experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the perceived risks of the Large Hadron Collider
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker describes the National Science Foundation's (NSF) funding of the Physics Frontier Center
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the Higgs boson, and his involvement in the discovery of evidence that suggests the existence of the Higgs boson particle
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the Higgs boson, the 'God Particle', and its implications in validating the standard model of particle physics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about the collaboration of scientists, students and technicians in the discovery of the Higgs boson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Oliver Keith Baker describes the future of particle physics, in the light of the discovery of the Higgs boson-like particle
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about physicist, Edward A. Bouchet, and his pride in receiving the Edward Bouchet Award from the American Physical Society
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his decision to accept a professorship in the physics department at Yale University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his experience as a professor in the physics department at Yale University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about mentoring African American students in physics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his role as director of Yale University's A. W. Wright Nuclear Structure Laboratory
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Oliver Keith Baker reflects upon his career and his research at Yale University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Oliver Keith Baker describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Oliver Keith Baker reflects upon his family life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Oliver Keith Baker shares the lessons he has learned from his mentors and colleagues
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Oliver Keith Baker provides advice for African American students in the physical sciences
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Oliver Keith Baker talks about how he would like to be remembered