October 10, 1925–December 15, 1993
BY ROBERT G. SHULMAN
WILLIAM DALE PHILLIPS, chemist, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopist, and science policy advisor, died at home in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 15, 1993.
Bill Phillips was born October 10, 1925, in Kansas City, Missouri, the first of the two children of Elmer and Mabel Phillips, long-time residents of Kansas City. He graduated from public high school in his hometown at the age of seventeen and entered the U.S. Navy V-12 program in 1943. At the navy's request he studied mechanical engineering at the University of Texas and was commissioned and left active duty in 1946 with the rank of lieutenant (junior grade). Bill returned to finish undergraduate studies at the University of Kansas in 1946 and received a B.A. in chemistry in 1948. For graduate studies he entered the MIT chemistry department. His research was on the vibrational spectra of organic molecules in Richard Lord's laboratory. In this laboratory he learned the nature and basis of spectroscopy, an understanding that enabled him to move freely across different applications of varied spectroscopies. He was in a physical chemistry laboratory that was trying to obtain vibrational and Raman spectra from biological molecules. At that time difficulties arose from the impurities present in