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Table of Contents

Institutional History

AbstractDepartment chairsImportant DatesPlacesSubjectsCitations

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

University of Michigan. Department of Physics

Photo

Dates

1843 – present

Authorized Form of Name

University of Michigan. Department of Physics

Additional Forms of Names

University of Michigan. Dept. of Physics

Institutional History

Abstract

First course in "Natural Philosophy" offered in 1843; first professor of physics and civil engineering appointed in 1854; first full professor of physics named in 1860. Additional instructors, assistant professors and junior professors were added between 1890 and 1900. Early courses in infrared spectroscopy were followed by discoveries leading to microwave spectroscopy. A theoretical physics program and applied physics program were offered in the 1920s; nuclear physics program added in the 1930s. After World War II the department developed an interest in high energy physics, notably with Donald Glaser's Nobel Prize-winning Bubble Chamber in the 1950s.

Department chairs

1911-15, Karl E. Guthe.

1915-41, Harrison M. Randall.

1941-55, Ernest F. Baker.

1955-65, David Dennison.

1965-72, H. Richard Crane.

1972-77, Daniel Sinclair.

1977-82, Richard H. Sands.

1982-87, Lawrence W. Jones.

1987-92, Homer A. Neal.

1992-94, John F. Ward (Interim Chair).

1994-2004, Citrad Uher.

2004-unknown, Myron Campbell.

unknown-present, Bradford Orr.

Important Dates

1843First course entitled "Natural Philosophy" was taught, Ann Arbor (Mich.).

1854Alexander Winchell appointed first Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering.

1860James Craig Watson hired as first full Professor of Physics.

1888Physics Building was built, Ann Arbor (Mich.).

1901 – 1969Harrison Randall was on faculty.

1910 – 1911Richard Tolman was on faculty.

1911Harrison M. Randall's work in infrared spectroscopy helped bring prominence to the department.

1923Summer Symposia in Physics began.

1923 – 1924East Physics Building (now Randall Laboratory) was built for advanced research.

1924 – 1971Otto Laporte was on faculty.

1927 – 1935George Uhlenbeck was on faculty.

1927 – 1946Samuel Goudsmit was on faculty.

1927 – 1976David Dennison was on faculty.

1928Summer Symposia changed its focus to Theoretical Physics and broadened its scope.

1932 – 1933Robert Bacher was on faculty.

1935 – 2007H. Richard Crane was on faculty.

1936Department built a 36-inch cyclotron with the Medical School.

1939Cyclotron was converted to 42 inches.

1939 – 1960George Uhlenbeck was on faculty.

1948 – 1950William Nierenberg was on faculty.

1949 – 1959Donald Glaser was on faculty.

1951 – 1969Kenneth Case was on faculty.

1952 – 1953Gert Ehrlich was on faculty.

1953 – 1957Joaquin Luttinger was on faculty.

1955 – 1963Martin Perl was on faculty.

1956 – 1957G. Raymond Satchler was on faculty.

1957 – 1960George Trilling was on faculty.

1962Cyclotron was replaced with an 83-inch cyclotron.

1962 – 1963David Wilkinson was on faculty.

1962 – 1963Physics-Astronomy Building (now Dennison Building) was built to house the Physics-Astronomy Library, classrooms, and laboratories.

1977 – 1984Carl Wieman was on faculty.

1990 – 2006Philip Bucksbaum was on faculty.

1996 – 1999Margaret Murnane was on faculty.

Places

Headquarters

Ann Arbor (Mich.)

Subjects

Physics -- Study and teaching.

Citations

Historical information from the finding aid of the University of Michigan Department of Physics records, Bentley Historical Library (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/b/bhlead/umich-bhl-87145).

Relationships

People

Employees & Officers

Bacher, Robert F. (Robert Fox), 1905-2004

Received BS (1926), PhD (1930), and Lloyd Fellow.

Barker, Ernest F. (Ernest Franklin), 1886-1970

Department Chair.

Bucksbaum, Philip H.

Professor Physics; Otto Laporte Collegiate Professor of Physics; and Peter Franken Distinguished University Professor of Physics.

Campbell, M. (Myron K.)

Department Chair.

Case, Kenneth M.

Assistant Professor to Professor of Physics.

Crane, H. R. (Horace Richard), 1907-2007

Instructor and Research Physicist; Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Physics; Director, Proximity Fuse Project Satellite; Chair, Department of Physics; Professor of Physics; and Emeritus Professor of Physics.

Dennison, David M. (David Mathias), 1900-1976

Received PhD in Physics (1924). Instructor; Assistant Professor; Associate Professor; Professor; Department Chair; Harrison M. Randall University Professor; and Professor Emeritus.

Ehrlich, Gert

Research Associate in Physics.

Glaser, D. A.

Instructor to Associate Professor of Physics and Professor of Physics.

Goudsmit, Samuel A. (Samuel Abraham), 1902-1978

Associate Professor of Physics and Professor of Physics.

Guthe, Karl Eugen

First Department Chair.

Jones, Lawrence W. (Lawrence William)

Department Chair.

