The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.

Memoir

J. Wehrley Chapman
Regents' Proceedings 337

J. Wehrley Chapman, Ph.D., professor of physics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, will retire from active faculty status on May 31, 2008. Professor Chapman received his B.S. degree from Southwestern University in 1960, and his Ph.D. degree from Duke University in 1966. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as an assistant professor in 1966, and was promoted to associate professor in 1971 and professor in 1978.

Professor Chapman's long and distinguished research career was dedicated to the experimental discovery of fundamental physical laws that govern the interactions of elementary particles. He made major contributions to experiments conducted at national and international particle accelerator laboratories, including Brookhaven National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and CERN (Switzerland). These experiments yielded the discovery of the top quark and the determination that there are three distinct neutrino species. He was particularly noted for his ability to design and provide sophisticated electronic devices for the detectors used in these experiments. At the beginning of his career he developed automated scanning devices for locating and measuring tracks recorded on bubble-chamber film. Later, he employed direct electronic detection of particle trajectories from ionization deposited in scintillators and in gas-filled detectors. Most recently, this all-electronic measurement technique expanded to include detectors with nearly one million channels of custom integrated circuit electronics and large programmable logic chips.

Professor Chapman participated in all aspects of academic life. He taught a variety of physics courses and served on the Physics Department Executive Committee and on many other department and university committees. For 18 years, he was the project director for all Department of Energy funded research in elementary-particle physics at the University of Michigan. He supervised nine Ph.D. students and served on the thesis committees of an additional eleven Ph.D. students.

The Regents salute this distinguished scholar by naming J. Wehrley Chapman professor emeritus of physics.