William Joel Nellis, PhD

Title: Associate

Company: Department of Physics, Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

William Joel Nellis, PhD, Associate of the Department of Physics of Harvard University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in Physics.

Dr. Nellis has been an Associate of Harvard’s Department of Physics since 2004, when he left his position as a researcher working on dynamic compression of materials at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). At Harvard he has continued research studies and taught laboratory courses, finding both basic science positions very interesting. Dr. Nellis is well known as the first to make metallic fluid hydrogen, a substance predicted in 1935, and is the author of “Ultra Condensed Matter by Dynamic Compression” published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.  Dense fluid hydrogen becomes metallic at a pressure of 1.4 million atmospheres and compressed density of nine times the density of atomic H in liquid hydrogen at atmospheric pressure.  He is the recipient of an Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, and was selected to appear in the pages of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, and Who’s Who in the East.

Born in Chicago, Dr. Nellis attended Loyola University in Chicago to earn a BS in Physics in 1963, followed by a PhD in Physics from Iowa State University in 1968. He then joined the Materials Science Division of the prestigious Argonne National Laboratory for two years as a postdoctoral researcher.  After teaching for three years at Monmouth College, he joined LLNL as a staff physicist in 1973. In addition he was also Head of the Center for High Pressure Sciences of the University of California Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at LLNL from 1984 to 1994.  Notably, Dr. Nellis led the high-dynamic-pressure experimental group of LLNL from 1978 to 1993.

Dr. Nellis is recipient of the 2001 Bridgman Award of the International Association of High Pressure Science and Technology (AIRAPT), as well as the 1997 Duvall Award for Shock Compression Science from the American Physical Society (APS), and an Edward Teller Award from Livermore. He is Past-President of AIRAPT, Past-Chair of the APS Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter and a Fellow of APS.  He is a current member of the American Geophysical Union, and has supported numerous scientific groups, notably as a member of the Hypervelocity Impact Society and in numerous roles for the American Physical Society. He is the proud father of William, Alicea, and Jeffrey with his wife, Carole Collins.


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