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Memoir

David W. Gidley
Regents' Proceedings 383

David W. Gidley, Ph.D., professor of physics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, will retire from active faculty status on May 31, 2015.

Professor David Gidley received his B.A. degree from Albion College in 1972 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in 1974 and 1979, respectively. Professor Gidley joined the University of Michigan faculty as an assistant professor in 1982, and was promoted to associate professor in 1989, and professor in 1994.

A prominent physicist, Professor Gidley studied precision measurements of the singlet and triplet annihilation decay rates of the particle-antiparticle system called positronium. Professor Gidley's research on metal surfaces and thin films included surface defects, film growth, and the generation and polarimetry of spin polarized low energy positron beams to probe surface magnetism. He also used low energy positron beams to study surface, interface, and thin film properties of glassy polymers using depth-profiled positron lifetime spectroscopy in conjunction with traditional analysis techniques. His research group has actively collaborated with a host of industrial partners to develop a new positronium probe of nanoporous thin films. These materials, with engineered porosity at the nanometer scale, are being intensely pursued by the microelectronics industry as the next generation of dielectrics in high-speed devices. Professor Gidley generously shared his time and expertise with a generation of graduate and undergraduate students, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2002.

The Regents now salute this distinguished teacher and scholar by naming David W. Gidley, professor emeritus of physics.