The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Donnell Walton

Physicist Donnell Thaddeus Walton was born on November 8, 1966 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. He was one of three children born to Antoinette Williams. Walton attended North Carolina State University and graduated with his B.S. degree in physics and electrical engineering in 1989. Donnell went on to enroll in the University of Michigan where he studied under Dr. Walter Lowe and graduated with his Ph.D. degree in applied physics in 1996. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship with AT & T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey under its Creative Research Fellowship Program (CRFP).

In 1996, Walton was hired as an assistant professor at Howard University where he taught in the physics department until 1999. Walton was then recruited by Corning, Inc. and assigned to the research and development department where he performed and led research in fiber amplifiers and lasers. After serving as project manager of science and technology from 2004 to 2008, he joined Corning, Inc.’s Gorilla Glass team where he was named senior applications engineer. While there, Walton developed products for the burgeoning information and technology sector and worked to extend the applicability of Gorilla Glass. In 2010, Walton was named manager of the Worldwide Applications Program at Corning, Inc. In addition, he has authored fifteen patents and over sixty technical papers in scholarly, peer review journals including Optics Express and Optics Letters.

Walton’s professional affiliations include memberships in the Society of Information Display, the Optical Society of America, and the American Physical Society. In 2013, Walton received the “Outstanding Technical Contribution to Industry Award” from U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology.

Walton lives in Painted Post, New York with his wife, Robin Walton. They have two children: Nina Walton and Donnell Walton, Jr.

Donnell Thaddeus Walton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.174

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/11/2013

Last Name

Walton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Thaddeus

Occupation
Schools

University of Michigan

North Carolina State University

Frank Lemon Elementary School

South Mecklenburg High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Donnell

Birth City, State, Country

Mt. Clemens

HM ID

WAL19

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sedona, Arizona

Favorite Quote

if I can't change the people I'm around, then I'll change the people I'm around.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/8/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Painted Post

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Physicist Donnell Walton (1966 - ) serves as manager of Worldwide Applications Program at Corning, Inc. where he authored fifteen patents and over sixty technical papers.

Employment

Corning Incorporated

Howard University

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:7412,101:17112,192:34701,606:37850,689:41736,762:42004,767:47766,985:48168,992:48570,999:48838,1004:55516,1044:68864,1244:69788,1257:70327,1267:72637,1314:74639,1349:75486,1361:76410,1383:76795,1389:77411,1398:81428,1433:84316,1508:84772,1526:85304,1535:85760,1542:86140,1548:87052,1568:93446,1638:98713,1674:99849,1704:111054,1835:111670,1865:124634,2015:125132,2022:125464,2027:126460,2038:131568,2104:132006,2111:132736,2122:133101,2128:133758,2138:134269,2146:142808,2237:145624,2289:146592,2310:150464,2385:151344,2401:151872,2408:174059,2589:183500,2703:205987,2981:207625,3018:215032,3112:215304,3117:216460,3141:217140,3154:221240,3218:222140,3246:231422,3379:231835,3387:243618,3468:257382,3693:261760,3722$0,0:3200,51:3812,61:4288,69:5512,136:8164,201:10612,253:16436,279:16994,284:17490,293:18792,333:19040,338:19474,352:19908,360:20342,369:21272,447:21520,452:22016,462:22388,470:24310,514:24868,525:25550,535:27658,580:28154,589:32720,606:34514,633:35618,650:37343,692:39668,715:40604,733:41124,739:49362,862:49732,868:50398,878:54323,911:54628,917:54933,927:56031,950:56336,957:56702,964:57373,979:57922,994:67650,1079:74160,1227:74594,1238:76020,1275:79740,1355:86059,1416:86852,1435:87340,1446:87645,1452:87889,1457:88133,1462:88499,1469:88865,1477:89719,1496:90451,1509:90817,1517:91061,1522:91671,1539:92830,1566:94599,1608:95636,1623:96429,1646:97283,1670:98076,1686:98320,1691:98625,1697:103458,1715:105130,1737:106650,1761:116325,1915:116650,1921:121599,1997:125574,2011:129290,2104:130010,2116:131522,2162:134042,2176:134525,2184:136802,2232:137423,2243:137699,2248:143909,2400:144185,2405:150355,2449:151517,2467:163330,2649
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donnell Walton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandparents' long marriage and his grandmother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his relationship with his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about the strong influence of his grandparents, and the impact of his first conversation with his biological father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donnell Walton describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Donnell Walton talks about his childhood neighborhood in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Donnell Walton describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Donnell Walton talks about his memories of Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in elementary school

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Donnell Walton talks about attending Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Donnell Walton talks about his childhood interest in sports and reading

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton talks about his interest in books

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about the schools he attended, and his interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about his interest in boxing and reading, and his boxing heroes

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in school in New Haven, Michigan and Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about his motivation to study hard in school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandparents' deaths

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandmother's buying him his first computer in 1981

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about spending a lot of time alone as a child, and his early interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about his family's pets in New Haven, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about his grandmother's death, and moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to live with his great-aunt

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Donnell Walton describes his experience in high school in Charlotte, North Carolina and the influence of his guidance counselor, Ms. Dorothy Floyd

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Donnell Walton talks about playing football in high school, and receiving an academic and track scholarship to attend North Carolina State University

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Donnell Walton talks about how he was influenced by the Minority Introduction to Engineering (MITE) summer program at MIT

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton describes his experience at North Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about majoring in electrical engineering and physics at North Carolina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about receiving an AT&T Cooperative Research Fellowship Program and his experience at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton talks about his experience at Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton describes his decision to attend the University of Michigan to pursue his Ph.D. degree in physics, with support from Bell Laboratories

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his Ph.D. dissertation research on optical fiber lasers and the applications of these lasers

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his mentors at Bell Laboratories and at the University of Michigan, and his research at Argonne National Laboratory

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton describes his experience at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about research infrastructure at Howard University, and the important place of scientists in African American history

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton talks about his contributions at Howard University and reflects upon the research programs and funding at HBCUs

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton describes how he was recruited to Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about the diversity in the workforce at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton describes his work on high-powered fiber lasers at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton talks about the development and applications of Gorilla glass

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton talks about his involvement with the marketing of Gorilla Glass at Corning, Incorporated, and the importance of communicating science

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his involvement with the marketing of Gorilla Glass, and about the different types of glass used in different products

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton describes how glass breaks

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about his team of engineers and about how patents work

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Donnell Walton talks about the various markets for Gorilla glass and his re-deployment at Corning, Incorporated

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Donnell Walton describes native damage resistance in Gorilla glass

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Donnell Walton talks about Corning's competitors and its market base

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Donnell Walton talks about returning to research and development at Corning, Incorporated, and the company's investment in R&D

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Donnell Walton shares his advice for scientists and engineers contemplating careers in industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Donnell Walton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Donnell Walton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Donnell Walton talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Donnell Walton talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Donnell Walton talks about Corning's involvement in educational and mentoring programs for minorities

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Donnell Walton describes his experience at North Carolina State University
Donnell Walton talks about the diversity in the workforce at Corning, Incorporated
Transcript
Okay, North Carolina State University [Raleigh, North Carolina]. This is 1984?$$Yeah.$$Okay, 1984. This is a big--the year of "Run Jesse Run." And you know, so what was North Carolina--was that the year North Carolina State [University] won the basketball--$$No, it was one or two years before, I think. It was '82 [1982], maybe?$$Yeah, '82 [1982], or '83 [1983]. Yeah, I think you're right. With Dereck Whittenburg [college basketball player] and all those guys, yeah.$$Yeah.$$Alright.$$I don't know if you've seen it, but that--what was it--"30 for 30"--the thing they--the sports thing. They did this special on that. That was amazingly well done, very well done. Yeah, yeah. That was--so, I came there--similar to when I came to North Carolina--my high school [South Mecklenburg High School, Charlotte, North Carolina] was right off this huge championship. So, people were very full of NC [North Carolina] State when I got there.$$Okay.$$I wasn't a basketball fan, so I didn't really know that, until I got there.$$Alright. So, what was North Carolina State like? Was it a welcoming environment? What was it like for African American students?$$Yeah, so there was a lot of--like you mentioned--we had several African American coordinators there, to make sure--So, I was an electrical engineering major at that time. And we had an orientation only for, you know, a black freshman orientation, where you get to meet other, you know, people that would be your peers. So, it was--they worked hard. There were some key people there that worked hard to make it as welcoming as it could be. So, you end up making some very lifelong friends. [North Carolina] State [University] was a good place. It was different. It was big, but I felt prepared. Again, you know, I didn't want to lose again like I had done a couple summers before--or the summer before. So it turns out I was pretty well prepared, it turned out. My high school in Charlotte was--you know, prepared me pretty well. I made some really good friends in classes and on campus.$$Okay. I mean--were you involved in other campus activities other than your science courses?$$As a freshman? I was just running track, which was almost year round then. And just doing, yeah, just doing courses, not much as a freshman then. As a sophomore I ended up, you know, getting more involved in the Black Student Union, the Peer Mentor Program, becoming a mentor, pledging a fraternity, and stuff like that. So--$$Okay. What fraternity did you pledge?$$Omega.$$Okay, Omega Psi Phi, alright. So, were there any key teachers or counselors at--$$Yeah, so we had a guy in engineering. His name was Bobby Pettis. He was a minority coordinator, and he was instrumental--I still talk with friends about him.$$Is that P-E-T-T-U-S, or--$$I-S.$$Okay, I-S. Alright.$$Yeah. He was, he had intimate relationships with the students. He knew us well. He kept them honest. He, you know, made sure things--He did as much as he could to be almost like a family there, you know, in this huge environment. So, yeah. And then there was a woman--and then later I ended up adding physics as a major. And then that's another college. That's the College of Physical [and] Mathematical Sciences. So, his counterpart there is Wandra Hill, same thing. She's very--did as much as they could to make things welcoming and connect people.$$Wandra. W-A-N-D-R-A?$$Uh huh.$$Okay. So, are either one of them still there?$$Wandra Hill may have retired. And Mr. Pettis passed, I would say maybe in the--he must have passed in the eighties. I think she retired since I've been here [Corning, Inc., New York State]. So the last five or ten years, she must have retired.$Now, are you aware of something called, was it the Awareness Quality Improvement Team [at Corning, Incorporated, Elmira, New York]?$$At that time, the AQIT. Yes, absolutely.$$Okay. Now, tell us what that is, and what--$$Yeah. So like it's, it was an African American, what we call affinity groups. You know, it was, like what we were talking about earlier with the people at NC [North Carolina] State [University, Raleigh, North Carolina] who were trying to work to make it an inclusive environment. AQIT was started to make it a more inclusive--or the awareness--was to, to increase awareness of the presence of non--you know, underrepresented groups, particularly African Americans at that time. So, it was started, I guess, right around 198--, in the eighties. I think I want to say it was like '84 [1984], '85 [1985].$$Okay.$$And now, it's called the Black Technical Network. It got re-branded, but still doing the same things--trying to make a better environment, a more inclusive environment for everyone, starting with African Americans.$$Okay, okay. Now, so, so there was a community of African Americans here at--$$Small, it's grown. But it was--so it was, yeah, but absolutely, yeah. And it's a very--both inside the company and in the outside, external community. Most of us, since we all work for the same company, we all know each other. Our kids are the same age. So, actually, one of the ironies is that my wife and I moved here from Silver Spring, Maryland. And our neighborhood here is more diverse than our neighborhood was in Silver Spring, you know. I mean, not black. We have about six black families--it's a small neighborhood, six black families; many Asian families; Indian, Chinese, Korean. But whites may be, maybe 50 percent white. So, it's pretty interesting. But almost everyone in the neighborhood works for Corning.$$Okay. So, what would you say the percentage of black employees are?$$In the company, in the corporation?$$Uh huh.$$I'd put it at about maybe 7 percent.$$Okay, alright. That would be--that makes sense on some level, because it wouldn't reflect the blacks at 11 percent of the population of the country. But college graduates aside, those are, you know--technical people are much smaller.$$Right.$$So, Corning may be doing better than--$$Yeah, it's one of those best kept secrets. I think also--and of those 7 [percent]--most, the vast majority of us, I'd say somewhere around 80 percent of us are technical. I mean science and engineering, you know. And the other 20 [percent] is HR [human resources] and finance, but most of us are engineers.$$Okay, okay. That's interesting.

Philip Phillips

Physicist Philip W. Phillips was born in Scarborough, Tobago in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Phillips’ family migrated to the United States when he was ten years old. After graduating with his B.A. degree in chemistry and mathematics from Walla Walla College in 1979, Phillips enrolled in the University of Washington where he served as a graduate research assistant in theoretical chemistry and received his Ph.D. degree in theoretical physics in 1982. Upon graduation, Phillips was awarded a Miller Postdoctoral Fellowship to study at the University of California at Berkeley from 1981 to 1984.

Phillips then worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology until 1993 when he joined the faculty of the department of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1998, Phillips was appointed a Beckman Associate in the Center for Advanced Study. After being promoted to full professor and receiving tenure in 2004, Phillips went on to serve as the University Scholar and was named the Bliss Faculty Scholar in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a theoretical condensed matter physicist, Phillips studies quantum phase transitions and strongly correlated electrons. In particular, he focused on novel metallic phases in two dimensions and high-temperature superconductivity. Phillips research has been published in academic journals such as Physics Review Letters and Europhysics Letters. In addition, he authored a graduate-level textbook titled, Advanced Solid State Physics (2002).

Phillips served as the American Physical Society (APS) general councilor from 2000 to 2002 and as executive councilor from 2002 to 2004. He also served on the APS Committee on Committees from 2002 to 2004. Phillips was appointed to serve on the nanotechnology panel for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 1999. He also served on the “Frontiers of Science” organizing committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) from 1998 to 1999. He was honored as the Edward A. Bouchet Lecturer for the APS in 2000. Phillips was elected as a Fellow of the APS in 2002, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2012.

