Cliff Shull

Worlton, Thomas tgworlton at
Thu Apr 5 12:14:40 CDT 2001

From: Ken Finkelstein <kdf1 at>
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001 17:22:37 -0500

Martyn Bull of ISIS suggested I pass this note through the
mailing list neutrons at

    Ken Finkelstein


 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 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,

     Ken F 


   Clifford Shull  
   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
`are,''' the
      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
structure of
      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
behind their
      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
a `father
      of neutron scattering' in the United States, it is Professor Shull,''
      Anthony Nunes, professor of physics at the University of Rhode Island,
in a
      biographical article published in 1986. Mr. Shull was Nunes's thesis
      at MIT.

      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.

CHESS Wilson Lab 
Cornell University 
Ithaca, New York 14853
Telephone: 607-255-7163
FAX: 607-255-9001 
email: kdf1 at

More information about the Neutron mailing list