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.


Marcellus L Wiedenbeck
Regents' Proceedings 969

MARCELLUS L. WIEDENBECK, Professor of Physics, will retire from active faculty status on December 31, 1986, following a 40-year career at The University of Michigan. Professor Wiedenbeck received his B.S. degree from Canisius College in 1941 and his Ph.D. degree from Notre Dame University in 1944, where he served as an instructor from 1943-46. After joining The University of Michigan faculty as an assistant professor in 1946, he became an associate professor in 1949, and was promoted to professor in 1957.

His major research interest has been in the area of nuclear physics, where his many contributions to instrumentation include research on Geiger counters, sodium iodide scintillators, and properties of plastic scintillators. During the mid-1960s, he developed a high resolution bent-crystal spectrometer for use in his studies of nuclear gamma rays. Professor Wiedenbeck's research concerned gamma ray transitions, in particular those decays in which a sequence of gammas are emitted from the same nucleus. This has led to a better understanding of nuclear spectroscopy, which has helped to increase knowledge of nuclear structure, and ultimately, nuclear forces. Over a period of 30 years, Professor Wiedenbeck's studies of gamma spectra and angular correlations of dozens of particular nuclear isotopes has resulted in almost 100 publications in refereed journals.

Professor Wiedenbeck has contributed extensively to both undergraduate and graduate instruction in the Department of Physics. He taught many of the introductory and intermediate courses, and also chaired the doctoral thesis committees of 40 graduate students, the most that any faculty member has ever chaired. His influence is demonstrated by the successful careers his students have gone on to achieve in government, industry, and academia, where a remarkable number of them hold senior administrative positions as deans, vice presidents, and presidents of academic institutions. His teaching contributions were recognized in 1984, when he was awarded the Amoco Outstanding Teaching Award. Since 1978, Professor Wiedenbeck also served in the additional administrative capacity of associate chairman of the department of physics, with responsibilities for undergraduate and graduate advising, teaching assignments, and curricula.

The Regents now honor the exemplary career of this distinguished scholar and teacher by naming Marcellus L. Wiedenbeck Professor Emeritus of Physics.