Phillip Phillips was interviewed byThe HistoryMakers on June 7, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.098

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/7/2013

Last Name

Phillips

Maker Category
Middle Name

W

Occupation
Schools

Walla Walla College

University of Washington

A-Karrasel Primary Grade Center

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Philip

Birth City, State, Country

Scarborough

HM ID

PHI05

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tobago

Favorite Quote

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/28/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Urbana-Champaign

Country

Tobago

Favorite Food

Curry

Short Description

Physicist Philip Phillips (1958 - )

Employment

University of California, Berkeley

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:11140,138:11532,143:16470,206:17158,215:17588,221:21510,260:29734,343:35659,420:36638,431:37172,438:38596,464:40376,490:43313,548:56140,634:56764,643:57310,661:58012,672:58324,677:58870,686:66220,814:80112,1026:81124,1062:87490,1089:98223,1240:99933,1294:107118,1331:107430,1336:107742,1341:109800,1348:113130,1398:113426,1403:116386,1453:123301,1530:123763,1537:126227,1587:128229,1615:128614,1621:136948,1714:137776,1724:144440,1795:145045,1807:151708,1920:151964,1925:152476,1935:153052,1946:153820,1962:154588,1981:156508,2019:156956,2027:162131,2074:162699,2083:163338,2093:167740,2188:168024,2193:171170,2215:194410,2558:196660,2565:197342,2579:202094,2641:202714,2652:203334,2664:207010,2738:207710,2750:208970,2774:211140,2811:213380,2849:220330,2933:221002,2987:231637,3135:232134,3146:238240,3248:238776,3257:251338,3437:252976,3472:261138,3574:263224,3593:263662,3600:264465,3620:265195,3631:269806,3670:270118,3677:274674,3706:275322,3716:283620,3794:284827,3815:285253,3822:285679,3830:286815,3859:290748,3882:297348,3923:297740,3928:299308,3951:299994,3962:303628,3995:304172,4004:304784,4016:307633,4059:308102,4068:308839,4080:312940,4126:318616,4232:322880,4271:325660,4313:329000,4382:329476,4390:333396,4439:336902,4474:338870,4479:339346,4487:339822,4495:340570,4504:341318,4516:341658,4523:343154,4551:344106,4570:350723,4615:351455,4636:351699,4641:352004,4647:354200,4695:354566,4702:355237,4714:355664,4724:356030,4731:367205,4870:371759,4910:372228,4918:380589,5039:380894,5045:381260,5053:382970,5075$0,0:4954,71:5458,82:6088,96:7978,136:8608,149:9301,163:9994,175:12199,218:12640,228:13144,238:13522,245:19583,309:27400,438:29910,446:32646,513:33294,526:34446,544:35886,569:36318,576:38334,613:39198,700:39630,708:39990,714:40710,725:41214,733:41502,738:46127,778:46766,790:47334,800:48683,843:53270,909:53792,919:54314,929:55620,934:57222,954:58379,1019:64490,1113:65270,1128:65660,1136:66505,1152:66960,1161:67350,1166:68065,1179:68715,1192:69105,1199:69560,1210:72030,1272:72355,1278:79840,1299:80750,1313:81590,1326:81870,1331:84836,1373:85172,1380:87140,1396:87770,1409:88470,1423:88960,1433:89310,1439:90010,1453:90360,1459:91760,1484:92040,1489:92880,1504:93440,1514:94000,1524:94770,1538:95400,1550:95890,1560:100695,1587:101280,1599:101735,1607:103656,1622:104437,1634:105147,1646:109908,1678:110298,1684:110610,1689:112638,1721:113652,1735:115737,1755:116540,1768:119971,1828:122679,1853:123409,1866:123774,1872:124285,1881:125964,1911:126256,1916:126548,1921:127424,1934:131352,1966:131624,1971:132440,1991:132712,1996:133052,2002:135500,2029:135772,2034:136112,2040:136588,2049:136928,2055:138764,2122:140464,2170:141280,2189:146873,2238:147485,2250:147689,2255:148250,2269:151800,2289:152736,2305:154695,2337:155410,2350:155930,2360:157035,2379:157620,2397:158335,2410:158920,2420:160610,2449:161065,2458:161520,2467:162105,2478:162625,2487:163600,2506:164315,2519:167514,2528:169938,2544:171162,2557:172182,2572:175590,2606:178388,2628:178899,2638:179191,2643:180651,2677:181089,2684:181819,2695:182476,2707:182768,2712:183133,2718:187825,2767:188109,2772:188748,2782:195039,2812:196404,2828:201184,2856:202950,2865:205096,2875:209352,2919:210288,2934:214074,2971:214422,2978:219834,3101:222540,3160:224610,3165
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Philip Phillips' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips reflects upon the history of slavery in Tobago and its present effects

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips talks about his mother's parents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips describes his mother's childhood in Tobago

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Philip Phillips talks about his grandmother's and mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Phillip Phillips describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Philip Phillips talks about his father's extended family

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Phillip Phillips talks about his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Philip Phillips talks about his parents, siblings, and the family's moves to Trinidad and the United States

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips describes the sights, sound, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips describes Tobago and how it has changed

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips talks about his family's move to the United States

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips talks about his father's affiliation with the Seventh Day Adventist Church

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Philip Phillips describes his family's move to Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Philip Phillips talks about the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Philip Phillips describes going to school in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Philip Phillips recalls the black leaders he learned about in his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Philip Phillips talks about the move to Walla Walla, Washington and living in a town with few minorities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips describes his high school and his childhood friends in Walla Walla, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips talks about growing up in Walla Walla, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips talks about evolution, philosophy, and being raised as a Seventh Day Adventist

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips describes his grades in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips describes his years at Walla Walla College

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Philip Phillips talks about moving out of his parent's house

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Philip Phillips describes his decision to become a theoretical scientist

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Philip Phillips talks about the teachers that influenced him at the University of Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips talks about his doctoral dissertation and the decision to change fields

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips talks about receiving the Miller Fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips describes critical phenomena pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips describes critical phenomena pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips talks about his post-doctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Philip Phillips describes his work on Anderson localization

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Philip Phillips talks about being a chemistry professor and doing physics research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips describes his firing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his hiring at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips describes his research on Mottness pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips describes his research on Mottness pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips talks about changing his research focus

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips talks about the physics program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Philip Phillips describes organizing the first scientific conference in Tobago

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Philip Phillips talks about his research and teaching

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Philip Phillips talks about his mentoring of graduate students

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Philip Phillips talks about first scientific conference in Tobago

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Philip Phillips talks about his honors and awards and the legacy of Edward A. Bouchet

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Philip Phillips reflects on his life's decisions

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Philip Phillips discusses religion

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Philip Phillips reflects on his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Philip Phillips describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Philip Phillips talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Philip Phillips reflects on his life's decisions

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Philip Phillips talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Philip Phillips describes his years at Walla Walla College
Philip Phillips talks about the physics program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
Transcript
Okay, all right, so, you went to Walla Walla College. Were you living at home?$$And I lived at home.$$Okay, all right. All right--$$All four years.$$Okay.$$Except for the last two quarters. The last two quarters being from January until May. So except for five months, I lived at home.$$Well, so, what was your major in college?$$Math and chemistry.$$Okay, and so you were there in--were you involved in, it was the same basic racial makeup of, I mean was the college reflective of the racial makeup of Walla Walla basically too? Were you the only black student?$$There were some black students, very, very few. A smattering of students from the [United] States and some from the islands and Africa, I would say, yeah.$$Okay, all right. So, was college, did you, did you get--well, you had understanding in college, I guess, because you said you were learning things you should have learned in high school--$$Right.$$--in college. So did college turn you on to physics or--(simultaneous)--$$Yeah, I mean once I got to college, and I started taking--so I started college an English major. And then I decided, you know, 'cause I really wanted to write. That was my, that was a passion of mine. And, but I decided I wasn't talented enough to be a writer. Then I decided I'll be a math major. And, and then I--math didn't seem very hard. Basically, I was, I should have taken calculus in high school. I was not really performing at the level that I should have been performing at. And so when I got to college and was taking calculus, then I started the standard sequence of calculus in college, by the third quarter, I decided, you know, this is not very hard. And I'm going to drop it and go and do something else. So a very interesting story happened. I was on the way to the registrar's office to drop calculus, and I see a kid with a skateboard, and I decided I was going to drop calculus which was four units and replace it with Western's, History of Western Civilization 'cause I hadn't taken my general history requirement, and, and add, there was a physical education class that was required and add PE. And I was going to add a tennis course, and that would be four hours. On the way to drop, to the registrar's office, I see a kid on a skateboard. Skateboards were really a big thing back then. I asked the kid, can I borrow your skateboard and just, could I try it out? He goes, sure. So I hop on the skateboard, go careening around the corner, fall off, and I completely tear up my ankle. I have to be in a cast for eight weeks, which means I couldn't go through with my plan to go and drop calculus. It completely changed the course that I was on.$$So you actually had to take--you took calculus?$$I couldn't go through with my plan of replacing a four-unit course with a, with a class that required that I go, that I do some sort of exercise. So Western Civ[ilization] and tennis went out the window and I stuck with calculus. And had I not done that, I would probably not be here right now.$$(Laughter) So the kid with the skateboard--(simultaneous)--$$The kid with the skateboard completely, that was a very pivotal moment.$$You were a junior then, you said?$$No, no, no. I was a, that was the end of my freshman year.$$Okay, all right. All right, so 1970-what?$$I started college in '75 [1975].$$Seventy-five [1975]--$$So it was '76 [1976], Spring of '76 [1976].$$Okay.$$Yeah, so because of that I, I was on the standard math sequence that all of the serious science and engineering people were on, and so the next year, I took chemistry. And it seemed trivial. It seemed absolutely easy. There was--it was taught with a system behind it. And so then I, I decided I would major in chemistry. And, but I was sort of behind because I was taking general chemistry my second year in college. And I hadn't taken physics yet. So we're talking serious catch-up here. And so I take more chemistry classes during the summer and then the fall, I took physical chemistry. This is as a junior, and I decided I would take the engineering physics sequence, which is the calculus-based course. You know, this thing that you teach--I teach here to freshmen. I didn't take it until my junior year (laughter). And even that seemed easy, and it seemed more interesting than chemistry. So I thought, well, you know, maybe I really should be a physics major. So in the end, I ended up being a double major in math and chemistry, and I took several physics courses, independent study, because there were very few people majoring in physics. And so you had to arrange with the professors to go and take these courses. So I was taking the quantum mechanics course independent study, my senior year and taking advance math courses also independent study. So basically in a two-year period, I went from no physics, to taking advance physics courses. And so I almost had a physics major when I finished as well, but I didn't have time to do any of the labs or anything like that. So.$$Okay.$$It was a crash course, once I figured it out.$Now you were a Bliss Faculty Scholar in 2000--$$Um-hum.$$--right? And that meant that you were supported by--$$Yeah, I, my--some of my research was funded by the engineering college. It allowed me further travel and funds for students, things like that.$$Now, you were saying, you were referring earlier or made sort of a, in a general way, that the University of Illinois [at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois] has, is one of the top physics programs in the country, right?$$Um-hum, yeah. And in solid state physics. It traditionally was number one. It recently became number two, and it was supplanted by none other than MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts], which I don't understand because most people don't understand why. If MIT is number two, there are several places you might have thought were number One. The last one would have been MIT. But MIT has these publicity machinery that guarantees it stays somewhere close to the top.$$Now, there are some Nobel Laureates that came out of University of Illinois, right?$$Right, I mean the reason why Illinois was so strong and has been so strong in solid state is that John Bardeen built up the effort here. And John Bardeen, I mean the quarters, the engineering quarter is named after him. He was a semiconductor physicist at Bell Labs. But to say that is not to give him enough credit. He, he invented the transistor at Bell, was hired here, won the Nobel Prize for that. But the real problem he was trying to solve was always in the back of his mind, was superconductivity. And he solved that problem here. And the theoretical program was based on his effort. And so he hired many people, all of whom became top, international stars. And that's, that defined theoretical solid-state physics for the world. I mean this place defined that. And there was no place that was second to this place. And so from that nucleus, the whole effort sort of telescoped from there. And they've kept their focus on, the air--they've kept their focus on their strength. They haven't tried to say, oh, well, now, we're good at this, let's try to--no, they've said, "We are a department that is defined by solid state. That's what we do. The other areas will benefit if we keep, you know, our primacy in that field. See, and, then he won a second Nobel Prize for superconductivity, which is--and his solution was something that had applications in all areas of physics. Cosmology, particle physics, the Higgs mechanism is based on what is the, is intellectual essence of his solution to the superconductivity problem. So this is, this is a very serious place, you know, and, you really have to do things at a deep level here to get appreciated. And I like that. It's very different from MIT. MIT was--there's a large publicity machinery that, sort of the academic publicity complex, you know (laughter). There can be substance, but that's not necessarily what, how you become famous at MIT.$$Was there a physicist at MIT that you really looked up to as a--(simultaneous)--$$Yeah, at the time, yeah, Patrick Lee. I talk to him a lot. He helped me get hired here.

Sekazi Mtingwa

Research physicist and physics professor Sekazi K. Mtingwa was born on October 20, 1949 in Atlanta, Georgia. After receiving his B.S. degrees in physics and pure mathematics (Phi Beta Kappa) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1971, Mtingwa enrolled at Princeton University and graduated from there with his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in theoretical high energy physics in 1976. Mtingwa was awarded doctoral fellowships from the National Fellowships Fund and the Ford Foundation. Upon graduation, he was awarded post-doctoral fellowships and research assistantships at the University of Rochester, the University of Maryland at College Park, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab).

In 1981, Mtingwa joined Fermilab as a research physicist where he, along with James Bjorken, developed a theory of particle beam dynamics, “intrabeam scattering,” which standardized the performance limitations on a wide class of modern accelerators. Mtingwa also played an important role in the design and construction of two of the Antiproton Source accelerator systems at Fermilab that were used in the discovery of the top quark and other particles. During 1988-1991, Mtingwa joined the staff of Argonne National Laboratory where he performed research on a futuristic accelerator concept called wakefield acceleration. In 1991, Mtingwa joined the faculty at North Carolina A & T State University as Chair and Professor of physics. Mtingwa was named J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Physics at Morgan State University in 1997 and then returned to North Carolina A & T State University in 1999. He served as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor of Physics at MIT from 2001 to 2003. He joined the faculty at Harvard University in 2003, where he served as Visiting Professor of Physics for two years. Returning to MIT in 2006, Mtingwa was named Lead Physics Lecturer in the Concourse Program in the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education. He was also appointed as the Faculty Director of Academic Programs in the Office of Minority Education. In 2011, he became Principal Partner of Triangle Science, Education & Economic Development, LLC and he was appointed Senior Physics Consultant at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

In addition to his research activities, Mtingwa is involved in a number of national and international initiatives. He is a founder of the African Laser Centre (ALC) and was the principal author of the Strategy and Business Plan upon which the ALC is based. In 1977, Mtingwa was a co-founder of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and served as NSBP President from 1992 to 1994.

Mtingwa has been recognized by national and international organizations for his contributions to science. In 1996, he received the Outstanding Service Award for Contributions to the African American Physics Community from the National Society of Black Physicists. The National Council of Ghanaian Associations honored Mtingwa with the Science Education Award in 2007 for advancing science education among African peoples. Mtingwa was inducted into the African American Biographies Hall of Fame in 1994, and he was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2008.

Sekazi Mtingwa is married to W. Estella Johnson; they have two daughters.

