Kenneth S. Krane

Distinguished Alumnus 1992

  • 1965 B.S.

Ken [Krane] began his undergraduate education by attending Cornell University (under an A. P. Sloan Foundation Scholarship), and then transferred to the University of Arizona (under the F. M. Life Physics Scholarship) where he obtained the Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in June 1965. In September 1965 he began his graduate work in physics at Purdue University as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration trainee. After completing his graduate courses with great distinction Ken commenced his research in nuclear physics under the guidance of Professor Rolf Steffen. In his thesis research he creatively applied the angular correlation method to the measurement of mixing amplitudes of gamma transitions between collective nuclear states.

Ken expanded his research experience as a research associate spending 2 years at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and 2 years at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. In 1974 he joined the faculty of Oregon State University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics. He continued his association with Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory as a consultant and visiting staff member (1976-81) and later served in the same capacity at Oak Ridge Associated Universities (1982 until present). In 1978, he was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship at Oxford University (England) and, in the same year, received recognition as an Outstanding Young Man of America. In 1984 Ken was promoted to full professor and in the same year he became chairman at the Department of Physics, Oregon State University, a position he still holds.

Ken has distinguished himself as a physicist in four areas: research, education, authorship, and administration.

In his research career, Ken has focused on significant problems in the area of nuclear orientation and he is internationally known for his many innovative contributions to this field. He has been the recipient of many research grants from diverse agencies such as the Office of Naval Research, Departrnent of Energy, and the National Science Foundation. He organized two important workshops on Nuclear Orientation for UMSOR, a research facility built around an isotope separator at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Recently, in recognition of his research in nuclear spectroscopy in general and Nuclear Orientation in particular, Ken was elected a chairman of the "Second International Conference on On-Line Nuclear Orientation and Related Topics" to be held at Oak Ridge in October, 1991. He is also asciate editor of Hypeifine interaction, an international journal devoted to research in the border regions of nuclear, atomic, and solid state physics. To date, Ken has published 92 scientific research papers and two book chapters in which he has presented a comprehensive review of his field of research.

Over and above above his strong and enthusiastic commitment to a creative research program, Ken has a deep involvement in teaching both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. This is evidenced by his highly acclaimed textbooks: Modern Physics (Wiley, 1983) and Introducrory Nuclear Physics (Wiley, 1987). His reputation as an expositor led to his being invited to coauthor the new edition of Halliday and Resnick's famous undergraduate physics textbook. The new edition by Halliday, Resnick and Krane is scheduled for publication in 1992. Ken's involvement in education is, however, not restricted to textbook writing. He was a member and most recently, in 1991, a chalr of the Physics Section of NSF Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Review Panel. At the American Physical Society Annual Meeting (San Francisco, 1987), Ken was a member of a symposium panel on textbook content. Besides his national prominence as an educator and teacher, he is deeply involved in improving education in both his state (Oregon) and university (Oregon State University). He served on the Science Advisory Panel of the Corvalis School District, was a panel member on "Goals of the Introductory Physics Course" (Oregon Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers meeting), was a member of the Oregon State University Computer Literacy Committee, and at present is a chairman of an ad hoc Committee on Instruction in Computing. As the depamment chairman, Ken has been instrumental in the recniitment of female faculty and graduate students. He recently addressed a national conference on the reccuitment and retention of women in physics.

From the nomination letter by Professors Zbigniew W. Grabowski, Samuel M. Harris, Anant K. Ramdas, and Arnold Tubis, September 25, 1991

Last Updated: Apr 29, 2016 3:28 PM