Laporte, Otto, 1902-1971

Instructor in Physics; Assistant Professor of Physics; Associate Professor of Physics; and Professor of Physics.

Luttinger, Joaquin M.

Associate Professor of Physics.

Mourou, Gerard

Founding Director, Center for Ultrafast Optical Science and A. D. Moore Distinguished University Professor Emeritus.

Murnane, Margaret

Associate Professor of Physics.

Neal, Homer A.

Department Chair.

Nierenberg, William Aaron, 1919-2000

Assistant Professor of Physics.

Orr, Bradford G.

Department Chair.

Pauli, Wolfgang, 1900-1958

Visiting Professor.

Perl, Martin L., 1927-2014

Instructor to Associate Professor.

Ramsey, Norman, 1915-2011

Visiting Professor.

Randall, Harrison M. (Harrison McAllister), 1870-

Received PhB (1893), AM (1894), and PhD (1902). Instructor in Physics; Assistant Professor of Physics; Associate Professor of Physics; Professor of Physics; Director, Physics Laboratory; and Emeritus Professor of Physics.

Sands, Richard H.

Department Chair.

Satchler, G. R. (George Raymond)

Research Associate.

Sinclair, Daniel

Department Chair.

Trilling, George H.

Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of Physics.

Uher, Ctirad

Department Chair.

Uhlenbeck, George Eugène, 1900-1988

Instructor to Associate Professor of Physics; Professor of Physics; and Henry S. Carhart Professor of Physics.

Van Vleck, J. H. (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980

Visiting Professor.

Veltman, Martinus

John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics, emeritus.

Watson, James Craig

First full Professor of Physics.

Wheeler, John Archibald, 1911-2008

Visiting Professor.

Wieman, C. E. (Carl Edwin)

Assistant Research Scientist in Physics and Assistant Professor of Physics.

Wilkinson, David T.

Received PhD (1962) and Lecturer in Physics.

Winchell, Alexander, 1824-1891

First Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering.

Wolfenstein, L. (Lincoln)

Visiting Professor.

PhD Students

Foley, Henry Michael, 1917-1982

Received BS, MA and PhD in Physics (1942).

Tape, Gerald Frederick, 1915-2005

Received MS (1936) and PhD (1940).

Ting, S. C. C. (Samuel Chao-chung), 1936-

Received BS (1959) and PhD (1962).

Associates & Members

Adel, Arthur, 1908-1994

Baldwin, Ralph Belknap, 1912-

Barton, Henry Askew, 1898-1983

Transferred after one year of study.

Bass, Michael, 1939-

Bloch, Felix, 1905-

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Briggs, Lyman J. (Lyman James), 1874-1963

Received MS (1895).

Carhart, Henry S. (Henry Smith), 1844-1920

Carpenter, John M. (John Marland), 1935-

Ceperley, David

Received BS in Physics (1971).

Chamberlain, Joseph W. (Joseph Wyan), 1928-2004

Received AM in Physics (1949).

Colby, Walter F. (Walter Francis), 1880-

Ewald, Paul Peter, 1888-1985

Fowler, Richard Gildart

Fox, Gerald Willis, 1900-1974

Gofman, John W.

Gomberg, H. J. (Henry Jacob)

Goodman, Ralph R.

Gunn, Ross, 1897-1966

Received MS.

Hanau, Richard, 1917-

Hirsh, Ira J.

Hobart, James

Inglis, David Rittenhouse, 1905-1995

Karle, Jerome

Obtained PhD in Physics (1944).

Klein, Oskar

Koehler, James S. (James Stark), 1914-2006

Manley, John Henry, 1907-

Morse, Philip M. (Philip McCord), 1903-1985

Parkinson, W. C. (William Charles), 1918-

Plyler, Earle Keith, 1897-1976

Politzer, H. David, 1949-

Received BS (1969).

Rich, Arthur, 1937-1990

Sawyer, Ralph A. (Ralph Alanson), 1895-1978

Seitz, Frederick, 1911-2008

Sleator, William Warner

Smith, Arthur W.

Terhune, R. W. (Robert William)

Terwilliger, Kent M. (Kent Melville), 1924-1989

Van der Velde, John Christian

Wead, Charles Kasson

Webster, David Locke, 1888-1976

Williams, Neil H. (Neil Hooker)

Witherell, Michael S., 1949-

Received BS (1968).

Wu, Ta-you

Zorn, Jens C.

Zweig, George

Received BS (1959).

Institutions

Institutional Hierarchy

University of Michigan

Associates

American Institute of Physics. Center for History of Physics

Participated in the study of multi-institutional collaborations.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

A directory of research in the Physics Department of the University of Michigan, 1962.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Catalogs listing courses in physics and staff of the University of Michigan Department of Physics, 1925-1941.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Copies of physics and chemistry examinations, 1896-1901.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars records, 1933-1945.

Rare Books and Manuscripts Division

New York Public Library

Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018, USA

Pages from catalogs listing faculty of physics department, 1910-1940.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

University of Michigan Department of Physics publications, 1915-ongoing.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

University of Michigan Department of Physics records, 1873-2002 (bulk 1954-1991).

