University of Texas
Duane Alfred Dicus
November 23, 1938– September 7, 2022



Duane Alfred Dicus


Duane Discus

Duane Discus was born on November 23, 1938, to Everest Alfred and Norma May Greenaway Discus in Pateros, Okanogan, Washington. In 1944, the family, which now included younger sister, Marcia Gail, moved to Tonasket, WA, where they purchased an apple orchard. Duane spent his early years doing demanding work on the family orchard. He attended Tonasket High School and participated in athletics. His mother was born in Washington, DC. Duane married Mary Sandra Schultz on November 1, 1957, in the Epiphany Church in Seattle, Washington. Sandra was born in Wenotfhee, WA. Duane and Sandra had three children, Steve Michael, Richard Duane and James Kenneth.

Duane graduated from the University of Washington in 1961. He received his PhD from UCLA in 1968 under the supervision of Professor Richar Eyre Norton. His dissertation was entitled, "Universality of the Weak Vector Coupling Constant." Dicus completed postdoctoral appointments at MIT from 1969-71 and Rochester from 1971-73. His research interests included, weak and electromagnetic interactions, chiral and gauge field theories and Regge poles. In 1973, Dicus left the University of Rochester and joined the Center for Particles and Fields at the University of Texas at Austin. Duane was widely recognized in the particle physics community thanks to his contributions in a range of topics including precision calculations within the Standard Model, astroparticle physics, as well as more formal topics in quantum field theory. Dicus' research was supported by the Department of Energy from 1967-2018. The Particle physics website, SPIRES, which lists papers and citations, includes 208 papers and 9,181 citations for Dicus. There are 22 of his papers with over 100 citations per paper. He served as Director of the Center for a number of years. He remained in the Center until his retirement in 2020. He was selected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1987. His citation read, "For contributions to the theory of strong, weak, and electromagnetic interactions and applications to stellar, galactic, and cosmological astrophysics, including both calculation of complexity and discussions with insight." Nominated by: Division of Astrophysics.

Duane directed the dissertation of Hank Schreiner, the first totally blind student to receive a PhD in physics at UT. Hank said of Duane, "I respect the kind of physicist he is. He is easy to talk to. He listens to you and you don't feel dumb talking to him.” Duane commented,  “I treated Hank like any other student”. "He was a good student and he is a good physicist. He never asked for any favors.”

Duane was a good citizen, serving on many important department committees.  His senior quantum mechanics class was very popular with the physics majors. He won a College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award in 2008.

Duane was an avid bowler until a health issue force his retirement from the sport. 

Duane Dicus retired in 2020. Duane died in Austin on September 7. 2022.

Among his graduate students were: Roberto Vega, Mark Steven Byrd, Tom David Imbo, Chung Kao, Todd Michael Tinsley, Xerxes Tata, Rahu Malhorra and Edward William "Rocky" Kolb.

Here is an article that describes some work Duane did with his graduate student, Scott Willenbrock. A larger version of the logbook entry is at the end of the page.

Students and Postdocs Working with Duane Dicus

Former Theory PhD Students with Faculty Position
Name Location PhD
Edward "Rocky" Kolb U of Chicago1978
Scott Willenbrock U of Illinois1986
Kalpana Kallianpur John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii 1986
Roberto Vega SMU1988
Tom Imbo U of Illinois at Chicago1989
Chung Kao U of Oklahoma1990
Todd Tinsle Hendrix College2005
Mark Byrd Southern Illinois U. 1999
Other Theory Ph.D. students of Duane Dicus
John Letaw Space Radiation Associates1981
Hank Schreiner Naval Research Laboratory Retired1982
David Down Ball Aerospace1985
Greg Nageo Boeing and Raytheon1990
David Chao CTO Iodine Software, Austin, TX1993
Rahul MalhotraNomura Securities2005
Former Dicus Postdocs with Faculty Positions (all tenured)
Xerxes Tata U. of Hawaii1982
Satya Nandi Oklahoma State Univ 1984-1990
Palash Pal Saha Institute (India)1994
Hong-Jian He Tsinghua Univ. (China) 2000~2005
Deshpande, Nilendra G. University of Oregon 1973-74
Vigdor "Vic" L. Teplitz Southern Methodist University  


Duane A. Discus Photo Album

Everest Alfred Dicus, father of Duane Dicus
Duane Dicus at work in his office, University of Texas at Austin
Duane A. Dicus

Duane Dicus


Duane Dicus, University of Washington, 1958
Scott Willenbtock logbook, University of Texas, 1985


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