Research physicist and physics professor Sekazi K. Mtingwa was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 6, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.076

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/6/2013

Last Name

Mtingwa

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Kauze

Occupation
Schools

Princeton University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Henry McNeal Turner High School

Alonzo F. Herndon Elementary

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sekazi

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

MTI01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

Stay yourself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

10/20/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Hillsborough

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sea Bass (Mediterranean)

Short Description

Nuclear physicist Sekazi Mtingwa (1949 - ) contributed to the design and construction of the accelerator systems used in the discovery of the top quark at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Mtingwa is a founder of the National Society of Black Physicists and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, and he has made significant contributions to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Harvard University

North Carolina A&T State University

Morgan State University

Argonne National Laboratory

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

University of Rochester

University of Maryland, College Park

Favorite Color

Salmon

Timing Pairs
0,0:3510,150:4290,163:5148,173:6006,187:6630,197:9438,263:10140,274:14340,296:17380,361:17780,367:19380,394:19700,399:23860,468:31591,532:36932,583:38785,599:39657,604:40420,612:41728,627:49167,756:49572,762:50706,780:52326,815:54756,868:59098,900:63702,981:64538,996:64994,1004:72062,1141:72670,1157:73582,1171:77032,1183:81768,1286:82582,1296:83100,1304:86134,1352:94994,1466:95346,1471:95786,1477:101154,1560:106522,1593:109168,1618:117558,1724:120134,1766:128487,1854:136784,2028:139514,2077:140606,2146:156598,2331:160398,2390:165870,2494:171870,2597:175254,2661:177198,2684:177702,2693:184980,2811:185400,2818:185890,2827:188690,2898:188970,2903:192960,2990:202643,3146:204395,3186:204687,3191:205271,3201:206512,3220:210600,3315:211257,3326:230596,3546:233203,3677:233598,3683:241182,3855:241735,3930:247355,4026:247730,4032:249530,4078:251480,4116:254100,4134$0,0:3149,49:3417,54:7035,130:7370,142:7839,150:8107,155:9045,179:9313,184:9983,198:10452,206:11323,221:12328,244:12931,255:14673,286:15142,294:16080,311:16750,322:17554,341:18693,370:19028,376:19497,384:21909,442:22177,447:22981,461:23450,469:24321,485:25125,500:25460,506:27738,561:28207,571:28810,581:29078,586:29480,597:31088,627:31423,633:31758,642:32428,653:33165,668:33433,673:41350,680:42403,697:43132,707:44023,720:46291,747:46939,756:47911,770:48721,781:50260,806:50584,811:51070,819:51961,828:52933,843:54958,870:58934,898:59198,903:60518,935:61046,945:61508,954:63356,999:63620,1004:65534,1046:66128,1057:68108,1108:68702,1120:69296,1132:69626,1138:70220,1150:70748,1159:71672,1175:72464,1191:73124,1203:73586,1211:73916,1217:78264,1248:78648,1256:78904,1261:79544,1272:80376,1287:80888,1296:81656,1311:83576,1368:84408,1384:85304,1406:85624,1412:85880,1417:86136,1422:86456,1428:87288,1448:87928,1463:88248,1469:89336,1491:89912,1504:90552,1518:90872,1524:92088,1545:92344,1550:92664,1556:93112,1565:98040,1581:98530,1589:100360,1612
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sekazi Mtingwa's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his father's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his stepfather

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his schools

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes when he first decided to become a physicist

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his high school extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his high school mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about transitioning from high school to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the formation of the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about why he chose physics as his field

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his mentors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about Alexander Pushkin pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about Alexander Pushkin pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his time at Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about changing his name

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes assisting in the establishment of a university in Tanzania

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes what he did after receiving his doctoral degree from Princeton University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his work at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa explains the Higgs boson, dark matter, and dark energy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the Harold Washington Campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes why he joined the group at Argonne National Laboratory

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about being featured in several magazines

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in various African organizations

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his physics research as an exchange scholar in the Soviet Union

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about racial prejudice in the field of physics

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the International Linear Collider

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his time as the Chair of the Physics Department at North Carolina A & T University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the African Laser Centre

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes how the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has changed since he was a student

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about visiting Russia for a nuclear waste disposal examination

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his awards and recognitions

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his study 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce for Twenty-first Century Problems'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his involvement in President Barack Obama's campaigns

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about being the chair of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Study

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his visit to Tanzania

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement with organization that provide access to scientific instruments

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his involvement in the African Physical Society

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his work on textbooks

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sekazi Mtingwa describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sekazi Mtingwa reflects on his life

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sekazi Mtingwa talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Sekazi Mtingwa talks about the black student union at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sekazi Mtingwa describes his study 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce for Twenty-first Century Problems'
Transcript
Tell us about the beginnings of the black student union at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts]?$$Okay. So we had a group, maybe about ten students, who would get together informally to meet. And you have to understand that the context of that period, with the Vietnam War, protests going on all over the place, you know, the Black Liberation Movement was in full swing. So, some of us, you know, were a part of that type of way of thinking, and we wanted to try to move MIT ahead. So we formed around 1968, probably the fall of '68 [1968]. The first co-chairs were Shirley Jackson, and I think The HistoryMakers did an interview of her. She's now president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [Troy, New York]. And James Turner, who was a graduate student--in fact, at that time, they were both graduate students. Shirley was three years ahead of me. So my sophomore year, she was a first-year graduate student. James Turner, I think he must have been about a third or fourth-year graduate student in physics; they were both in physics. And James Turner actually most--he went on to become a top official at the Department of Energy, and most recently, I think, he's been at the Department of Commerce. But he had quite a career at the top levels of federal government. But, yeah, we basically met and we decided, "Hey let's just do this." And so we formed. And we tried to--one of the biggest initiatives was to get more black students into MIT. So we worked hard on that. And so, at the end of my sophomore year going into the junior year, that entering class went from the typical five-ish to fifty-three. And so the numbers have been big ever since. And, in fact, to this day MIT, again, admits only out of a thousand, eleven hundred students; about 20 percent of those are African Americans; and another 20 percent or so are Latino-Americans. So that we've (simultaneous)--$$(Unclear)--$$--come a long ways. Yeah. But it's interesting. One of the interesting things that helped the African American presence is the students who are immigrants or who are children of African Caribbean immigrants, because that's one thing that you note from the names when you meet many of the students. So that has really helped us intellectually. The black community in this country intellectually has been tremendously enhanced by immigrant students. They come here with a parent wanting a better life for their children, and so they come with that, you know, "Go to college, get your degree," and all that. And you can see the pay off. I don't think we could hit 20 percent of the students, African American students, if we didn't have the immigrants.$$They have a good observation.$$Yeah. It's a great thing. I tend to be a Pan-African, is to me, whether you're from the Caribbean, the continental of the U.S., we're all African peoples.$$Is this something you learned at home or something that you--$$No. I got so much at home, but just as I developed as a graduate student--really as a graduate student, I really became, you know, convinced that, you know, we're all the same. And then having traveled to Africa, you know, so many times. I think that the way people colonize, it's just--it's very similar to--the stories you hear are very similar to the stories of people like me out of Jim Crow South.$$Okay. Just in a different location.$$Just in a different location.$$Similar situations.$$Similar situations, yeah. Yeah.$$And--now. All right. So, the BSU [black student union] really made some gains (unclear).$$Oh, yeah. Definitely. Definitely.$$And I know it still exists actually.$$It still exists. It still exists.$$Shot a picture of it when I was there (simultaneous) (unclear)--$$Oh, you did? All right. That was great.$$--I was walking down the hallway and I saw it. And I said, "Oh, this is the famous BSU at MIT." And I thought--I shot it on my phone (simultaneous) (unclear)--$$Oh, really. Okay.$$--as to--yeah.$$(unclear), you know, it's still alive and well.$$Yeah. Yeah. So many of the people we met were a part--$$It was a part of that, yes.$Now, you were on the Nuc-- the 'Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce.'$$Okay, yeah. So that was a study I did because I'm--we have a real problem with training, you know, the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers. And at one point, the Department of Energy, DOE, was cutting back funding the university programs, so I was concerned. You know, if you start cutting back, who is going to operate? Who's going to design the next generation of nuclear reactors if the people are not being educated? So we did this study, and we pointed out to them, you know, how many people are graduating, how much money is going into the university programs. And this report turned out to be extremely important in convincing DOE to turn its attitude around toward university education. And so since this report, their 20 percent of the nuclear fuel--Research and Development Budget--nuclear fuel cycle, Research and Development Budget is going to universities. So, I mean, that's like a big flip from not wanting to give in until now, 20 percent of your funding is going to universities. And that's important. Most of the money goes to the National Laboratories to work on the big problems of nuclear waste storage and so forth. But you need to have university professors and students working on new ideas. You know, turn them loose and let them dream and pursue blue-sky research, because you don't know what major revolution they may start up; what major breakthrough. And so that was the point of that whole story, to try to get more money going to universities to promote students and new ideas.

Ketevi Assamagan

Physicist Ketevi Adikle Assamagan was born in Port-Gentil, Gabon on March 12th, 1963. After raduating from high school, Assamagan attended the University of Benin in Togo, West Africa, and earned his B.S. degree in 1985. Assamagan was then awarded a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant award to purse higher education in the United States. He went on to graduate from Ball State University in 1989 with his M.S. degree in theoretical condensed matter physics and his Ph.D. degree in nuclear and particle physics from the University of Virginia in 1995.

After earning his Ph.D. degree, Assamagan became a postdoctoral research associate in the Jefferson Lab at Hampton University. There, he worked on a project called the spectrometer wire chamber, which helped gather information about light. Assamagan developed a system for the rotation and angular position of the spectrometer, which contributed to its data collection of certain properties of light. Assamagan remained at Hampton until 1998, when he took a position as a research associate at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. From 1998 to 2001, Assamagan worked with CERN's particle accelerator to find the Higgs Boson, a large elementary particle whose existence has not yet been proven. It is thought to play a role in how other elementary particles get their masses. In 2001, Assamagan was hired by the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory where he works on a physics project called the ATLAS Project. In addition to his research in particle physics, Assamagan has also supervised and mentored both graduate and undergraduate students. Additionally, he helped to organize the African School of Fundamental Physics, an educational workshop funded in part by Brookhaven National Laboratory. The workshop is intended to give students around the world and in Africa the resources and support that they need to be internationally competitive physicists.

Assamagan is a member of the American Physics Society, the National Society of Black Physicist, and the African Physical Society. He is a recipient of the Brookhaven National Laboratory Outstanding Student Mentoring Award.

Assamagan lives and works in New York.

Physicist Ketevi Assamagan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.104

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/12/2013

Last Name

Assamagan

Maker Category
Middle Name

Adikle

Occupation
Schools

University of Benin

Ball State University

University of Virginia

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ketevi

Birth City, State, Country

Gabon

HM ID

ASS03

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/12/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Upton

Country

West Africa

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Physicist Ketevi Assamagan (1963 - ) has worked on the cutting edge of physics research at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.and for the the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Employment

University of Virginia

Hampton University

European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Favorite Color

Gray

Timing Pairs
0,0:14040,102:14480,107:22123,151:37150,299:37774,309:38086,314:38632,323:39412,331:39724,336:50140,450:51280,470:58304,539:70036,645:74810,806:80208,833:82557,851:85939,893:88512,915:94060,979:94420,1083:131900,1504:132316,1509:150480,1772:153980,1850:154540,1859:161546,1941:178330,2226:181866,2312:185274,2331:186562,2385:217612,2765:218032,2771:234830,2911:236630,2928:237330,2936:248098,3078:248734,3086:249264,3092:257676,3303:259601,3385:307352,3829:317070,3941:321966,4004:334040,4165:345826,4310:349945,4380:358488,4480:359076,4488:363388,4540:364956,4567:373084,4649:374842,4668:379156,4690:381796,4734:382654,4749:383182,4759:383710,4769:389320,4823:393504,4841:393892,4846:394280,4851:401260,4931:401520,4936:411970,5034:418727,5101:419141,5108:426600,5215:429480,5263$0,0:27670,306:38310,391:40229,411:40633,416:44610,447:44958,452:46611,478:47307,493:50700,549:65177,775:68344,826:71870,856:83005,1037:113692,1358:149360,1691:157640,1840:158150,1847:168541,1948:169672,1970:170455,1981:176187,2045:186030,2185:186430,2191:190186,2228:190442,2234:193080,2258:214201,2479:220525,2569:225916,2679:227407,2703:227975,2713:240278,2904:244256,2949:254985,3061:319810,4045
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ketevi Assamagan's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan describes the family life of the Fon tribe

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the slave trade in the Kingdom of Dahomey

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan shares a West African parable

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his father's occupation as an auto mechanic

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about how his parents' marriage

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about religion

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes the religion of the Fon

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan compares Catholicism and the Fon religion

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his childhood neighborhood in Togo

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about music in Togo

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his primary school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about living with his grandparents during primary school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his primary school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his experience in primary school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about living in Aneho, Togo for middle school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the difficulty of obtaining education in Togo

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his middle school education and Gnassingbe Eyadema

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his mentors in middle school

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his high school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his mentors in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about being left-handed in Togo

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ketevi Assamagan describes graduating from high school

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about paying for his university education pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about paying for his university education pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his time at the University of Benin

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the lack of instruments and facilities at the University of Benin

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his extracurricular activities at the University of Benin

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about receiving a scholarship to attend graduate school in the United States

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his transition from Togo to Ball State University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his time at Ball State University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his extracurricular activities at Ball State University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the transition from Ball State University to the University of Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his time at the University of Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his doctoral dissertation

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his time as a post-doctoral fellow at Hampton University

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his research at Hampton University and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ketevi Assamagan describes the Higgs boson pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the Higgs boson pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan describes how an accelerator works pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan describes how an accelerator works pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan describes how an accelerator works pt. 3

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his work on the muon spectrometer

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his positions in the ATLAS project

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan describes the pile-up problem in particle accelerators

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan describes being the Higgs Working Group Convener for ATLAS

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his involvement in scientific collaborations

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan describes teaching in South Africa

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the discovery of a Higgs-like particle pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the discovery of a Higgs-like particle pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the Large Hadron Collider pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the Large Hadron Collider pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the research of the ATLAS project pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about the research of the ATLAS project pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Ketevi Assamagan reflects on his life

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his involvement in mentoring students

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Ketevi Assamagan reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Ketevi Assamagan describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Ketevi Assamagan talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$9

