Research Interests

Noel Clark was born in 1940 in Cleveland, Ohio, where he received his B.S. and M.S. physics degrees in physics at John Carroll University. He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1970 and spent the next seven years in the Harvard liquid crystal group with Peter Pershan and Robert Meyer, first as a research fellow and then as junior faculty. He moved to Boulder in 1977 where he is currently Professor of Physics at the University of Colorado. He has worked in many areas of soft condensed matter/complex fluid physics, mostly liquid crystals and colloids. Research highlights include initiating, while at Harvard, the study of ultrathin freely suspended liquid crystal films and a career-long interest in their properties; discovery, with Sven Lagerwall, of surface stabilized ferroelectric liquid crystals (fluid ferroelectric domains); observation, with the Boulder team, of macroscopic chiral domains (chiral conglomerate formation) in fluid liquid crystal phases of achiral molecules; observation with Tommaso Bellini of the liquid crystal phases of nanometer length DNA and the proposal that templating by liquid crystal phases was responsible for the appearance of self replicating linear polymers in early life. In 1984 he co-founded Displaytech, Inc., currently the world's leading maker of ferroelectric liquid crystal devices and materials. His work is the most cited among experimentalists who have worked in liquid crystals.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 33: Applied Physical Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 13: Physics