Frank Shoemaker (1922-2009)

Professor Emeritus of Physics
Associate Director, Princeton-Pennsylvania Accelerator (1962-1966)

After graduating from Whitman College, Shoemaker moved to Cambridge, MA to work at the Radiation Lab at MIT where he conducted research on radar development for its use in WWII. After the war, Shoemaker attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he earned his PhD in Physics. In 1951 Shoemaker began at Princeton in the Physics Department where he taught and researched for nearly 40 years.

Shoemaker was a founding member of Princeton’s experimental particle physics group and led the reconstruction of the Palmer Cyclotron which was destroyed in a fire in 1952. In the 1950s, Shoemaker, along with Milton White, led the design and construction of the Princeton-Pennsylvania Accelerator. Shoemaker served as its Associate Director from 1962-1966.

In 1968-69, while on leave from Princeton, Shoemaker became the first head of the Main-Ring group at the National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL (now the Fermilab). From 1972-1985 Shoemaker served as the Principal Investigator for Princeton experiments conducted at Brookhaven National Lab and Fermilab that confirmed a new “quantum chromodynamics theory of strong interactions and the unified theory of weak and electromagnetic interactions.”

From 1981-1989 Shoemaker served as the Physics Department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies and worked to transform how Princeton teaches introductory physics courses. After retiring from teaching in 1989, Shoemaker served as a critical researcher in the Fermilab Booster Neutrino Experiment, MiniBooNE.

Throughout his career, Shoemaker authored or co-authored more than 100 papers and articles.

See also:

Wendell Long's Interview

Kitta MacPherson, “Frank Shoemaker, leading high-energy physicist, dies,” (2009),​​​​​​