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Ketevi Assamagan describes his doctoral dissertation
Ketevi Assamagan talks about the research of the ATLAS project pt. 1
Transcript
Tell us what your Ph.D. dissertation was about.$$Yeah, no, it was about measuring the fraction of the time where the, you know, an elementary particle that we call the pion decays in a particular way. So where, which is like one part, in 108. That's, you know, how rare it is, this decay. But we wanted to find that and measure that particular rate precisely. One part in 108 is what the theories tell us. We wanted to measure it. And if we do that with very good precision, we should be able to extract some theoretical predictions which will help us understand what we call the standard model. So--$$So the standard model, explain what that is for people who are watching this. Well, what is the standard model in physics?$$Yeah, the standard model is basically of particle, fundamental particle physics. It's basically a collection of our understanding of how fundamental particle work and what are the forces that governs their inaction with matter, you know, as we know in the universe. So--$$Is this like a theory of matter, like the basic theory?$$Yeah, it is--yes, it's a collection of theories that fits together to create a picture of nature for us, for the standard, for the fundamental particles.$$And the, but there's still a lot of questions involved in the standard, but it's not just--it's not a fixed standard or is there a lot of questions within that being answered all the time or people are trying to work on, right?$$Yes, it's, we have realized that it is theory that has been proven against experiment. So we believe that our understanding is on the right track. But there are lot of things that we still don't understand so it's clear that a standard model, although it has been very successful, cannot be the complete view of nature. There are a lot of things that we still don't understand and that nowadays in particle physics, we call them "beyond the standard model". So these are things that, new things that we should find to clarify our understanding for it.$$Okay, so you were studying, what they call the p-meson (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$Yeah, it's the pion, yeah, (simultaneous)--$$Pion meson--$$Yeah, it's the pi-meson, yeah.$$Okay.$$So, it has a particular decay. If you measure that precisely, it will tell us a lot of information about the standard. For example, why do we have three type of neutrinos? Why hasn't nature made four type, you know? And so if you measure these things, perimeter precisely, it will tell us whether there's room for the fourth one. So that's what we were studying in this experiment.$$And by decay of a particle, we're talking, I mean we're talking about a period where the particle exists and then it fades out of existence or some--or what is it?$$Yeah, exactly. A lot of these particles, they are unstable. So it's like radioactive decay, if you will. So they have what we call a mean lifetime. So if you have ten thousand of them sitting there at one time, and you came back two years later, by then they would have all decay away or a fraction of them would have decay. So, and many of these particles, they exist very briefly. So they are created, and then they begin to disappear by disintegrating. So the energy has to be conserved, yeah. So in physics, we hold true the fundamental understanding that energy is not lost. It's always conserved. So the particle is created with some energy, and then disintegrate into other particles, and the energy that is used to create it, is still one that is used to create the new particle into which it has disintegrated. So when you do energy balance, you have to check out. But a lot of these particles that we see, they don't live very long.$$Okay, so what did you find out, in your research on the pion?$$Yeah, so what we did was, when we measured this rate, we improved the precision quite a lot over previous measurement. It wasn't, we were not a first to measure this way. And, but because the previous measurement didn't have a good precision, there was a lot of room for uncertainty. You couldn't tap because the measurement has a lot of errors, I mean not errors, but uncertainty as we call it. So we redesigned the experiment in order to reduce those uncertainties so that our measurement will be precise. The more precise it is, you know, you will be in a better position to say, "Okay, we know this parameter to this precision. Therefore, there is not much room for speculation or for other things." So we are able to improve the precision on the measurement by quite a huge factor. And it was 4 percent, the previous measurement. We got it to, we got it down to point--half a percent, to half a percent. So that was almost a factor of eight improvement in the precision, so, which was very good because it eliminated a lot of speculations about the existence of this more than three type of neutrinos and things like that. So it means that our measurement says that the standard model assumption, if you will, of neutrinos is more or less, you know, more and more correct. In fact, we don't--if there is any provability of a fourth generation of these neutrinos, it's very, very small. And that's what our, you know--whereas the previous measurement could not say that more effectively.$Can you talk about the objectives of the ATLAS Physics project? I know that, I mean I've--I was reading a poster in the room when I came in. And the first objective was, it was to discover the unknown, unknown information (unclear)--$$Yeah, so it's, the program is really to be sensitive to phenomena in physics, phenomena in nature that we don't know yet or we're not familiar with. And progress in physics have been made that way, you know. More than a hundred years ago, people did not know the electron. They didn't know x-rays. They just were doing various experiments. These things show up and they have to study them, but when they saw them, then it really got interest and they studied further. And nowadays, electrons are used in all of the, our electronics things, as we call it, come from the understanding from what electron was, which people did not sit down and design. So that was the unknown at that point. That's what also we want to find out. If there's something out there that we could be sensitive to, we want to know about it because ultimately, it could benefit society. Today, the electron, all of our electronic stuff are based on our understanding of, you know, what the electron is and how to use it and so forth, you know.$$Okay, and now what about dark matter? What is ATLAS trying to do with dark matter?$$Yeah, we also want to discover what is the nature of dark matter. It is believed that our visible universe is not the full--doesn't carry the full mass of the universe as we know it. In other words, if you, you know, sit down and say, "Okay, I want to compute all of the masses that are in the universe," put them together and start adding them up, you know. Now, which you could do. There are the stars, all of the planet, the galaxies, we can do that. So that's our visible universe, things that we can see with the naked eye or we see from our telescope and so forth. When you do that, you come out to be like 4 percent of what is out there in the universe, 4, 4 percent. That means 96 percent is something else. Then, you know, matter as we know it, take the stars, galaxy, so forth. You add them up together. It's a very small fraction of our universe. Then, you know, people have studies how stars rotate in galaxies and how galaxies rotate, you know, around each other and things like that. And they have seen some deviation from Newton's Law. Newton's Law tell us exactly how these things should rotate. And from that deviation, you can infer that there is a large amount of matter in the universe that we are not directly sensitive to, which is called dark matter. It effects the rotation of some of these galaxies, some of these stars and galaxies and so forth. We cannot see it, but we know that these things are not obeying the laws of physics as we know it unless you assume that it's a large mass that is affecting them. So that is some dark matter, and that's like 23 percent of the universe. And then the rest is what we call dark energy. The rest, you know, if you take the 4 percent, 23 percent, you subtract out of the 100 percent, what is left is what we call dark energy. But it's even more bizarre than what we understand. Like, you know, we know, for example, galaxies are drifting away from each other. And the further they are, the further they are, the faster they are drifting away. And we don't know what this new force, or what is pushing them apart, but we know from Newton's Law, if you have two large bodies, they should be attracting each other. And so there is something bigger than gravity pulling this stuff apart. And that's what is dark energy. But at the LHC [Large Hadron Collider, with the Atlas detector we believe that we could be sensitive to detect a candidate of dark matter. The dark matter would be particle just like the Higgs boson or the proton or something. And we could be sensitive to it, and, and so that's one of the objective, to see whether dark matter is a particle of that could show up in the LHC experiment.

Warren Buck

Physicist Warren Wesley Buck, III was born on February 16, 1946 to Warren W. Buck, Jr. and Mildred G. Buck in Washington, D.C. He was raised in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Spingarn High School in 1963. After graduating from Morgan State University in 1968 with his B.S. degree in mathematics, Buck enrolled at the College of William and Mary where he received his M.S. degree in experimental and theoretical plasma physics in 1970 and his Ph.D. degree in theoretical relativistic nuclear physics in 1976.

Throughout his career, Buck has continued to do research in physics and has published numerous papers in academic journals. Most of his research interests focused on nuclear and subatomic particles, including studies of the interactions between particles and anti-particles and the nature of mesons and the quark model. Buck joined the faculty of Hampton University in 1984 after sailing on his motorless boat for three consecutive years from Massachusetts to the Bahamas. He became a full professor at Hampton University in 1989. He also helped create the Ph.D. program in physics, which was the first Ph.D. degree program at Hampton University. Buck was a member of the team that established the science program at the Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Virginia. He was also the founding director of the Nuclear/High Energy Physics Research Center of Excellence at Hampton University. In 1999, Buck was appointed chancellor and dean of the University of Washington, Bothell. He served in the position for six years. During his term, the University of Washington, Bothell became a four-year institution, and its new permanent campus was opened in the fall of 2000. Buck is also a painter, blending humanistic and physical elements in his art.

Buck has been recognized for his work as an educator and a researcher, being elected to membership in the American Physical Society (APS) and creating the popular Hampton University Graduate Studies (HUGS) summer school for nuclear physics graduate students worldwide. Buck was given the Hulon Willis Association Impact Award for his work within the African American community at the College of William and Mary. In 2001, Buck was named a “Giant in Science,” by the Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network. Buck has served on many advisory boards and committees, including the Committee on Education of the American Physical Society. He has also served on the board of directors of the Pacific Science Center. Buck married Cate Buck in 2006.

Warren Buck was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 29, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.084

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/29/2013

Last Name

Buck

Maker Category
Middle Name

Wesley

Occupation
Schools

Spingarn STAY High School

Lincoln University

Morgan State University

Johns Hopkins University

The College of William & Mary

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Warren

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

BUC01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Juan Islands

Favorite Quote

Everything will change. Nothing's permanent.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

2/16/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Seattle

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chili (Green)

Short Description

Physicist Warren Buck (1946 - ) , founding director of the Nuclear/High Energy Physics Research Center of Excellence at Hampton University, is chancellor emeritus and professor at the University of Washington, Bothell.

Employment

Science and Technology Program

University of Washington, Bothell

University of Washington, Seattle

Hampton University

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (CEBAF)

Gutenberg University

Morehouse College

Michigan State University

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center

College of William and Mary

University of Paris

State University of New York

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Bowie State University

John Hopkins University

Favorite Color

Cerulean Blue, Burnt Umber

Timing Pairs
0,0:2110,28:16990,314:19315,354:20059,363:28122,466:31870,495:32950,518:33190,523:36978,560:39835,591:42085,647:43060,663:43510,670:47097,696:47934,709:50350,721:50710,726:54520,778:55564,808:65775,912:66370,921:66965,929:68240,947:73005,995:80534,1066:80999,1072:83615,1086:84056,1096:84399,1104:84742,1113:84987,1119:88271,1162:88928,1174:102316,1329:111424,1415:111892,1422:112438,1431:113140,1443:119927,1552:120584,1562:127880,1669:136318,1784:136634,1789:139794,1830:140584,1844:141216,1858:149810,1992:150195,2001:169795,2251:171240,2284:171665,2290:174070,2301:178137,2393:178884,2403:179382,2410:182287,2447:182702,2453:183283,2461:189392,2514:189959,2524:193170,2565:195480,2625:196110,2656:196390,2662:199050,2723:199610,2733:199960,2739:206625,2796:207206,2804:212488,2863:212824,2868:220060,2935$0,0:13498,171:13946,176:22830,229:24744,254:25179,260:25962,280:29181,330:35514,377:36162,387:37602,413:38466,428:41992,463:42332,469:45460,532:47364,569:48112,589:64570,774:71106,851:82734,1080:90502,1126:91818,1144:93228,1165:93698,1171:94356,1179:95390,1191:100894,1256:102004,1272:102818,1284:114215,1438:118940,1596:127697,1862:127949,1937:139858,2046:140605,2060:141186,2087:146249,2180:146581,2185:151000,2201:151783,2207:152740,2219:154915,2249:155437,2256:162600,2324:165480,2332:166110,2342:175984,2446:176656,2491:177040,2496:183761,2602:184166,2608:191330,2715:193124,2752:193514,2758:203535,2881:203827,2887:204119,2893:204411,2898:208572,2991:209521,3012:210908,3041:218866,3127:220209,3152:223480,3192:223744,3197:225196,3230:249180,3565:249605,3571:249945,3576:250640,3603:262665,3704:263250,3715:267430,3777
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Warren Wesley Buck's interview - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his father, Warren Buck, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Slating of Warren Wesley Buck's interview - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Warren Wesley Buck lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Warren Wesley describes his mother's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Warren Wesley describes his mother's family background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Warren Wesley describes his mother's growing up in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Warren Wesley talks about his mother's experience at Lincoln University, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Warren Wesley describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Warren Wesley describes his father's growing up in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Warren Wesley talks about his father winning a lawsuit against the federal government

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his father's education and his employment as a draftsman

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Warren Wesley Buck describes how his parents met at Lincoln University

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about the neighborhoods where he grew up in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Warren Wesley Buck describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his experience with segregation at River Terrace Elementary School and Benning Elementary School

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his segregated neighborhood in Washington, D.C., and his extracurricular interests in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his childhood interest in scientific gadgets and science shows on television

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his childhood experiments with insects

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Warren Buck talks about his unfortunate experience with raising mice, and his growing up with boxer dogs named Jingles and Taffy

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Warren Buck talks about his demonstration of rain that received recognition at a district science fair, and his elementary school mentor, Mr. Downing

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Warren Buck describes his experience in junior high school, and the lack of mentoring that he received there

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Warren Buck describes his experience in the Boy Scouts, and talks about becoming an Eagle Scout

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Warren Buck describes his experience on his Boy Scouts trip to Philmont, New Mexico

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Warren Buck describes his academic experience at Spingarn High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Warren Buck describes his experience with running track at Spingarn High School, and the 440 yard dash at the Penn Relays

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Warren Buck talks about his academic performance and the poor counseling that he received at Spingarn High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about graduating from Spingarn High School and his decision to attend Lincoln University in Missouri

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his experience at Lincoln University in Missouri, and his decision to leave after the first two years

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his reasons for leaving Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his jobs in Washington, D.C. after he returned from Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about the Director of Selective Service who signed his deferment from the Vietnam War in 1965, allowing him to attend college

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his mentors and his academic achievement in mathematics and physics at Morgan State College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about how he met his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his positive college experience at Morgan State College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his decision to pursue graduate studies at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Warren Wesley Buck recalls the rioting in Washington, D.C. on the night that Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his mother's involvement in early childhood education, and her being one of the first teachers for the Head Start Program

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Warren Wesley Buck recalls facing discrimination in Williamsburg, but feeling welcomed by the physics department at the College of William and Mary

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his summer research experience at Johns Hopkins University's mechanics department in 1968

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his enthusiasm for his graduate work in the area of plasma physics at the College of William and Mary

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about founding the Black Student Organization at the College of William and Mary, and his political activism there

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his decision to leave the College of William and Mary with a master's degree in physics

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about nearly joining the Black Panther Party, his introduction into sailing, and the break-up of his first marriage

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his experience with integrating the Tampa Yacht Club in 1971

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his relationship with his master's degree advisor, Frederick Crownfield

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Warren Wesley Buck describes the scientific basis of his doctoral dissertation, titled 'Deuteron Wave Functions with Relativistic Interactions'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about the value of combining theoretical and experimental physics to understand a scientific problem

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about the discovery of the electron in 1898, and describes how a television works

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Warren Wesley Buck describes the findings of his doctoral dissertation, titled 'Deuteron Wave Functions with Relativistic Interactions'

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his father attending his scientific presentation at an American Physical Society [APS] meeting

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Warren Wesley Buck talks about his experience in the Bahamas in the spring of 1976, and describes his post-doctoral appointment at Stony Brook University

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Warren Wesley Buck describes his post-doctoral research on matter and anti-matter interactions, at Stony Brook University

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Warren Wesley Buck describes the scientific community's response to his post-doctoral research findings on matter and anti-matter interactions

