William F. Palmer was born in New York, NY in 1937, educated at Harvard and Johns Hopkins University, where he received his doctorate in Physics in 1967. Between college and graduate school he served in the US Navy as navigation officer on the USS Chilton, APA-38. He is a theoretical high energy physicist working on quarks, gluons, and leptons, the fundamental building blocks of matter formed at high energies in collisions at laboratory accelerators or in the formation of the early universe. After receiving his Ph. D degree he was a research associate at Argonne National Laboratory. In 1969 he joined The Ohio State University where he is now a professor of physics. He has published over 100 articles and reports in the area of high energy theory, particularly on heavy mesons decay, CP violation, and tests of the Standard Model.
He was an advocate of the SSC in Ohio, where he worked with the Celeste Administration to apply to the Department of Energy to site this machine in Ohio. He subsequently was Science Officer, on loan from the OSU to the Edison Program, working with Chris Coburn, Science Advisor to the Governor. He has also served on the Advisory Group to the Ohio Science and Technology Commission in the Voinovich administration. He has also been very active in University affairs, having chaired the University Fiscal Committee, served on the University Senate for several terms, including the Steering Committee of the Senate. In recent years he has focused considerable effort on the planning for a new physics building.
Palmer has worked on a variety of areas in high energy theoretical physics, including current algebra, chiral symmetry, strong and electroweak interactions, and various aspects of phenomenology, notably glueball physics in the '80s and B-meson physics in the '90s. Gordon Kane (University of Michigan) was an early physics collaborator; they overlapped at The Hopkins, when Kane was a post-doc. At Argonne, Palmer collaborated with Gustav Kramer (University of Hamburg, DESY) with whom he has worked. on and off, for many years. Much of Palmer's work on glueballs was in collaboration with Steve Pinsky (OSU), and much of his work on B-physics has been in collaboration with Gustav Kramer. Palmer has also enjoyed his collaborations with Manny Paschos (Dortmund) and Berthold Stech (Heidelberg).
At OSU Palmer taught a variety of courses, at the undergraduate and graduate level, and served on many committees, from the sublime to the ridiculous. His favorite courses have been Physics 131 and 132, where he has had the pleasure of bringing science to the minds of engineers, Physics 555-656, where physics majors meet the hard core of electromagnetic theory, and Physics 827-8-9 where first year graduate students learn what they have gotten themselves into.