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Subject

Anna Newton student notebook, 1893.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Arthur Adel response to History of Modern Astrophysics Survey, 1980.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Arthur Rich papers, 1962-1989.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Arthur Whitmore Smith papers, 1893-1954 (bulk 1930-1954).

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Charles Kasson Wead papers, 1840-1924.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

David M. Dennison papers, circa 1927-1976.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

George Uhlenbeck papers, 1918-1982 (bulk 1925-1970).

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Gerald Willis Fox the history of recent physics in the United States, 1965.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Harrison M. Randall papers, 1897-1956.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Harry E. Moses student notebooks, 1943-1947.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Henry Jacob Gomberg papers, 1941-1995.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Henry S. Carhart papers, circa 1875-circa 1920.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Homer Neal papers.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Horace Richard Crane papers, 1897-2000 (bulk 1933-1995).

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Jack C. van der Velde papers, 1979-1994 (bulk 1985-1990).

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Jens C. Zorn papers, 1956-1995.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Kent Terwilliger papers, 1956-1989.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Lawrence W. Jones papers, 1953-2001 (bulk 1984-1989).

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Nathan Ginsburg papers, 1931-1978.

Archives and Records Management

Syracuse University

E. S. Bird Library, Syracuse, NY 13244-2010, USA

Neil H. Williams student notebook, circa 1908.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Notes used by Hanau in teaching elementary physics laboratory at University of Michigan, 1940s.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

On the history of physics at Michigan: Nuclear physics, 1986.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Arthur Adel, 1987 August 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with David Locke Webster, 1964 May 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with David Mathias Dennison, 1964 January 27, 28 and 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with David Rittenhouse Inglis, 1977 May 9 and 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with David Todd Wilkinson, 1984 September 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Donald A. Glaser, 2003 November 18 - 2 March 2004.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Oral history interview with Earle Plyler, 1964 April 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Felix Bloch, 1968 August 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Frederick Seitz, 1981 January 26, 27, March 24 and 1982 March 16.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with George Eugene Uhlenbeck, 1962 March 30, 31, April 5, May 10 and 1963 December 9.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Harrison M. Randall, 1964 February 19, 20 and 1965 June 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Ira Hirsh, 1994 June 9.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with J. H. Van Vleck, 1963 October 2 and 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with J. H. Van Vleck, 1966 February 28 and 1973 January 19.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with James Hobart, 1984 January 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with James Stark Koehler, 1981 March 6.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John Henry Manley, 1976 July 9 and 11.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Oral history interview with John M. Carpenter, 2008 December 17, 2010 May 3 and November 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John W. Gofman, 1980 24 July to 8 August.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Oral history interview with Michael Bass, 1985 May 29.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Oskar Benjamin Klein, 1962 September 25 to 16 July 1963.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Paul Peter Ewald, 1959 April 1.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Paul Peter Ewald, 1968 May 17 and 24.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Ralph Alanson Sawyer, 1967 March 16 and 1970 September 24.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Ralph R. Goodman, 2007 September 19.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral History interview with Robert F. Bacher, 1966 June 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Terhune, 1978 October 29.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Samuel Abraham Goudsmit, 1963 December 5 and 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Samuel Goudsmit, 1976 May 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Ta-You Wu, 1977 February 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with William Aaron Nierenberg, 1986 February 6 and June 26, 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interviews. Computer-mediated collaborations: Upper Atmosphere Research Collaboratory, 1996-1997.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interviews. High-Energy Physics. Administrators, 1990-1991.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interviews. High-Energy Physics. Selected Experiments: IMB: The Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven Experiment, 1990-1991.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oskar Klein From my life of physics, 1968.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Otto Laporte papers, 1926-1970.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Phillip M. Morse autobiographical data, circa 1962.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Physics: electricity, magnetism and light [lecture notes], 1926.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Professor Henry Levinstein of Syracuse University and his impact on infrared detectors in the U. S., 2016.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Ralph A. Sawyer papers, 1918-1978.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Ralph Belknap Baldwin Highlighted story of a long and unusual life, 1998.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Richard G. Fowler papers, 1946-1969.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Richard Hanau lecture notes, 1946-1947.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Robert F. Bacher papers, 1924-1994.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Samuel A. Goudsmit papers, 1921-1979.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Scott Turner lecture notes, 1900-1902 and 1904.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

The Michigan Symposium on Theoretical Physics, circa 1961.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The University of Michigan Department of Physics, 1843-1944, 1944.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Walter F. Colby papers, 1924-1970.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Walter G. Wallace student notebook, 1890-1891.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

William Charles Parkinson papers, 1950-1990.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

William Warner Sleator papers, circa 1931-circa 1956.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Published Resources

Author

Handbook of military infrared technology. Editor: William L. Wolfe.

Increasing the AGS polarization : Ann Arbor, Michigan, 6-9 November 2002 / editors, A.D. Krisch, A.M.T. Lin, T. Roser ; sponsoring organizations, University of Michigan, Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Subject

On the history of physics at Michigan : the Dept. of Physics, 1843-1975 / by Charles Meyer [et al.]. Nuclear physics at Michigan / by William Parkinson.