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
Warren Wesley Buck recalls the rioting in Washington, D.C. on the night that Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated
Warren Wesley Buck describes his post-doctoral research on matter and anti-matter interactions, at Stony Brook University
Transcript
Okay, now you graduated for Morgan [State College, Baltimore, Maryland] in '68 [1968].$$'68, 1960--I graduated from Morgan in '68 [1968].$$And now just before you graduated, Dr. [Martin Luther] King was assassinated, right?$$Yes.$$Yeah, that--$$Yeah, so I was--that night that Dr. King was, was, was killed, I was working at the Recreation Department at Highland Park. And--$$This is here in D.C. [Washington, District of Columbia].$$In D.C.$$Okay.$$Yeah, and that night after he was shot, the place was quiet as I'd ever heard it. It was, it was definitely silent. I went--we were going outside and couldn't hear, I couldn't hear any birds or anything and it seemed like it was a, it, it was just ghostly quiet. And then suddenly everybody came out of their apartments and there was rioting. There was just rioting, rioting, they were burning cars and tires and it was really a, a frantic. And I remember leaving, closing down the, the rec center and at the time I lived on Massachusetts Avenue right by Union Station on the, on the I guess the south side of Union Station in an apartment complex which is still there. And that's--cause I would, I would walk to the station to go to, to get the train to go over to Baltimore every day. And I took the bus home and, and when I got to my stop, I got off the, the National Guard was all over the place. And in my neighborhood, a liquor store window had been broken into and people were stealing and the guard was out in the jeeps, the jeeps there were--it was a jeep parked right in front of my apartment complex. And I couldn't get in, so then I convinced them that I lived there. So they, they were actually quite nice. I didn't feel like I was harassed. I never was pushed and, and, and you know, handcuffed or anything like that. I never, never felt like I was in that level of danger or, or suspicion. But I just talked my way in and got into the apartment and never came out, but that was a night where, you know, half the city was being burned. And it was a, it was a miserable, it was a miserable night, just a miserable night that this man who literally put his life out there to change our lives. To, put, put us in a much better place was killed. And my--I think about that because I think certainly in the black community, leaders get their heads knocked off. Every, you know every time you stick up and try to do something really well, and make something happen, the white society will kill you, move you out, you disappear, you know something happens. And this was one more of those things and I think what led to those riots was this was the last straw. You know this was like, this is it. And so people, you know people were burning not their own stuff because of, of not liking their own stuff, but there was nothing left to do. You know, despair at its, at its worse. Just pure despair. And so yeah, so that was the year--I graduated that year.$So went to Stony Brook [University, Stony Brook, New York] and I think it was 11,000 dollars a year job, post-doc. And with a, with a girlfriend. And we got married the next year at Stony Brook, Linda Horn. And had an amazing time at Stony Brook. So right away I got put on a project that was on antimatter, matter-antimatter interactions. And basically you do these wave functions again, these nuclear wave functions in a special way. And so it was really quite nice to make a, have a--it's a transformation that you make, a mathematical transformation that you make on the, on the theoretical construct of the, of the potential. And, and voila! You have matter/antimatter interaction going. So did these calculations with a fellow from Paris [France] and a fellow from Brookhaven National Lab [Upton, New York], Carl Dover at Brookhaven who became a big mentor for me. And (unclear) at Paris and so we had the world's best nuclear potentials at our, at our call. Of course the people from, from Bonn, Germany thought theirs was the best, but we, we thought we had the best ones. And, and we could look at all the different ways of theory would predict these nuclear antinuclear interactions and come with--come up with a, an average. Kind of like a, a model independent study they'd call it so that we'd find out what things are--what characteristics are common to all of them. And then, and then we couldn't get the paper published. And we tried and tried and tried. And finally got it published, and the moment we got it published, everybody wanted a copy. It was a, it was a blockbuster hit. It was really quite, quite nice.$$Something that really stretched what people thought, thought they knew at that time?$$They thought they knew what they were doing. I always seem to get caught up in things where nobody knows what they're--haven't done before. I seem to find these things, these areas where nobody's been before and I love that, actually love that kind of--$$Let's kind of slow this down a minute and tell us like what did you, what did, did you all find that other people didn't know?$$So we were the, we were the only ones, we were the first and only ones who could, could give a good description of what the bound states would be. So for example with the deuteron, there's only one bound state. With the, with the atoms, with the, the hydrogen atom for example, there's a lot of bound states. That is to say that the electron and the proton in the atom stay together no matter what the excitation is. Well it's not no matter what the excitation is, but this is a large range of excitations you can give to the hydrogen atom, and it still stays bound. For a deuteron, you can only have one excitation and it will break apart. So this is--it's very delicate. With the, with the nucleon, antinuclear atomic state or nuclear states, there was many, many, many states. Not quite as many as the, as the, as the elect--as they hydrogen atom, but a lot of states. And they're deeply bound. So instead of being repulsive when they get close, they're attractive when they get close. So it's really very strong, very powerful forces. And of course there's also annihilation part of it. It can annihilate, there's a huge annihilation cross-section which means it--the--once they get to a certain point and slow down, then become at rest, they just blow up. And they break up into a bunch of proton, excuse me, pions and photons, so it's a lot of, a lot of energy coming out. And basically it, it has, it has about 100 to 1,000 times more energy in the interactions than the regular nuclear force. So it's very powerful, a very powerful interaction. And here I was working on this, so, so we worked on it and published a nice paper on it.

Alfred Msezane

Research physicist Alfred Z. Msezane was born on December 31, 1938 in South Africa. His father, Albert, was a businessman and his mother, Esther, a housewife. Msezane enrolled in the University of South Africa in 1960, where he studied the shape and behavior of one of the most fundamental particles – the electron. Msezane graduated from the University of South Africa in 1964 with his B.S. degree in physics. Msezane then travelled to Canada to conduct research and study at the University of Saskatchewan in Ontario, Canada, where he received his M.S. degree in physics in 1968. Msezane returned to South Africa for a year to conduct research at the Nuclear Physics Research Unit of Witwaterstrand University. Msezane received his Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Western Ontario in 1973.

Msezane started his long career as a college professor at the University of New Brunswick in 1973 and became a physics instructor in 1976. Msezane immigrated to United States from Canada to complete his postdoctoral research at the Georgia State University in 1974. From 1978 to 1980, he served as a visiting professor at Louisiana State University. In 1980, Msezane joined the faculty of Morehouse College as an assistant professor of physics. He left Morehouse College in 1983 to become a professor at Atlanta University and served as chair of the physics department from 1986 to 1989. In 1988, Atlanta University merged with Clark University to become Clark Atlanta University, and Msezane remained on as a professor of physics. Msezane is the director of the Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems (CTSPS) at Clark Atlanta University. His research team investigates mathematical physics theory, solid matter, and image processing. Msezane’s research on electron interaction with matter and electron configuration within the atom has resulted in over 260 research papers published in scholarly journals.

Msezane is also a member of several professional societies, including the American Physical Society (APS) and the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). Msezane was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of Fort Hare (South Africa) in 1998, and is a recipient of the World University Service Scholarship.

Alfred Msezane works in Atlanta, Georgia.

Alfred Msezane was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 11, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.245

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/11/2012

Last Name

Msezane

Maker Category
Middle Name

Z.

Occupation
Schools

Western University

University of Saskatchewan

University of South Africa

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alfred

HM ID

MSE01

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I don't have till the second coming.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

12/31/1938

Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

South Africa

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Physicist Alfred Msezane (1938 - ) , an internationally renowned theoretical physicist, is the director of the Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems (CTSPS) at Clark Atlanta University.

Employment

Witwatersrand University

University of Western Ontario

Georgia State University

University of New Brunswick

Louisiana State University

Morehouse College

Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1674,27:3162,47:4836,70:23715,472:32400,527:35800,567:38520,620:38860,625:39285,631:43669,667:45489,686:46399,699:47673,715:59488,906:77630,1049$0,0:3116,45:6642,143:7052,150:7708,160:8036,166:9102,183:9676,192:10004,197:10414,204:10906,211:11234,216:17850,229:23870,262:24870,274:31600,316:32160,326:38320,427:45152,508:46608,520:47840,532:59306,586:102024,1121:102760,1130:103496,1139:109920,1202:111090,1216:112350,1234:112710,1239:124530,1368
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alfred Msezane's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes life in colonized South Africa

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes the people of Swaziland

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane talks about the colonial history of South Africa

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane talks about the Zulu tribe

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane talks about his father, and about how his parents met and married

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes his family's life in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane talks about his brother, Richard Msezane, and his first school in Johannesburg

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane talks about the toxic gases released from the gold mines of Johannesburg, South Africa

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience in St. Louis Catholic School and Thlakula School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane talks about World War II, and his community's involvement in the African National Congress [ANC]

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience in Thlakula School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes his decision to attend the University of Fort Hare, South Africa

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane describes the segregation of South African universities and professional practice under the apartheid government

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane describes the importance of education, as a South African

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience in InKamana High School and at the University of Fort Hare

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alfred Msezane describes the differences between the British and American education systems

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Alfred Msezane describes his decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree in physics at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at the University of Saskatchewan

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane describes his master's degree thesis research

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at the University of the Witwatersrand, and his departure from South Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane talks about his late wife, Gail Msezane

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes his Ph.D. dissertation research on collision theory

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane describes his reasons for not returning to South Africa after his Ph.D. degree

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane describes his post-doctoral experience at Georgia State University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at Louisiana State University and at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane talks about his funding relationship with the U.S. Department of Energy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane talks about his experience at Morehouse College, and the lack of research infrastructure at HBCUs

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at Clark Atlanta University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes his relationship with HistoryMaker Carlos Handy, and their contributions towards research at Clark Atlanta University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane talks about meeting Nelson Mandela

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane discusses his visits to South Africa and the country's current status of physics

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane talks upon the importance of a formal education to inform political commentary

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane talks about his participation in conferences, his research in nano-science, and his professional memberships

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane reflects upon his life's choices

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his preference for research over administration

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes his hopes and concerns for the African-American community today

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

7$7

DATitle
Alfred Msezane describes the importance of education, as a South African
Alfred Msezane describes his post-doctoral experience at Georgia State University
Transcript
You know, (unclear) I will have to say to you, when I was growing up, education was paramount. Now, I want to tell you, you know, what is interesting, because around 1960 or '62 [1962], 1960, there was a treason fire in South Africa, where many of the people, including Albert Luthuli [South African teacher and politician; president of the African National Congress; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and first African to win a Nobel Prize, 1960/1961] were rounded and charged with treason but where many of us learned was they had some excellent lawyers, like the Jewish community in South Africa was very strong. To cut a long story short, they defeated the government with its own laws, with its own prosecutors and judges, very impressive. So that was motivation for us to go to school. The intellectual capacity of these lawyers, yeah, it's not--it wasn't easy to defeat the South African government at that time. But they could. These people were freed, yeah, we know a treason trial in South Africa meant you would hang at the end of the day.$Okay, so you took a post-doctoral [position] here in the states, right?$$Right.$$Yeah--$$First at Georgia State [University, Atlanta, Georgia] with a friend of mine, Steve Manson. I must say that when I worked with Steve, Steve Manson, M-A-N-S-O-N, changed the dynamics of research completely because his model was first, we have to publish in a prestigious physics journals. Otherwise, we don't count. And that's what, you know, was imbedded in my head. For the first time, I could see us publishing in some of the prestigious physics journals.$$Okay, so when did you publish your first paper?$$Oh, no, about--my first paper was published in, when I was at Western Ontario [University of Western Ontario, London, Canada] for (unclear)--$$Okay.$$But with him, in this--between '75 [1975] and '79 [1979], we published lots of papers with Steve Manson here, and he exposed me to many of these very high-powered physicists. One of them is Ugo Fano from the University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois], one of the top physicists at that time, yep. And there's a large--and then he also made me attend the meetings of the American Physical Society and introduced me to many people. I also attended the international conferences. And that bothered me because you had, you don't see blacks, even in America.$$Well, not many.$$Yeah, even today, you still don't see many.

William Jackson

Chemist and academic administrator William M. Jackson was born on September 24, 1936 in Birmingham, Alabama. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from Morehouse College in 1956 and Catholic University of America, CUA in 1961, respectively. His expertise is in photochemistry, lasers chemistry, and astrochemistry.

Jackson has been a research scientist in industry at Martin Co (now Lockheed-Martin) and the government at the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). He has been an academician at the University of Pittsburgh (1969-1970), Howard University (1974-1985), and the University of California, Davis (UCD). He joined the faculty at UCD as a chemistry professor in 1985. He then became a distinguished professor in 1998, and chair of the chemistry department from 2000 to 2005. He was awarded millions of dollars in research and education grants and has taught and mentored under representative minority students at Howard University and UCD. Under his direction, the minority student population of the UCD chemistry graduate students increased. He continues to do research, as well as, recruiting and mentoring minority students in chemistry, even though he is officially retired.

In the field of astrochemistry, Jackson observed comets with both ground-based and satellite telescopes and used laboratory and theoretical studies to explain how the radicals observed in comets are formed. He led the team that made the first satellite (IUE) telescope cometary observation. His laboratory developed tunable dye lasers to detect and determine the properties of free radicals formed during the photodissociation of stable molecules. He continued to use lasers in the laboratory to map out the excited states of small molecules important in comets, planetary atmospheres, and the interstellar medium decompose into reactive atoms and radicals and are important in the chemistry of these astronomical bodies. Jackson published over 176 scientific papers, has a United States patent, and has edited two books.

Jackson is the recipient of many awards from universities and scientific organizations. They include the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Percy Julian Award (1986), a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1989), the CUA alumni award for scientific achievements (1991), the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award (1996), the Morehouse College Bennie Trail Blazer award (2011) and election as a Fellow in the American Physical Society (1995), in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004) in, and American Chemical Society (2010). He is one of the six founders of NOBCChE; and in 1996, the Planetary Society named asteroid 1081 EE37 as (4322) Billjackson in his honor for contributions to planetary science.

William M. Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 6, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.212

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/6/2012 |and| 12/2/2017

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Middle Name

M

Occupation
Schools

Catholic University of America

Morehouse College

Central High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

JAC32

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/24/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Davis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Astrophysicist William Jackson (1936 - ) was one of the founders of NOBCChE and a fellow of the APS, ACS, and AAAS. He also had an asteroid named in his honor.

Employment

University of California, Davis

University of Pittsburgh

Howard University

Diamond Ordinance Fuse Laboratory

Martin Marietta Corporation

National Bureau of Standards (NBS)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center

University of California Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

National Taiwan University

Goddard Space Flight Center

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:15515,163:28614,193:32145,244:33108,254:36104,392:50357,444:65905,624:106326,920:107318,930:125850,1129:132891,1200:136092,1265:137062,1277:137450,1282:142670,1340:143070,1346:146700,1412:174982,1720:194302,1908:194944,1916:248236,2373:258401,2418:259065,2432:259729,2441:260476,2453:261057,2461:269300,2514:275081,2573:278615,2662:303612,2919:308022,2994:308984,3017:309576,3027:322600,3210:323400,3219:327762,3271:332861,3425:335840,3503:360564,3743:365566,3793:366076,3799:366484,3804:367198,3817:385084,4000:417774,4337:418458,4347:435998,4464:437131,4476:437955,4485:442584,4496:443352,4503:445000,4510:452140,4589:452524,4594:454636,4640:488588,4878:489596,4901:495116,4954:495980,4981:499688,5025:501436,5059:502880,5086:503412,5094:503716,5099:512834,5201:514210,5267:519800,5297:521720,5327:522488,5334:522968,5340:540610,5423$0,0:903,13:2193,33:18834,251:26954,263:27489,269:34837,371:39167,401:40278,414:66847,667:90950,892:98650,974:99090,979:104730,1003:113942,1043:115760,1054:132349,1188:137302,1243:148473,1363:158424,1483:165220,1513:173958,1636:189736,1864:206443,2022:216494,2127:217421,2137:242962,2378:263669,2516:266295,2553:279324,2682:324451,3145:324906,3151:359621,3469:380579,3652:401920,3852
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Jackson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes his mother's family baclground

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes his father's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Jackson describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Jackson talks about his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes the racial climate of Birmingham, Alabama in his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Jackson talks about his home on Dynamite Hill

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes the difference between "black" and "colored"

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Jackson describes his experience with polio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his involvement in sports

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his recovery from polio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes his experience at Immaculate Catholic School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Jackson talks about his decision to attend Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his experience at Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes his social life at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Jackson talks about Dr. Benjamin Mays

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Jackson talks about Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Jackson talks about those that influenced him

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Jackson talks about his decision to attend the Catholic University of America

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his influences at the Catholic University of America

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Jackson talks about meeting is wife

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Jackson describes his research

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Jackson talks about completing his Ph.D. degree

