tgworlton at anl.gov
Thu Apr 5 12:14:40 CDT 2001
From: Ken Finkelstein <kdf1 at cornell.edu>
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001 17:22:37 -0500
Martyn Bull of ISIS suggested I pass this note through the
mailing list neutrons at anl.gov.
I received some sad news last night and I thought you would want
to know about it as well.
Cliff Shull died on Saturday 3/31/01, apparently from failing
kidneys. Mike Horne (a friend and colleague from Cliff's lab) told me
that he had gotten a call from Bob Shull, one of Cliff's sons, who said
that Cliff had kidney problems over the last year or so, but in fact
never told anyone, including his children about it.
An Obituary (printed below) appeared in the Boston Globe on
Tuesday and there should be one in the New York Times today.
There will be calling hours at a funeral home in Lexington,
Mass. on Thursday (I'm sorry I don't have the address) and a memorial
service at MIT on Friday 4/6/01. The contact for the MIT service is Marc
Kastner at the Physics Department.
Cliff's son Bob works at NIST and his email address is
robert.shull at nist.gov. The family asked that instead of sending flowers
there is a scholarship fund being set up at Cliff's alma mater, now
Carnegie Melon University. I will send along the contact information in
the next few days.
Science has lost a very great man and special son.
With Best Regards,
MIT professor and Nobel Prize winner
By Globe Staff, 4/3/2001
Clifford G. Shull of Lexington, a Nobel Prize recipient whose research
peering into the basic building blocks of all matter helped create
colossal high-tech wonders as ceramic superconductors and magnetic
levitation trains, died Saturday in Lawrence Memorial Hospital in
He was 85.
A professor at MIT, Mr. Shull shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in physics
professor Bertram N. Brockhouse of McMaster University, Hamilton,
''Clifford G. Shull has helped answer the question of where atoms
Nobel citation said.
Mr. Shull's prize was awarded for his pioneering work in neutron
a technique that involves directing a beam of particles produced by a
reactor at a sample of material. Like a stream of pellets striking an
the subatomic particles bounce off in various directions depending on
target's shape and structure. By analyzing the scattering pattern,
can produce a detailed picture of the arrangement of atoms in the
The technique has proven to be one of the best methods scientists have
looking deep within a solid piece of matter to see how its atoms are
Many of the most important advances in materials science in the last
decades - high-temperature superconductors, plastic polymers - have
based on, or explained by, research using neutron scattering.
In addition to helping produce more powerful and efficient
the ideas in Mr. Shull's research have been used to study the
viruses. They also have been used to study the properties of metals,
including how a metal becomes magnetized. That helped in developing
magnetic materials used in everything from computer memories and audio
and video recorder machines to that household mainstay: the
''All of these things go back to understanding the basic science
operation,'' Mr. Shull said on the day of the Nobel announcement.
Mr. Shull's pioneering work on neutron diffraction began about 50
before he received the Nobel Prize.
He started in 1946 at what is now Oak Ridge National Laboratory. For
next nine years he explored ways of using the neutrons produced by
reactors to probe the atomic structure of materials.
Mr. Shull began at MIT as a full professor in 1955 and retired in
''If there is a `central clearinghouse for thermal neutron physics' or
of neutron scattering' in the United States, it is Professor Shull,''
Anthony Nunes, professor of physics at the University of Rhode Island,
biographical article published in 1986. Mr. Shull was Nunes's thesis
Born in Pittsburgh, Mr. Shull earned a bachelor's degree at Carnegie
Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1937. He
earned a doctorate at New York University in 1941.
He leaves his wife, Martha-Nuel Summer; three sons: John C. of Texas,
Robert D. of Maryland, and William F. Shull of South Carolina; and
This story ran on page B7 of the Boston Globe on 4/3/2001.
© Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.
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email: kdf1 at cornell.edu
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