William Conyers Herring (* November 15, 1914 in Scotia, New York, † July 23, 2009 in Palo Alto ) was an American physicist. He was winner of the Wolf Prize in Physics 1984/5 and was professor of applied physics at Stanford University.
Conyers Herring studied at the University of Kansas (Bachelor 1933) and received his Ph.D in physics from Princeton University in 1937. Afterwards it was until 1939 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1939-1940 Instructor in Mathematics at Princeton University and 1940 / 41 Instructor in Physics at the University of Mississippi. In 1946, he was Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1946 he went to Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey where he remained until 1978. He then went to Stanford University. From 1981, he was there until his death Professor Emeritus.
Contributions in physics
Conyers Herring played an important role in the development of solid state physics.
He laid the foundations for band structure calculations for metals and semiconductors, which culminated in the discovery of Orthogonalized Plane Wave Method ( OPW ). He was ahead of his years of research. A large part of today's solid-state physics go back to his studies and papers.
He founded the department of theoretical physics at the Bell Telephone Laboratories.
Awards and honors
In 1980, Herring the Von Hippel Award, and 1984/85 the Wolf Prize in Physics together with Philippe Nozieres for For their major Contributions to the fundamental theory of solids, Especially of the behavior of electronsin metals.1980 he received the James Murray Luck Award for Excellence in Scientific Reviewing of the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.