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his work at the Martin-Marietta Company and the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes his work at the Goddard Space Flight Center

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes the faculty at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his work at the University of Pittsburgh

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes his inspiration for building his laser

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his work at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his decision to work at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes his work at the University of California and abroad

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Jackson talks about efforts to produce more minority Ph.D.s in science (part 1)

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Jackson talks about efforts to produce more minority Ph.D.'s in science (part 2)

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William Jackson talks about his work as Chair of the Chemistry Department at University of California, Davis

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his early interest in chemistry, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his early interest in chemistry, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William Jackson talks about his decision to become a physical chemist

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes how he came to attend Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William Jackson talks about his research assistant position at Catholic University of America

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William Jackson remembers his classmates at Catholic University of America

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - William Jackson talks about his Ph.D. work at the National Bureau of Standards, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - William Jackson talks about his Ph.D. work at the National Bureau of Standards, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - William Jackson talks about the instruments he used in his Ph.D. work

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes the history of instruments and processes in chemistry

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes his work at Martin Marietta Corporation

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes his reasons for leaving Martin Marietta Corporation, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his reasons for leaving Martin Marietta Corporation, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - William Jackson recalls his reasons for returning to the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - William Jackson describes his research at the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - William Jackson remembers his coworkers at the National Bureau of Standards

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his experiences with racial discrimination at Martin Marietta Corporation

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - William Jackson talks about the role of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - William Jackson talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - William Jackson recalls his reasons for leaving the Goddard Space Flight Center

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - William Jackson describes his role at the Goddard Space Flight Center, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes his role at the Goddard Space Flight Center, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - William Jackson talks about his research on photodissociation at the Goddard Space Flight Center

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - William Jackson talks about his research of free radicals using tunable light sources

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - William Jackson talks about the applications of his work in free radicals

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - William Jackson remembers the formation of NOBCChE

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - William Jackson talks about the creation of NOBCChE, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - William Jackson talks about the creation of NOBCChE, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - William Jackson describes the NOBCChE's Minority Resource Centers for Science and Engineering, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - William Jackson describes the NOBCChE's Minority Resource Centers for Science and Engineering, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - William Jackson talks about the early years of the Minority Resource Centers for Science and Engineering

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - William Jackson talks about women in the sciences

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - William Jackson remembers the faculty and staff of the Howard University Department of Chemistry

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - William Jackson talks about the funding of the Howard University Department of Chemistry

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - William Jackson remembers his professorship at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - William Jackson describes his sabbatical at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Erlangen, Germany

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - William Jackson recalls his reasons for coming to the University of California, Davis, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - William Jackson recalls his reasons for coming to the University of California, Davis, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - William Jackson talks about his rank of professorship at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes his positions at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - William Jackson talks about the lack of African American professors at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - William Jackson describes his role as chair of the chemistry department at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - William Jackson talks about his research at the University of California, Davis

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - William Jackson describes his research in surface chemistry

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - William Jackson talks about the implications of his research on climate change

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - William Jackson talks about the effect of politics on the STEM industries

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - William Jackson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - William Jackson remembers the Ph.D. students he taught

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - William Jackson describes the role of a Ph.D. mentor and advisor

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - William Jackson reflects upon his life

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - William Jackson shares his advice for aspiring chemists

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

5$3

DATitle
William Jackson describes his experience at Morehouse College
William Jackson describes his work at the Goddard Space Flight Center
Transcript
Okay, alright. So, okay, Morehouse. So, now was it much more challenging at Morehouse than it was in high school?$$I didn't get all A's, so yeah. Yeah, I mean, yeah, it was.$$Okay. Now, at Morehouse there was the great Dr. Henry McBay that everybody talks about.$$Right.$$We hear his name over and over again in these interviews.$$Right.$$What was your relationship like with Dr. McBay? What was he like?$$I did not take chemistry in high school, and I told you, my stepfather was a dentist. School started on a Monday, so the way I was going to get to Morehouse, he had to drive me up there. And so, he was going to drive me up there on, he wanted to leave on Saturday morning. And Mobile is about 250 miles from Atlanta, and then there were no interstate highways in those days, 1952. So, Harry Truman was president, and the interstate didn't come in until Eisenhower was elected. And he started it. So, he wanted to drive up that weekend. I think we started, and he had to come back so he wouldn't have to close his practice for the half a day on Saturday. So, we left, and I got there a couple days earlier than most of the freshmen, than all of the freshmen, in fact. It was early enough for me to talk to the upper classmen who were going to be assigned to work with the freshmen when they got there. In fact, when the other freshmen got there, they thought I was an upper classman. But in talking to the upper classmen, they said, "Well, what are you going to major in?" I said, "I'm going to major in math." They said, "Well, that's good. Don't take chemistry, because McBay is going to flunk you." At that point in my life, I didn't, you know, I was, I didn't believe that. And I didn't, I took it as a challenge, you know. I enrolled in general chemistry. Fortunately, I got a C the first semester and a B the second semester. But I got hooked. I liked the way, I mean, he made it interesting. He was a very good lecturer. He was very difficult, but I thought he was very fair. He didn't give you anything, but he didn't take anything away from you.$$So, you didn't start off setting the world on fire in chemistry. You got a C. Now, you're like fourteen years old, or fifteen?$$Fifteen.$$Fifteen, okay.$$My son did better in chemistry than I did.$$Okay.$$But, yeah, I got a C, but that's okay. I mean, you asked me my relationship with him. After I finished college, and got finished with graduate school, and started publishing papers, we had a very good relationship. When I finished Morehouse, he wanted me to stay at Atlanta University and get a master's degree. And I didn't see any reason why I should do that, even though my grades weren't that good. So, I had been accepted to Northwestern [Northwestern University] and Purdue [Purdue University], but couldn't go because I didn't have any money to go, and they didn't give me any assistantship. So, I moved up to Washington, D.C. [District of Columbia] because I had a cousin there, who said, "Well, with your degree in chemistry you can get a job in the federal government." So, I went around all that summer looking for jobs in the federal government. But in the process, I knew I wanted to go into physical chemistry. And I kept asking, well what's the best school for physical chemistry? And they kept saying Catholic University, which was about a mile from where I was staying with my cousin.$$I want to stop this right here and then go back. We skipped the whole Morehouse experience, which we need to get to before we get you to graduate school. And Morehouse, I mean, you were telling me when we were walking around the campus earlier with you, your roommate was Maynard Jackson, right?$$Yeah, my freshman roommate.$$Your freshman roommate. And there was another student there that people might know, another one was Charles Brown, right?$$Right.$$Who's a Reverend. You didn't have any idea that he was going to be a Reverend at the time?$$No. Let's see. There were a lot of people there. I mean there was Charles Brown, there was Maynard Jackson, there was Till, who only stayed two years. After the first two years he went back to Texas and got his undergraduate degree and became a neurosurgeon, and teaches at Howard University Medical School.$$What's his name?$$Till, T-I-L-L.$$Okay.$$Aaron Jackson was a chemistry major. He died recently, but was a urologist. He taught at Howard University. Major Owens, who was and still is a Congressman from New York. And that's only a small number of the ones that come to my mind right now.$$Now, you weren't the only early admitted student, right? So, there were other--$$One, everyone that I named was an early admitted student. There were about twenty five or thirty of us. Most of them were really smart. And a guy from Chicago by the name of Joe Carl, I remember him. I can't remember all the people in the class at this stage. But it was a pretty--in fact, there are people who say we were the most famous class at Morehouse. There were others who tried to rival us, but given the fact that out of seventy five students, the accomplishments of that class were outstanding.$$Okay. So, but there were about thirty early admitted students?$$Right. But the program continued after that. Walter Massey, who was president of Morehouse, was a couple years later. So, I mean, there were--so there were, it was a pretty distinguished class.$Now this is, you're at Goddard's Space Flight Center at the beginning of, and I guess the most publicized era for U.S. space flight?$$That's right. So I mean, it was, Goddard, NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] was getting money at that time. There were a couple of things that I did that you talked about. You asked me about astrochemistry. It was there that I started using my knowledge of chemistry and applying it to comets, which is what I was hired to do, and trying to understand the physical and chemical processes occurring in comets, and why they look the way the look, what they're made of. And so I started working on problems like that.$$How did you study the comet, I mean did you study the names of comets, or--$$Well, primarily, comets are studied by spectroscopic observation. You look at, use telescopes and measure the spectra. And spectra are the signatures for molecules in comets. And from the ground we can see signatures of free radicals like C-N, O-H, just barely. CN-OH, C-2, C-3 and N-H. That's the first clue. There's other things. You could just look at the orbits and see how the orbits change in periodic comets. And a famous scientist by the name of Fred Whipple figured out that when they evaporate material as they heat up going around the sun, that material, when you go to have a force go in one direction, it exerts in the equal and opposite direction, remembering the second law of motion. So, that slight motion changes the orbit, and if you measure it precisely, you can determine how much force was involved. And he wrote a really brilliant paper, where he used that information, and he came up with what we call the icy nucleus model. The comets are made up of frozen water with various materials inside, and when the water evaporates, it pushes back on the comet, and that's what causes this chain to orbit. And so, you look at that and you try to figure out well, then, how do free radicals come about? And we showed that they come about and that you can make sense out of it by photo association. That means light from the sun. Molecules absorb radiation from the sun and break apart. For example, water, H20, absorbs light and breaks apart H plus O-H, and we see the O-H. HCN breaks apart and gives you C-N plus H, and so forth and so on. So, I worked on those kinds of problems. I wrote a, NASA was setting up a telescope called the IUE telescope. They did ask for an ultraviolet exploratory telescope. And I used, I proposed that we could use their telescope to study the ultra violet emissions spectrum above the atmosphere of the earth, so that you could see things that you could not see from the earth.$$Now this is, correct me if I'm wrong. This is about 1974?$$The proposal was written to use a telescope, was written before that, because it takes five years to send up a satellite.$$Okay. You started, got it in '64' [1964].$$Right.$$That's ten ten years. That was in '74' [1974].$$'74' [1974]. We actually made the observations in '74' [1974], '75' [1975]. But I wrote, I was the principal investigator on the observations.$$And this is the first team to use the ultra violet explorer.$$Explorer, that's right. And the interesting thing, to me, was the astronomers who designed the telescope said we wouldn't get a big enough signal from a comet to be able to use it. But I showed that you, in fact, could do that. Because I showed them a piece of paper, and we actually made the first observations. The signal was about what I had predicted it was going to be. So, being a chemist, it felt good to prove the astronomers wrong.$$Okay. So--$$That telescope went on to make some of the most significant observations of comets.$$Okay.$$And the newer versions of the HST telescope and so forth is still making significant observations of comets.

William Evans

Research physicist and research manager William J. Evans was born on September 16, 1965 in Chicago, Illinois to Billy Joe and Allie Bell Evans. He received his B.S. degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology. Evans went on to attend Harvard University, where he earned his S.M. degree and Ph.D. degrees in physics.

In 1995, Evans was hired as a full-time staff researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). At LLNL, Evans works with scientists from multiple academic disciplines such as biology, chemistry, and physics to solve global problems. Although Evans received his education in physics, his work at LLNL encompasses aspects of physics, chemistry, and materials science. Such an interdisciplinary approach allowed him to understand the complex behavior of materials under high temperature and pressure conditions.

In 2008, Evans was promoted to research manager at LLNL, where he managed the research of all staff scientists in the high pressure physics group. The group’s research focused on ultrahigh-pressure diamond anvils, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray scattering among other things. Evans and his team of LLNL research scientists built an anvil, or pressure device, using flattened diamonds as the pressure surface. These diamond anvils allowed Evans to determine what happens to other materials as they get “squashed” by the diamonds.

Evans has published numerous scientific research articles in journals such as, Physical Review, Nature Materials, and the International Journal of High Pressure Research. Evans is also a member of several academic and professional societies, including the American Physical Society (APS), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the Optical Society of Americs. He serves the community by judging youth science fairs in Livermore, California where he works and lives.

William J. Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 5, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.238

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/5/2012

Last Name

Evans

Maker Category
Middle Name

J

Occupation
Schools

Harvard University

California Institute of Technology

Martin Luther King Elem. School

Angell School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Ann Arbor

HM ID

EVA07

Favorite Season

Fall, Winter

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

By Any Means Necessary.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

9/16/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Livermore

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cookies

Short Description

Physicist William Evans (1965 - ) was the head research scientist of the high pressure physics group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California.

Employment

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:616,11:1056,21:6160,156:7392,185:14970,270:17012,280:21016,339:26752,422:29088,466:33984,545:34374,551:35700,574:42408,740:48788,802:49972,835:57558,971:58242,983:58698,990:64532,1101:65085,1109:65717,1124:66428,1141:66981,1149:79743,1350:85126,1431:94289,1639:97300,1645:97606,1652:105652,1814:106390,1824:116078,1992:116386,1997:120174,2037:120854,2048:121262,2056:122214,2076:122486,2081:125682,2158:126974,2190:128266,2224:128606,2230:135960,2322:142136,2396:143110,2406$0,0:3560,109:3780,114:4660,140:8912,167:13865,196:14165,201:16565,248:18290,287:18740,295:19415,309:20465,337:21065,350:21365,355:24650,371:29140,397:29828,407:30774,420:32580,447:34128,478:39756,513:40395,526:46230,633:46590,640:48150,695:48450,702:48750,708:48990,713:50850,765:57230,832:58573,852:59995,898:60311,903:61891,955:62760,972:63471,993:63866,999:69027,1039:71841,1099:72377,1109:73114,1131:73784,1143:75392,1186:76397,1208:77335,1229:85173,1358:85528,1364:87587,1418:88652,1439:89291,1451:89788,1459:96193,1536:96408,1542:96666,1550:97225,1567:97655,1576:97956,1584:100859,1614:101154,1620:101567,1629:101980,1637:102275,1643:102511,1648:102747,1653:103573,1682:104989,1720:105402,1728:107172,1780:108411,1820:109001,1833:109827,1861:110476,1874:110889,1882:111243,1889:116182,1915:118560,1943:118840,1948:119330,1957:120310,1987:121850,2030:122270,2037:123530,2061:123880,2067:124160,2072:124580,2079:124860,2087:128005,2109:128685,2118:130130,2140:130980,2156:145946,2407:147226,2437:147674,2446:147930,2451:148186,2456:154570,2564:155641,2586:157972,2654:158350,2662:160933,2727:161311,2739:161563,2744:162319,2758:162823,2765:163957,2782:164272,2788:173047,2908:173544,2916:173899,2922:174254,2928:174751,2937:176171,2972:180330,2990
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Evans' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Evans lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Evans describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Evans describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Evans describes where his father attended college and graduate school

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Evans talks about his family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Evans talks about his father's career as a scientist

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Evans describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Evans describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Evans talks about his growing up near the University of Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Evans talks about his study routine

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Evans talks about his elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Evans talks about his experiences while growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Evans talks about having access to his father's chemistry lab as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Evans talks about living in Germany

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Evans talks about his family as well as his brother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Evans describes how he chose to attend the California Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Evans talks about his growing up during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Evans talks about his accomplished parents

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Evans talks about his high school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Evans talks about some of his professors at the California Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Evans talks about the physics program at the California Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Evans talks about the impact of emerging information technologies on physics

