William Walters



  • Associate in Science, 1957, Highland College, Highland, Kansas
  • B. S. in Chemistry (2nd major in Education), 1960, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
  • Ph. D. Physical Chemistry, 1964, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois

 Professional Experience

  •  Research Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1964 – 1965
  • Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1965-1970
  • Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 1970-77
  • Professor of Chemistry, University of Maryland, 1977-
  • Associate Chairman, Department of Chemistry 1982-1986
  • Chair, University of Maryland College Park Senate, 1999-2000


  • Summer Employee, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Livermore, California, 1972
  • Visiting Professor of Physics, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 1978, May 2008
  • Clarendon Laboratory and St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University, Oxford, U. K. 1986-1987
  • Visitor, School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia Spring 1990
  • Visitor, CERN/ISOLDE, Geneva, Switzerland Summer 1990
  • Institute for Kernchemie, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany Spring 2002, Summer 2006

 Research Interests

Nuclear Chemistry, Nuclear Structure, Radioactive Decay (including proton decay), Explosive Nucleosynthesis (r-process and rp-process), Nuclear Moments, Exotic Nuclei

Professional Societies

  •  American Chemical Society; Division of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, Chairman, 1986
  • American Physical Society
  • European Physical Society

Major Recognitions and Honors

  • Phi Lambda Upsilon Senior Award, Kansas State U 1959
  • NSF Undergraduate Research Fellowship
  • NSF Graduate Fellowship
  • University of Illinois Fellowship
  • University of Maryland General Research Board Semester Awards 1982, 1990, 1997
  • Guggenheim Fellow, Oxford University 1986-1987
  • UMCP Sigma Xi Award for Research 1998
  • ACS Award in Nuclear Chemistry 2001
  • Who’s Who in America 2001-
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship/Mainz 2002/2006
  • Research Award, UMCP College Chem LFSC 2010

My research over the next several years will be focused on the structure and decay of “drip-line” nuclides, that is, nuclides for which the least bound nucleon is about to “drip” off. The overall aim of this research is to uncover and examine the differences in nuclear structure and decay for nuclides in which the last nucleons are not tightly bound. Some of the work will have major implication for nuclear astrophysics as noted below.

Work at Argonne National Laboratory
The recent work in proton decay has proved a rich source of new insight into the location of the proton drip line and the kinds of decay observed for those nuclides. GAMMASPHERE has been used to determine the structure of a number of nuclides near and beyond the proton and neutron drip lines.

Work at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at MSU.
The development of the Beta Counting System at the NSCL by Paul Mantica (see below) has moved that lab to the forefront of the study of exotic nuclei. We hope to work on several nuclei of interest to nuclear astrophysics during the next several years, including Zr-110 and In-99.

Work at the ISOLDE on-line mass separator at CERN
Along the neutron drip line, there is much astrophysical interest in establishing the features of nuclear structure that are believed responsible for the abundances of various nuclides created in supernova explosions. One process, the “r-process, is thought to be responsible for enhanced abundances for isotopes with 125 < A > 135. What is remarkable is the boundary of that peak near A = 125 can be interpreted as indicating a dramatic change in nuclear structure near A = 110. Now it is important to push experimental measurements into those nuclides to determine if current ideas hold water or are just unchallenged speculation.

Other research interests.
Other interests include study of neutron capture gamma rays for measuring trace element concentrations at NIST, detection of neutrinos for geology and new detection methods for nuclear forensics and radioactivity for national security purposes.

Recent graduate students and their current positions:
Scott H. Faller, Ph. D. 1986 Staff Scientist, Environmental Protection Agency, Las Vegas
John. D. Robertson, Ph. D. 1986 Professor of Chemistry, University of Missouri
Craig A. Stone, Ph. D. 1987 Associate Professor of Chemistry, San Jose State University
Paul F. Mantica, Ph. D. 1990 Professor of Chemistry, Michigan State University
Brian E. Zimmerman, Ph. D. 1992 Staff Scientist, Nat. Inst. of Standards and Technology
Diana M. Ciurczak, Ph. D. May 1997. Staff Scientist, FBI, Washington, DC.
Joseph Swider Ph. D. May 1998 Analytical Chemist McCrone Associates
Jennifer Jo Ressler, Ph. D. September 2001 Scientist Pacific Northwest Lab
Jason Shergur, Ph. D. May 2005 Nuclear non-proliferation, Los Alamos
Nate Hoteling, Ph. D. September 2008, Los Alamos

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