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Clifford Martin Will
Distinguished Professor of Physics

University of Florida



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Clifford Martin Will is Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Florida, and the James S McDonnell Professor of Space Sciences Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis. Born in Hamilton, Canada in 1946, he received his pre-college and college education there, obtaining a B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics from McMaster University in 1968. In 1971, he obtained a Ph.D. in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and remained at Caltech for one year as an Instructor in Physics. He was an Enrico Fermi Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago from 1972 to 1974. In 1974 he joined the faculty of Stanford University as an Assistant Professor of Physics, and remained there until 1981. From 1975 to 1979, he was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, and during 1978-79 a Mellon Foundation Junior Faculty Fellow. In 1981 he joined Washington University in St. Louis as Associate Professor, in 1985 became Professor of Physics, from 1991 - 1996 and 1997 - 2002 served as Chairman, and from 2005 - 2012 was McDonnell Professor.

He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1989, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. He was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2007.

He has published over 190 scientific articles, including 18 major review articles, 29 popular or semi-popular articles, and two books, Theory and Experiment in Gravitational Physics (Cambridge University Press, 1981; 2nd Edition, 1993), and Was Einstein Right? (Basic Books, 1986; 2nd Edition, 1993). The latter book won the 1987 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, was selected one of the 200 best books for 1986 by the New York Times Book Review, and has undergone translation into French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, Greek, Persian, and Chinese.

In recognition of his theoretical work related to the Hulse-Taylor Binary Pulsar, he was an invited guest of the Nobel Foundation at the 1993 Nobel Prize Ceremonies honoring discoverers J. Taylor and R. Hulse. During the academic year 1996-97, he was awarded both a J. William Fulbright Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for a sabbatical leave in Paris and Jerusalem. In 1996, he was named Distinguished Alumnus in the Sciences by McMaster University. In 2004 he received the Fellows Award of the St. Louis Academy of Sciences. In 2005, in recognition of the World Year of Physics, he carried out a 4-week, 21-city National Public Lecture Tour of Canada, sponsored by the Canadian Association of Physicists.

His recent professional activities include: Editor-in-Chief of Classical and Quantum Gravity from 2009; Chair, Division of Astrophysics, American Physical Society; Member of Space Studies Board, National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council from 2011; President of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation, 2004 to 2007, Deputy President from 2007-2010, and member of the Governing Committee from 1995 to 2004; Chair of the Science Advisory Committee for Gravity Probe-B (NASA) from 1998 to 2011; Divisional Associate Editor for Physical Review D from 1999 to 2001; member of the National Academy of Sciences Committees on Gravitational Physics from 1997 to 1999, Physics of the Universe from 2000 to 2002, Beyond Einstein Program Assessment from 2006 to 2007, and ASTRO 2010 Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics (Cosmology and Fundamental Physics Science Panel) from 2009 to 2010; Chair of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Gravitation, in 2000.

His research interests are theoretical, encompassing the observational and astrophysical implications of Einstein's general theory of relativity, including gravitational radiation, black holes, cosmology, the physics of curved spacetime, and the theoretical interpretation of experimental tests of general relativity.

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