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Evans talks about his studies at California Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Evans talks about his decision to attend Harvard University for graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Evans talks about his experience at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William Evans describes his dissertation about the behavior of hydrogen

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Evans talks about his dissertation and Carl Sagan

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Evans talks about his work at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Evans describes his work with beryllium

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Evans talks about his experience working at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Evans talks about the lack of minority representation in the physical sciences

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Evans talks about the work culture at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Evans talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Evans talks about the uses of metalized hydrogen

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Evans talks about his desire to support underrepresented communities

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Evans reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Evans talks about his mentors

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Evans describes his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Evans talks about what he would like to see accomplished in the future

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Evans talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Evans talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

10$6

DATitle
William Evans describes his dissertation about the behavior of hydrogen
William Evans talks about the work culture at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Transcript
Okay, now, could you explain your dissertation to us, I mean just state it again, and kind of explain what you were actually doing?$$So, so hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and, in fact, it's what drives, you know, our sun, fuses hydrogen together generates energy in a helium atom. And so what we were studying was what does hydrogen do? So under normal conditions, hydrogen is a gas. But if you cool it or you compress it, it turns into a liquid, and if you continue to compress it, it turns into a solid. One of the early predictions of quantum theory was that hydrogen would metalize. So it would go from being an insulator, you know, the plastic cladding on a wire is insulators, the electricity doesn't, it doesn't pass electricity. But compressing it would force the electrons on the different atoms together. And they'd start being shared, and you can now pass a current through this material. And so it becomes a metal. And so the goal of the thesis work was to metalize hydrogen. That was the kind of ultimate goal of my thesis advisor. I worked on that for several years. It's a very challenging problem that, to this day, hasn't been adequately solved. But we did, we made some good progress on it, although we did not metal hydrogen. But we made some measurements along the way of how the index for a fraction of hydrogen changes under pressure. So the (unclear) [index?] fraction tells you, I mean one simple way to think of it, it's a, it's an indicator of the electronic properties of the materials, but effectively, it, in common experience, it'll tell you how light gets bent when it goes, passes into it. So, for example, when you look at a prism, if you have a white light coming into a prism, it hits the prism, and the different colors of light get bent different angles, different, depending on index of a fraction. And that's kind of a layman's explanation of what we measured, but we measured the (unclear) fraction of hydrogen high pressure, which--so this data helps you understand when it might metalize. It also allows you to valuate theories that predict how hydrogen is behaving at high pressure. So it's experimental data that's very important in the sense that it lets you understand if your theories are even close to being correct, and once, and also quantifying the quality of various theories to explain properties of materials.$Okay, okay.$$Livermore [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory] is actually, Livermore won an award, I think last year for being one of the best employers for African Americans. I find Livermore very supportive, but I'm, I'm kind of saddened that Livermore is, is--I think Livermore is doing a solid job. I would have hoped there were people doing even better job than Livermore is doing at, at engaging, encouraging, utilizing underrepresented groups. So I'm, it's kind of, kind of--I'm glad Livermore got an award, but I wish the bar were a lot higher.$$Okay, so the general landscape is--$$Yeah, yeah. You know, and there are little things. I mean when I went to Livermore [California], when I first went there, I was coming from the East Coast. East Coast people wore a tie and coat to work. And, you know, there was, one told, a bus driver, told me, you know, what are you doing wearing that stuff? You don't wear, you don't need to wear that here, as if, you know, I mean I was a staff scientist. Early on in the, within the first year I was at Livermore, we have rooms where we store supplies, like, you know, pens, binders and things. And I was in there getting, I had just started so I was getting stuff for my office, and one of the scientist walks by and says, you know, we, we're running out of pens. Can you get some more pens? You'd think that if you're wearing a tie and coat, it's kind of a sign that you're not part of the support staff. But, you know, these little comments, for me it didn't, it didn't--I would like to think that in my case, it doesn't bother me. But I have little doubt that for someone who's much more junior, let's say a graduate student, who's working at the lab, if someone comes in and treats them like they're a maintenance person, they're not gonna be, you know, it's not the kind of environment that is conducive to keeping people there and advancing their careers. Now, none of this came from the management. The management's always very constructive. And it has been always very supportive. But I think it's really more an indication of kind of societal prejudices and biases that we need to work on.$$Okay, okay. So you've been there your whole career, so--$$Yeah.$$--you really don't have another place, I guess, to compare it to--$$Right.$$--in terms of that, but you said, Livermore [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory], according to reports--$$Yeah.$$--is--$$And they had been very supportive. I mean, you know, when I, when I served on the APS Committee on Minorities, there had to be an account to pay for my time when I was doing that work. And the management was, it wasn't even an issue for them. They were, definitely do it, you know. They've always been very supportive of hiring underrepresented staff members. So the management at Livermore has been very, very supportive, but I think there are, there're, you know, our society still isn't where we think it is (laughter), where we'd like for it to be.

Herbert Winful

Electrical Engineer Herbert Winful was born on December 12, 1952 in London, England and raised in Cape Coast, Ghana in West Africa. His father Herbert Francis was an engineer, and his mother Margaret Ferguson Graves was a teacher. As a child Winful was mesmerized by lasers and often dreamed of developing his own. As a sophomore attending MIT Winful was mentored by Dr. Hermann A. Haus – National Medal of Science honoree and pioneer in the field optical communications. Winful received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in the 1975 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1981, he graduated from the University of Southern California earning his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering. Dr. Joh Marburger – former science advisor to President George H.W. Bush – guided Winful’s groundbreaking work on non-periodic structures.

From 1980 to 1986, Winful worked at GTE Laboratories (now Verizon Laboratories) in Waltham, Massachusetts. The Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) department at University of Michigan hired Winful as an associate professor in 1987. Through research and teaching he made fundamental contributions to multiple sub-disciplines in hid field: nonlinear fiber optics, nonlinear optics in periodic structures and nonlinear dynamics of laser arrays, propagation of single-cycle pulses. was promoted to full professor in 1992, and one year later the University of Michigan promoted him to an endowed professorship – Thurnau Professor. Throughout his career Winful studied problems involving the relationship between laser arrangement and production of power. Winfield most significant scholarly achievement was solving the scientific paradox of quantum tunneling time.

Winful’s contributions have been recognized by professional and academic organizations. He was named a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. The University of Michigan recognized Winful with the Amoco/University Teaching Award, the State of Michigan Teaching Award and the EECS Professor of the Year Award.

Herbert Winful was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 10/23/2012.

Accession Number

A2012.181

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/23/2012

Last Name

Winful

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Schools

Catholic Jubilee School

St. Augustine's College

Lehigh University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

University of Southern California

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Herbert

Birth City, State, Country

London

HM ID

WIN08

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

12/3/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Ann Arbor

Country

England

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Electrical engineer Herbert Winful (1952 - ) , former director and professor of materials research at Howard University, is professor emeritus of electrical engineering at the University of Michigan.

Employment

GTE Laboratories

University of Michigan

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3538,44:6000,53:7411,74:8158,92:8573,98:11838,128:14522,158:16108,172:21354,226:25070,264:26362,298:27046,314:33646,363:37842,412:38298,446:38830,451:41718,518:42022,523:42706,535:43542,548:43922,554:47436,575:48372,586:48892,593:53780,669:54820,681:58680,691:63486,767:69542,821:70058,828:71390,834:72380,846:79350,924:80196,929:90515,1084:97180,1147:97630,1153:98080,1159:113222,1298:113692,1304:117400,1315:118040,1324:120360,1355:120760,1361:121880,1377:122520,1393:123160,1403:123560,1409:124040,1417:125800,1446:141690,1557:142130,1562:160812,1743:161945,1757:166168,1834:169850,1849:170170,1854:177650,1929:180722,1960:181490,1970:182258,1979:183850,1997:186360,2017:186800,2023:189000,2051:189528,2058:190056,2065:190408,2070:190848,2081:191200,2087:196290,2127:196926,2134:203992,2280:213168,2345:216970,2360:217430,2365$0,0:1846,21:6335,73:48644,528:49580,544:51608,570:53012,594:55433,622:66584,764:73652,836:74107,842:81640,890:84584,936:90696,980:92622,1005:97520,1046:98122,1054:108560,1130:110308,1155:113365,1176:114790,1185:128540,1314:128820,1319:133300,1427:140880,1506:143190,1560:149740,1623:171218,1883:171764,1892:174571,1916:182490,2033:183050,2044:191009,2150:199300,2226
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Herbert Winful's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Herbert Winful lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Herbert Winful describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Herbert Winful talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Herbert Winful talks about schools in Ghana during his grandparent's time

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Herbert Winful talks about his mother growing up in Gold Coast, Ghana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Herbert Winful describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Herbert Winful talks about Ghana's matrilineal society

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Herbert Winful describes the Fantes

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Herbert Winful talks about the history of slave trade in Ghana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Herbert Winful describes Fante names

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Herbert Winful talks about having to navigate the cultures of Ghana and Great Britain

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Herbert Winful describes his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Herbert Winful talks about his parents' courtship

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Herbert Winful describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Herbert Winful talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Herbert Winful talks about his memories of Ghanian President Kwame Nkrumah

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Herbert Winful describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Herbert Winful describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Herbert Winful describes the duality of growing up both as a Catholic and as a Fante

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Herbert Winful describes being educated under the British system of education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Herbert Winful describes his interest in math and engineering

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Herbert Winful talks about the interest in Ghanian culture in salvaging parts of things

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Herbert Winful describes learning about science

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Herbert Winful talks about the Volta Region

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Herbert Winful describes meeting the Russian female astronaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to go into space

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Herbert Winful describes his high school, St. Augustine's College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Herbert Winful talks about his memories of the coup of Ghanian President Kwame Nkrumah

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Herbert Winful talks about taking calculus in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Herbert Winful compares the American and British educational systems

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Herbert Winful describes his graduation from St. Augustine's High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Herbert Winful talks about why he chose Lehigh University for his first year of college

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Herbert Winful describes his interest, idols and involvement in music while in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Herbert Winful describes his arrival in the United States to attend Lehigh University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Herbert Winful describes his experience at Lehigh University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Herbert Winful talks about his mentors at Lehigh University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Herbert Winful describes his transfer from Lehigh University to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he worked on lasers

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Herbert Winful describes Massachusetts Institute of Technology's African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Herbert Winful describes his decision to attend the University of Southern California for graduate school

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Herbert Winful describes his doctoral dissertation on nonlinear optics pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Herbert Winful describes his doctoral dissertation on nonlinear optics pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Herbert Winful talks about his research at GTE Labs

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Herbert Winful describes his decision to teach at the University of Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Herbert Winful talks about leaders in non-linear optics pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Herbert Winful talks about the leaders in nonlinear optics pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Herbert Winful talks about optical phase conjugation

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Herbert Winful describes his research and teaching at the University of Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Herbert Winful describes his research on laser arrays and coupling fiber lasers

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Herbert Winful discusses the applications of his research

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Herbert Winful describes the future of lasers

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Herbert Winful talks about his work with STEM education

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Herbert Winful suggests a question for young scientists

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Herbert Winful talks about his current research on coupling fiber lasers

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Herbert Winful describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Herbert Winful describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Herbert Winful reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Herbert Winful reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Herbert Winful talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Herbert Winful describes his relationship with the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Herbert Winful describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Herbert Winful talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Herbert Winful describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Herbert Winful describes learning about science
Herbert Winful describes his doctoral dissertation on nonlinear optics pt. 2
Transcript
I was, I was actually a very good student. From the earliest times I can remember from the first grade onwards, I seemed to be always like at the top of the class. I did well in math, in English, in pretty much every--every subject. I thought--I thought it was just, you know, normal, you know, people who, you know, who studied and you did well. So I didn't know whether it was hereditary or what. Now, my mother [Margaret Ferguson Graves] also encouraged, you know, learning, and as a school teacher, she would come home in the evenings and after dinner, we'd all sit around the table, after she cleared off the plates and she would get to work, like, you know, grading her students' papers, and we would sit there doing our homework. So we all sat there and worked. And that was just a habit, you know, getting things done, reading and studying, doing your homework.$$Now, was it a, was it a--you were fully aware that your father was an engineer?$$Yes, yeah--$$Did this give you--encourage you to--because very few people can point to that, you know.$$Yes, and in fact, my father, I think, once or twice, took me to the worksite of the Volta River Project during the construction. So I saw the dam while it was being built, I saw the huge man-made lake formed after they had dammed the Volta River. He actually took me--we walked down one of these huge pan stalks that, you know, bring the water down to turn the other turbines, the generator. It was the most amazing thing. I said, "Wow, so this is what engineers do," you know, and I think that also really fed into my--my early interest in engineering and in science, oh yeah, and also an important influence. And then I had an uncle, too. We called him Uncle Principal, a brother of my mother. He was a principal of teacher's training school. And I remember he gave me once a book called '101 Experiments You Can Do At Home.' I think I was about maybe 10 years old or so, and that book became my favorite book, you know, I proceeded to do all these experiments in the kitchen, making things that might, you know, explode. Those were the fun parts, the things that blew up. But yeah, it was really so much fun.$$So, you had like two, you know, sort of role models, two men you knew were into science, and some of the women. You had your father being an engineer of this huge project.$$Yeah.$You know, a periodic structure, you know, this is something that repeats itself. And so you can imagine stacking up layers of say glass and glass plates, and let's say one glass plate has a certain refracted index; refracted index tells you how light bends or how light gets slowed down in the medium; let's say you have one medium, one glass plate with a set of refracted index "A", another one with a refracted index "B", so you stack them alternately, AB, AB, AB, so you have, you know, a periodic stack. It turns out that such a periodic structure has interest in properties in the sense that it acts as a filter so that certain--only certain wave lengths will pass through, only certain colors will go through, and the rest will get reflected. So, it has, what we would call "a stop band," it stops, let's say, a red light from going through, but other colors can go through. Now, when you see butterflies in lovely iridescent colors, those--those colorations arise from tiny periodic structures that are organized in the wings and they reflect different colors. So, the idea I had was, what if light--you send in light that's intense enough to change the refracted index of those periodic structure. Well, then, if the light is strong enough, it can tune the stop band, it can tune the colors that can pass through and those that can reject it. So, if I had low intensity, if I had lower intensity light, that red light would get through, as I increase the intensity, it gets to a point where that red light can no longer get through; it all gets reflected. So, it would have an intensity dependent refracted index, and that can lead to various interesting applications like all optical switching and use as a digital optical computant element, so that was the start of the field of study, and that's something I did while I was a graduate student. Now, the other one that you mentioned, having to do with the speed of light, that relates to a phenomenon called tunneling, tunneling through a barrier, and that's work that I did more recently, yeah, in Michigan.$$Okay. Well, we can maybe wait until we get to that.$$Okay.$$With your dissertation, you finished in 19--$$1981, yeah, uh-huh.$$--'81 [1981], okay.

