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Pioneer of Atomic Physics: L. Worth Seagondollar 1920-2013

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Dr. L. Worth SeagondollarA substantial portion of the current issue of Radiations, the magazine of the Sigma Pi Sigma physics honorary society, is devoted to Dr. L. Worth Seagondollar, who passed away in Sept. Dr. Seagondollar earned an AB degree from Kansas State Teachers College at Emporia, Kansas in 1941, and a PhM (1943) and PhD (1948) in physics from the University of Wisconsin. Between 1944 and 1946 Seagondollar worked with the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory complex. At Los Alamos he "worked on critical mass experiments and was nine miles from the first man-made nuclear explosion." Seagondollar's career included academic appointments at the University of Kansas (1947-65) and North Carolina State University (1965-91) where he was chair of physics from 1965-75. At KU, he participated in the building of the first Van de Graaff accelerator, a research tool in low-energy nuclear physics. According to Prof. Emeritus Dick Sapp, he was a "fun guy" who kept a pirated piece of fused glass from the first nuclear test site. He became Sigma Pi Sigma advisor, which was to continue for the next 40 years. He was central to the formation of the modern version of Sigma Pi Sigma. A service award is given in his name by Sigma Pi Sigma. Press release from NC State »