School of Humanities and Sciences

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  • Herman Winick

    Herman Winick

    Professor of Applied Physics (Research), Emeritus

    BioBorn and educated in New York City, he received his AB (1953) and his PhD (1957) from Columbia University. Following a postdoc position at the University of Rochester (1957-59) he continued work in high energy physics and accelerator development at the Cambridge Electron Accelerator at Harvard University (1959-73), serving as Assistant Director. He came to Stanford in 1973 to lead the technical design of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Project (SSRP), now SSRL, and served as Deputy Director of the laboratory until his semi-retirement in 1998 ( He has taught physics at Columbia, Rochester, Harvard, MIT, Northwestern, University of Massachusetts, and Stanford. His 1970’s and 1980’s research developing periodic magnet systems (wigglers and undulators), had a major impact on synchrotron radiation sources and research facilities at Stanford and around the world. Beginning in 1992 he made major contributions to initiating and developing the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the world’s first X-ray Free Electron Laser. Starting operation in 2009, the LCLS has shifted the major SLAC focus from high energy physics to x-ray sources and research. In 1997 he suggested SESAME, a synchrotron light source involving 9 countries in the Middle East. He has played a major role in the development of this project, on track to start research in 2016 ( He is now promoting a similar project in Africa. Throughout his adult life he has been an activist in helping dissidents and protecting academic freedom and human rights.