Billy Joe Evans

Chemist and chemistry professor Billy Joe Evans was born on August 18, 1942 in Macon, Georgia. Evans grew up amidst the racism and segregation policies of the south during the 1950s. Evans’ father, Will Evans, worked part-time as a coordinator for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and went to Washington, D.C. to confer and strategize with founder and President A. Philip Randolph about how labor issues facing African American in Macon. In 1959, he graduated from Ballard High School, the largest high school in Macon, Georgia. Following graduation, Evans entered Morehouse College and he received his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1963. Evans went on to pursue graduate studies at the University of Chicago. The State of Georgia paid the tuition difference between the University of Georgia and the University of Chicago, and in 1968 Evans earned his Ph.D. degree in chemistry. His Ph.D. thesis was entitled: “Order-disorder phenomena and hyperfine interactions in Spinel ferrites.”.

Evans accepted a position on the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1970 after performing some post-doctoral work at the University of Manitoba and teaching at Howard University. He has held research positions at the University of Marburg, the Naval Research Institute, and the Ford Motor Company. Evans initially started his work at the University of Michigan as an assistant professor of geology and mineralogy, but he joined the chemistry department as an associate professor in 1974. Evans has continued to pursue his research in solid state chemistry. His primary interests include the synthesis and characterization of crystal/chemical structures properties that directly affect the quality of human environments. His contributions to the firld were recognized by the University of Michigan who promoted him to full professor in 1986. Evans is the principal or co-author of more than 90 scientific publications. Evans is the principal or co-author of more than 90 scientific publications. He has been invited to give lectures at the National Conferences on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, the International Conference on Magnetism, Gordon Conferences and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Advanced Study Institute. Evans was named professor emeritus of the University of Michigan in 2007.

Evans has been the recipient of many honors and prizes for his dedication to the improvement of the quality and accessibility of higher education for all students and for his work in the sciences. In 1991, he was honored with the Statewide Distinguished Faculty Award. He received the 1997 American Chemical Society Camille and Henry Dreyfus Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students in Careers in the Chemical Sciences. Evans’ professional awards include the 1995 Manufacturing Chemists Association Catalysts Award, the 1997 American Chemical Society Camille and Henry Dreyfus Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students in Careers in the Chemical Sciences. The following year Evans was named the winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering by the National Science Foundation.

Billy Joe Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 10/22/2012.

Accession Number

A2012.177

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/22/2012

Last Name

Evans

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Joe

Schools

George Washington Carver Elementary

Ballard Hudson High School

Morehouse College

University of California, Berkeley

Macalester College

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Billy

Birth City, State, Country

Macon

HM ID

EVA06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe, Austria, Germany

Favorite Quote

Who Told You That?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

8/18/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Ann Arbor

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Banana Pudding

Short Description

Chemist and chemistry professor Billy Joe Evans (1942 - ) was the former director and professor in the Materials Science Department at Howard University and a professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Michigan.

Employment

University of Michigan

Atlanta University

Howard University

University of Chicago

University of Manitoba

National Bureau of Standards (NBS)

Morehouse College

Favorite Color

Light Blue, Gray

Timing Pairs
0,0:5429,115:6497,129:9879,189:10769,214:17114,287:17549,293:18245,303:19289,312:33620,472:34228,481:35140,494:38028,545:38332,550:43342,596:44044,608:46072,649:46384,654:48178,686:53950,762:54496,770:54808,775:55120,780:59402,788:60158,800:62762,844:63350,853:64022,864:65282,879:67802,915:68642,924:79370,1008:83020,1019:84730,1043:87070,1067:89860,1104:98158,1167:99194,1184:102224,1199:109136,1336:117378,1429:121666,1532:122537,1548:136040,1690:137960,1739:141834,1771:148969,1833:155688,1921:158542,1932:161090,1960:167940,2025:169340,2054:169620,2059:172385,2098:175374,2130:175913,2138:184374,2255:185060,2264:192468,2325:193980,2344:199188,2414:199524,2468:201288,2484:214951,2695:217822,2741:236828,2953:237172,2958:250134,3125:253599,3190:257064,3246:264325,3313:264871,3321:265508,3392:279330,3482:280140,3493:290128,3587:290740,3606:291352,3661:293324,3703:299920,3826:300464,3835:325696,4127:335829,4256:336267,4325:339780,4394$0,0:2070,31:2622,47:3243,58:3864,68:5313,96:5589,101:8763,186:9039,191:10488,218:11247,231:11523,236:22995,374:23675,387:27452,397:31736,473:32156,479:32828,490:38174,502:38566,507:41583,535:45718,589:46038,595:47254,620:47510,625:47958,634:48342,641:48790,650:49942,681:50646,698:52310,734:52630,740:53206,750:53462,755:65986,924:67390,951:74950,998:79460,1029:79900,1034:82618,1075:82874,1080:84218,1120:84794,1130:85050,1135:86074,1154:86330,1159:86970,1173:88826,1218:91642,1289:92154,1298:97744,1349:98136,1358:98360,1363:104515,1431:106385,1461:108255,1486:108765,1494:109190,1499:109870,1508:116354,1564:117124,1577:118510,1599:125209,1707:125825,1716:126364,1725:133674,1792:134410,1801:138206,1836:138498,1841:139228,1854:139666,1861:142148,1926:143462,1953:160595,2154:163443,2199:170834,2256:174389,2307:177238,2375:177931,2385:184245,2497:213384,2792:213688,2797:214220,2805:216196,2834:217564,2860:219312,2891:228510,2977:245032,3138:246306,3155:248763,3188:249400,3196:254338,3223:254806,3228:259081,3267:259376,3275:260261,3302:260733,3311:261146,3319:269290,3373:269790,3388:270090,3396:272626,3422:273748,3441:275068,3466:275398,3471:276190,3484:277048,3499:277444,3506:277708,3511:278368,3524:290745,3702:291110,3708:293738,3755:294103,3761:297607,3829:297972,3837:298337,3842:300308,3874:306140,3906:306590,3912:307040,3917:309470,3961:310730,3978:326340,4183:328856,4237:338625,4325:339300,4337:339600,4342:339900,4347:340575,4372:367148,4645:367715,4653:372089,4722:376860,4761:377740,4773:379420,4796:387220,4876:395443,4953:400872,5024:402474,5048:406816,5054:407584,5063:412780,5129:414380,5141:429500,5345:429756,5350:430332,5360:430652,5366:430908,5371:432508,5402:436084,5423:439400,5463
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Billy Joe Evans' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his siblings (part 1)

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his mother's influence

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his siblings (part 2)

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans describes his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his involvement in the church growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his elementary school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his elementary school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about George Washington Carver

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his teachers at Ballard Hudson High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about how he got into Morehouse College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Morehouse College and Emmitt Till

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his math and science preparation for college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his interests in the aeronautics field

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his role models and favorite teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Billy Joe Evans talks about perceptions of African Americans in the medical field

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Hamilton Holmes

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his peers at Morehouse College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about the distinction between scientists and doctors

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Dr. Henry McBay

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about the differences between Southerners and Northerners

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Dr. Henry McBay's teaching philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his experience in Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about meeting his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about the State of Georgia's subsidization of black's education

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his research experience at the University of Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his near death experience in Chicago

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about receiving his post-doctoral appointment at the University of Manitoba

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Billy Joe Evans describes his dissertation, "Order, Disorder and Hyperfine Interactions in Spinel Ferrites"

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his research on order/disorder in magnetic materials

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his experience at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about how he came to the University of Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Warren Henry

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his experience at the University of Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his grants and professional activities

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his career prospects after completing his graduate studies

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his experience at the Danforth Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his professional activities in Germany

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about the Program of Scholarly Research for Urban/Minority High School Students

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans talks about the Comprehensive Studies Program and the Research Club at the University of Michigan

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his professional appointments with the AAAS and Atlanta University

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his work at the University of Michigan

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his consultancy appointments with the Dynamic Testing Division, DuPont Merck, and the Louisiana State Board of Regents

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his consultancy appointment with the Inkster Michigan Public School System

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his awards

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Billy Joe Evans and Larry Crowe talk about Lloyd Ferguson

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Billy Joe Evans talks about Dr. Henry McBay

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his awards and professional activities

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Billy Joe Evans reflects on his career

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Billy Joe Evans reflects on his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Billy Joe Evans reflects on how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Billy Joe Evans describes his photos

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Billy Joe Evans describes his photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

1$4

DATitle
Billy Joe Evans talks about his research on order/disorder in magnetic materials
Billy Joe Evans talks about the Program of Scholarly Research for Urban/Minority High School Students
Transcript
All right, University of Manitoba [Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada].$$Right.$$So your fellowship was carried out in the Department of Physics.$$Right.$$Okay, so yeah.$$But my, see when I was in Chicago [Illinois] I had already worked with physicists and I was in a low temperature laboratory which really is physics, almost totally physics. And my research was relevant to physics, not really to chemistry. So, and this fellow, his name was Morris, he had written one of the standard textbooks in magnetism and being a physicist he did not know as much chemistry as he knew he needed to know so the best way to solve that problem was to have a chemist come into the lab who also knew some physics. So I went into the lab specifically to help them solve a chemical problem they were having, which I was able to do. But in the meantime, we all, I also was able to do some of my own physics, again in order/disorder in magnetic materials.$$Well I was asked to ask you about what is meant by a permanent magnet?$$Right. We have different kinds of magnetism, all--there's something on this diamagnetism. Any material that contains electrons will have diamagnetism as one component of its properties. A material, doesn't matter what it is, gas, solid, liquid, if it has unpaired electrons, one, let's say a single electron, it will exhibit something known as paramagnetism. If you take a material that is paramagnetic that just has some electrons that are unpaired, you put it in a magnet, it will be attracted by the magnet, not very strongly but it will be attracted. Once you move the magnet away it remembers none of the magnetism. So with a paramagnet you can only tell what's going on with it when you put a mag, in the presence of a magnetic field. Then there are materials where you can have unpaired electron spans but they will be ordered so they all point up, they all point down or maybe one is up and one is down. And those configurations can be stable over long periods of time. But if they're all pointed up with moments, with electrons like that, they have a moment. They have a magnetic moment and that moment doesn't change. That's a permanent magnet. So there are some--and a permanent magnet can either be a metal or it can be an oxide so something known as alnico, aluminum nickel cobalt, that's an alloy that it's a, it's metal and most of the little dogs that you buy, the trick shops, they have Alnico magnets.$$(Unclear) of those, I mean they used to be popular in the 50s [1950s] these little Scotty dogs, I was hypnotized.$$That's exactly, that's right.$$I used to play with right with (unclear).$$One would--that's, I did the same thing. That's probably Alnico magnets. Then there are the class of magnets that are oxides and the most common one is something called a hexaferrite which occurs in nature. You can find them in Sweden, very complicated chemical compositions and complicated arrangements of atoms and so that would be a permanent magnet. So the refrigerator magnets, permanent magnets and they are made out of oxide materials that have been embedded in a plastic or a rubber material. And there's been virtually a revolution, no one knows about it but the starter motors on cars used to be very large and they had copper wiring on them. And the copper wire was used to create a magnetic field and then you could make the motor turn in that magnetic field. Well for about twenty years, they've been using permanent magnets, oxide magnets to create the magnetic field that you need in a starter motor. So now the starter motor is only about that big and that's because they're using these permanent magnets. They used to make them here in Michigan. Hitachi is a big manufacturer. General Electric used to make them but Hitachi bought the General Electric factory up near Michigan State and now Hitachi tends to dominate the market in these permanent magnets. But the door closers, the windshield wipers, they're all operated by these permanent magnet oxides so they're quite common in the environment. People are unaware of them but they are there.$$Okay, so instead of using the old magnets that we used to create in grade school with the dry cells when you wrap the--$$Yeah, right, right.$$--wire around (unclear).$$Right, right, right.$$They're using the permanent magnets now?$$You can now just use a permanent magnet for that, yeah.$Now in 1980 you were appointed director of the program of Scholarly Research for urban minority high school students.$$Right, right, right.$$And a lot of the people we've interviewed at some point get involved in STEM programs for high school students for youth.$$Right right.$$So how did this come about?$$Well actually I was the, I don't like this term but I'll use it, I started that program. What I noticed in my work here at [the University of] Michigan was that the black kids would come in and they would quickly degenerate to mediocrity in their work. And my assumption was that maybe they were not seeing the best kinds of things that one does here at the University of Michigan. So at that point I went over and we had a black associate vice president for academic affairs. His name was Richard English, was a social worker but he was one, a person that one could talk to. So I told English about my idea and that I wanted to try to do something. He supported me and the university allocated $15,000 for me to do this program. And initially we worked at one high school in Detroit [Michigan]. It was a selective high school but a small high school called Renaissance High. And so the first year the program was called the Renaissance High Project. We couldn't think of anything else and that really was what it was, a project at this one high school. And so the idea was to involve high school students in real research at the University of Michigan in the same way that we have graduate students. So I selected a group of faculty members who agreed to do this and the idea was that the students would come up in the summer but they would come every vacation that they had during their academic year, on weekends to continue their research. So instead of trying to do a research project in three summer months, we knew that was not enough time. You don't do research in that short a period of time. We would work over the entire academic year and so that's what we did. And there was a gifted administrator in Detroit, Beverly Thomas who was a music person but she understood what we were trying to do. She suggested as we were coming to the end of the summer phase of the program that we should have a symposium and the students would present their work. So I said okay we'll do that. And so the students worked all during the fall, during their Christmas vacation and oh, about the middle of January we would have a symposium. So the students gave ten-minute talks, they could only talk as long as we would talk in our professional meetings. And we worked with them all of the time for a month getting their talks together. And so the symposium came, we had it at Detroit at the Engineering Society a very scholarly technical setting. And without warning we knew nothing about it, Shapiro was in the back of the room. He was president of the university at that time. So he came in to see what we had done with his money and the students did fantastic. And when it was over Shapiro had allocated for the next year $150,000 for the program. So we went up by a factor of ten in funding and we continued that program for about fifteen years, fourteen or fifteen years and it was funded at that level for that period of time. We had about a three year period when the National Science Foundation funded us but we didn't like their money. They wanted to tell us what to do and we did not agree with them on that. They wanted us to have recreational activities and things like that for the students. We said no, our students will find out how to recreate themselves. The university is rich in those kinds of facilities and we're not going to spend our time worrying about that. But we did accept funding from them for three years and we didn't do it anymore. And I think we must have gotten about a half million dollars in funding from them. But the remarkable thing about that program was that during that period of time Detroit had more Westinghouse winners than they had had--the Westinghouse Science Talent Search had been going on for about since the 40s [1940s] I believe and in just this ten year period, Detroit had more winners in the Westinghouse than they had had for the previous forty years. And most of these kids, not all of them, most of these kids were black kids and most of the kids came from ordinary families. Their families were not professionals. One of the characteristics of the Westinghouse winners during that time was that the parents tended to be professionals, Ph.D.s, scientists themselves. But these were just ordinary kids. And so it showed what one could do with the general population just by doing those kinds of things at the university was already very good at doing. What's so distressing about that activity is that we--our last year of doing that program was 1994 and Detroit has not had a Westinghouse winner since. It's now called the Intel--Intel now does it but Intel and Westinghouse, that's the same project, same program. So, in what '94 [1994], that's about eighteen years so in eighteen years there has not been a single kid of any description from Detroit to be a Westinghouse winner, very distressing. And it says a little bit--and we still have the STEM programs. We probably have more STEM programs today than we had in 1981 or 1994. But it says something about what people are doing in these STEM programs.$$Okay.$$We should have more winners than we've had.