Skip to main content

Cooke named director of Solid State Division

John F. Cooke has been named director of the Solid State Division of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The Solid State Division has a broad, interdisciplinary research program in condensed matter physics, including solid state theory, neutron scattering, synchrotron X-ray and photon research, surface and interface science, ion beam and laser processing, superconductivity and the synthesis, processing and characterization of advanced materials.

Cooke previously served as the division's acting director. Prior to that, he served 20 years as leader of the division's theory section.

Cooke joined the division in 1966 following a post-doctoral assignment at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell, England. His research has focused primarily on theoretical studies of magnetism and electron correlation effects in solids. He also pioneered the use of computer techniques for calculating complex electron correlation functions from the underlying electronic band structure. His work was confirmed by neutron scattering and led to assessing theoretically the feasibility of experiments planned at the neutron spallation source in the United Kingdom.

Cooke is a fellow of the American Physical Society and has been a guest scientist at the Danish Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Denmark, Kernforschungsanlage in Germany and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in England. Cooke has served as a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Physics and serves on the advisory committee of the High Performance Computing Center at Louisiana State University.

He earned bachelor's and master's degrees and a doctorate in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He and his wife, Ivy, have three children and seven grandchildren and reside in West Knoxville.