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Dennis J. Hegyi
Regents' Proceedings 287

Dennis J. Hegyi, Ph.D., professor of physics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, will retire from active faculty status on May 31, 2004.

Professor Hegyi earned his B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963 and his Ph.D. degree from Princeton University in 1968. He held a National Academy of Sciences Fellowship at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies from 1968-70, and he was an assistant professor at Boston University from 1970-73 and at the Bartol Research Foundation from 1973-75. Professor Hegyi joined the University of Michigan faculty as an assistant professor in 1975 and was promoted to associate professor in 1978 and professor in 1986.

Professor Hegyi's scholarship is characterized by its broad reach and enormous ambition. He engaged the most fundamental questions of cosmology, which ranged from a measurement of the primordial helium abundance to theoretical studies of the properties of dark matter. Early in his career, he studied microwaves to show how cosmic background radiation affected the rotational temperature of molecules in space, and he was among the first to search for anisotropies in that radiation. His later work on optical measurements that detected halos surrounding galaxies were among the earliest observational steps in the still-continuing search for dark matter.

Professor Hegyi's vigorous theoretical analyses of the halos showed that they could not consist of baryons and helped him to rule out an entire series of conjectures proposed by others. Concurrently, he was performing theoretical work on the structure of neutron stars and helped develop one of the very first successful charge-coupled image detectors for use on a telescope. The detectors are a standard in today's astronomy. He is currently involved in an ongoing project to unify the special theory of relativity with a rational concept of causality. In addition to his extensive research work, Professor Hegyi developed several small group tutorials for introductory physics courses, and he provided educational direction for a research group of Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows.

The Regents now salute this distinguished scholar by naming Dennis J. Hegyi professor emeritus of physics.