Clifford Shull
Newberry County, South Carolina

source: Clifford Glenwood Shull Collection from the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries.


Dr. Clifford G. Shull shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in the development of neutron diffraction. This scattering technique uses neutrons to determine the structure of matter. Dr. Shull's pioneering efforts in this field laid the groundwork for use of neutrons to study the structure and dynamics of matter.

Dr. Shull earned his B.S. degree from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) and a Ph.D. from New York University. Tapped to work on the Manhattan Project during WWII, the government deemed his work with fuels at Texaco too important to the war effort for him to accept the invitation. In 1955 he became a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he established a neutron diffraction program at the MIT Research Reactor. A noted teacher, he remained a respected researcher and mentor even after his retirement from MIT in 1986. While best known as a Nobel Laureate, Dr. Shull also received the Buckley Prize from the American Physical Society in 1956, the Humboldt Senior Scientist Award in 1980, and was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

contributed by Donna Brummett, November 2009