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George Allan Lindsay
LSA Minutes

1879 - 1976

George Allan Lindsay, Professor Emeritus of Physics, died on March 16, 1976 at University Hospital. He was 96 years of age. A native of Michigan, Professor Lindsay was born in Wyandotte on November 1, 1879. He was educated at Flat Rock High School and Ann Arbor High School before enrolling in the University of Michigan, from which he received the AB degree in 1905. He attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, and held the position of lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis. During the same period he was enrolled in graduate studies at University of Michigan. He was awarded the MA degree in 1908 and the Ph.D. in 1913.

At this time George Lindsay began his long career as a faculty member at the University of Michigan, a career which was to span thirty-seven years. He rose through the -Academic ranks from Instructor in 1913, to Assistant Professor in 1920, to Associate Professor in 1927 and then to Professor in 1936. He retired in 1950 as Professor Emeritus, and lived the remaining 26 years of his life in his home at 2015 Day Street in Ann Arbor.

His earliest scientific work was in mechanics and in astronomy, but he is best known for his work in X-ray spectroscopy. This line of research was initiated during a sabbatical year abroad in Lund and Paris and was continued for the rest of his carrer. Through his measurements of the fine structure of the X-ray absorption of various elements, he was able to contribute to the theory of atomic structure and of the structure of metals. This work was a significant part of the quantum theory of matter, then in its infancy. Professor Lindsay was not a prolific worker but was held in considerable esteem by his colleagues for the care and precision with which all of his measurements were made. He was an active participant in the teaching duties of his department, and wrote one journal article on the physics of X-rays for students in medicine. He was also a participant in the administration of his department as a member of its executive committee, and was a member of several professional societies, being a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society.

Professor Lindsay married Edith Robbe in 1906 and they had one son Eugene Robbe Lindsay in 1909. Both his wife and son preceded him in death.

George Lindsay was well regarded by his colleagues and friends, both in the University and in the community. He left behind him a sincere admiration for his diligent work and his warm humanity toward others.