In Memoriam: Frank C. Shoemaker
Pioneer researcher at Fermilab dies
|Frank C. Shoemaker
Frank C. Shoemaker, 86, of Hightstown, NJ, passed away on Feb. 11. He was a leader in the particle physics community and integral in the launching of Fermilab's initial collider experiments and bison herd as well as the subsequent operation of neutrino programs.
Shoemaker was professor emeritus of physics at Princeton University, where he worked 40 years and helped start the experimental particle physics group, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of Sigma Xi and of Phi Beta Kappa.
In 1968, he took a year-long leave of absence from Princeton to become the first head of the Main-Ring group at the National Accelerator Laboratory, which was to become Fermilab. He led the design and construction of that facility's 1-km radius main accelerator ring. He also suggested the introduction of the herd of bison.
Returning to Princeton in 1969, Shoemaker played critical roles in Princeton experiments conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York and at Fermilab that provided confirmation of the new quantum chromodynamics theory of strong interactions and the unified theory of weak and electromagnetic interactions. He served as principal investigator from 1972-85. Following his retirement from teaching in 1989, he played a major role in the Booster neutrino experiment, MiniBooNE, at Fermilab, and was listed as a co-author on a paper published in 2008.
He is survived by loving daughters, Barbara Shoemaker and Mary Mittnacht, both of Santa Fe, NM, and a brother, Sydney Shoemaker, of Ithaca, NY. After nearly 57 years of marriage, his wife, Ruth Elizabeth Shoemaker, died in 2001.
The family does not plan a memorial service, but has designated two organizations to receive memorial gifts: SAVE, an animal rescue organization (900 Herrontown Rd., Princeton, NJ 08520), and the Princeton High School Performing Arts Center and High School Music Programs (Princeton Education Foundation, PO Box 176, Princeton, NJ 08542 - please specify the Music Programs and Arts Center as the purpose of any gifts).