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Henry W. Kendall

Henry W. KendallAKA Henry Way Kendall

Born: 9-Dec-1926
Birthplace: Boston, MA
Died: 15-Feb-1999
Location of death: Wakulla Springs State Park, FL
Cause of death: Natural Causes [1]

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Verified existence of quarks

Military service: US Merchant Marine (end of WWII, 1945-46)

Physicist Henry W. Kendall suffered from an unidentified reading disability in childhood, but overcame this hardship and later studied under Martin Deutsch at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With Jerome I. Friedman and Richard E. Taylor Kendall analyzed angles and energy trajectories of electrons and protons from hydrogen nuclei as they were scattered by collisions. Their findings showed that electrons were scattered more widely than the era's scientific understanding could readily explain, which set the stage for follow-up experiments which established the existence of quarks and led to a reworking of the Standard Model theory of matter. With his collaborators Friedman and Taylor, Kendall won the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Kendall was a founding member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and chaired that anti-war group for more than twenty-five years. He composed the highly-publicized but politically-ignored "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity", published in 1992 and co-signed by some 1,700 scientists world-wide, which called for policy changes in government and business to avert environmental destruction that would cause widespread human misery and leave the Earth irretrievably damaged. "If we donít halt population growth with compassion and justice," he wrote, "it will be done for us by nature; brutally and without pity ó and will leave a ravaged world." In 1997 he was among the scientists who presented President Bill Clinton with a detailed explanation of the coming crisis of global climate change. He died in 1999.


[1] Dr Kendall died of natural causes while scuba diving, according to the Medical Examiner's report, which specifically ruled out drowning, foul play, or any malfunction of Kendall's scuba gear.

Father: Henry P. Kendall (businessman)
Mother: Evelyn Way Kendall

    High School: Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA (1945)
    University: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (attended, 1945-46)
    University: BA Mathematics, Amherst College (1950)
    University: PhD Nuclear and Atomic Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1954)
    Scholar: Brookhaven National Laboratory (1954-56)
    Scholar: High Energy Laboratory, Stanford University (1956-61)
    Lecturer: Physics, Stanford University (1956-61)
    Teacher: Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1961-67)
    Professor: Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1967-91)
    Administrator: Julius A. Stratton Professor of Physics, MIT (1991-99)
    Administrator: Trustee, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (1994-99)

    FAS Public Service Award 1976
    APS Leo Szilard Award 1981 (with Hans Bethe)
    Bertrand Russell Society Award 1982
    APS W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics 1989 (with Jerome I. Friedman and Richard E. Taylor)
    Nobel Prize for Physics 1990 (with Jerome I. Friedman and Richard E. Taylor)
    Ettore Majorana-Erice Science for Peace Prize 1994
    APS Dwight Nicholson Medal for Human Outreach 1998
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1982
    American Physical Society 1985
    American Association for the Advancement of Science 1988
    Arms Control Association Board of Directors
    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board of Sponsors
    JASON
    National Academy of Sciences 1992
    National Geographic Society
    National Science Foundation Fellowship, 1954-56
    Union of Concerned Scientists Founding Member, 1969
    Union of Concerned Scientists Chairman, 1973-99
    US Defense Department Consultant, 1960-71
    World Bank Advisor on transgenic crops, environmental sustainability

Author of books:
Energy Strategies: Toward a Solar Future (1980)
Beyond the Freeze (1982)
The Fallacy of Star Wars (1984)
Crisis Stability and Nuclear War (1987)
A Distant Light: Scientists and Public Policy (1999)


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