Robert Beck Clark

Robert Beck Clark - Obituary

Former AAPT President, Robert Beck Clark, passed away at home in Murray, Utah on June 4, 2022. The eldest of three children, he was born on July 18, 1941 in the thriving coal mining town of Rock Springs, Wyoming. Reading nonfiction books from the local library in grade school sparked his interest in becoming a physicist. Robert attended Provo High School where he served as a student body officer, co-captain of the football team, state championship debater, state medal winning wrestler and the first president of the Provo High School Chapter of the National Honor Society. He was also selected as a first team all-state football player. He married the true love of his life, Lois Yvonne Anderson from Richfield, Utah in the Manti Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on September 2, 1959.

They spent the next nine years at Yale University where Robert was the recipient of the Boltwood scholarship. In 1963 Robert received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, as a double major in physics and mathematics. At Yale he also played on the Ivy League championship and Lambert Trophy winning football teams and completed his Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in theoretical elementary particle physics.

During their 32 years living in Texas, Robert served as Regents Professor of Physics and Associate Dean of the College of Science at Texas A&M University. Robert spent the last nine years of his academic career as a Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University.

He was also elected as a fellow of both the American Physical Society (APS) and American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and was honored as the recipient of both the Oersted (1995) and Melba Newell Phillips (2004) Medals and served as the treasurer (1978-84) and president of the AAPT (1988-89) and the Homer L Dodge Citation for Distinguised Service to AAPT. In 2014 he was named an AAPT Fellow.

He served as a member of the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics and the Executive Committee of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. In 2004 he became He started a popular summer program at Texas A & M teaching high school teachers to boost their science teaching skills.

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