Walter S. Huxford

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Walter Huxford
Born December 15, 1892
Neligh, Nebraska, United States
Died February 12, 1958 (1958-02-13) (aged 65)
Residence USA
Nationality American
Fields Physicist
Institutions Northwestern University
U. S. Army Signal Corps
Doane College
Alma mater Doane College
University of Nebraska
University of Michigan
Doctoral advisor Neal H. Williams
Notable students Richard W. Jones
Known for Sunburnometer
Influences G. E. Uhlenbeck

Walter Scott Huxford was a professor of physics at Northwestern University and was a co-inventor of the sunburnometer.[1]


His education included a bachelor's degree at Doane College, a master's degree at the University of Nebraska, and a PhD degree at the University of Michigan in 1928, with a thesis entitled: Determination of the Charge of Positive Thermions form Measurements of the Shot Effect.


He spent two years as an officer in the US Army Signal Corps during and after the first world war, teaching in Nebraska high schools and at Doane College, where he was head of the Physics Department, and three years as an industrial physicist. He joined the faculty of Northwestern University in 1931, where he continued to serve as a teacher and research scientist until his death. His primary research interests were physical electronics and the dynamics of electrical discharges in gases, in which fields he and his research students published numerous papers. During and following the second world war he served as director of research and development programs at Northwestern on the use of optical radiation for communication, sponsored by the US Navy Bureau of Ships and the US Army Signal Corps.


His contributions to the national defense were recognized by award of the Army and Navy Certificate of Merit in 1947. Huxford was a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers and a member of the Optical Society of America.


  • "Necrology," J. Opt. Soc. Am. Vol. 48, p. 637, 1958.
  • Who's Who in America, 1950-1952.


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