COLLEGE STATION —
Dr. Peter M. McIntyre, professor of physics at Texas A&M University, has been appointed to the newly-endowed chair associated with the university’s George P. and Cynthia W. Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics.
McIntyre will hold the Mitchell/Heep Chair in Experimental High Energy Physics, endowed with a recent gift from George P. and Cynthia W. Mitchell of The Woodlands and a matching gift from the Herman F. and Minnie Belle Heep Foundation of College Station.
Edward Fry, department head, was very appreciative of the gift and was delighted that McIntyre was appointed to the chair.
“I cannot think of anyone more deserving than Peter; he is a brilliant scientist, and I know this chair will enable him to accomplish many more research firsts,” Fry said.
McIntyre received his Ph.D. in 1973 from the University of Chicago. He joined Texas A&M in 1981 and leads programs of research in high energy physics, accelerator physics, and superconductor technology. McIntyre was named a Sloan Fellow in 1980-1982 and a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2001.
McIntyre is known for his invention of proton-antiproton colliding beams, the ultimate ‘atom smashers’ that yielded the discoveries of the weak bosons and the top quark to complete the Standard Model of fundamental forces; as well as new technology for the world’s highest magnetic fields for accelerators of the future. He has invented a way to produce electric power from nuclear fission in a reactor that is intrinsically stable, cannot melt down, eats its own waste, does not produce bomb-capable isotopes, and uses a fuel (thorium) that is ten times more plentiful than uranium.
He also is credited with the invention of a way to destroy toxic organic contaminants in industrial wastewater and lethal bacteria in foods, using a new technology for making efficient high-power electron beams. On the teaching front, McIntyre has created Visual Physics, a new and better way to teach first-year physics to 2,000 Aggies every year.
When told about the appointment to the chair, McIntyre commented, “Now I can sit down sometimes!”
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