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

Martinus J. Veltman
Regents' Proceedings 348

Martinus J. Veltman, John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics, will retire from active faculty status on May 31, 1997.

Professor Veltman received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in theoretical physics from the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands) in 1956 and 1963, respectively. He was a fellow at CERN from 1961-66 and was professor of physics at the University of Utrecht from 1966-81. He joined the University of Michigan in 1981 as the John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics.

Professor Veltman is known worldwide for his pioneering work on the renormalizability of gauge theories. The discovery that these theories are renormalizable has revolutionized the field of particle physics. All interactions-weak, electromagnetic, and strong-are described by a gauge theory, and the precise understanding of these theories has made it possible to extract precise predictions and quantities to be observed experimentally.

Professor Veltman was the first to start a systematic analysis of the calculation of radiative corrections. The methods developed by him and his students are the basis for that branch of research. Precision measurements have since confirmed the results in great detail, establishing firmly the principles of gauge theories and their renormalizability. Professor Veltman was also the first to develop a general-purpose computer program that can do algebra. The underlying principles of that program are used in all modern algebraic programs commonly found in software used by researchers everywhere.

Professor Veltman is a member of the Dutch Academy of Science and is a fellow of the American Physical Society. He has served on policy committees at all of the world's major high energy physics laboratories. Among his many honors are the Alexander von Humboldt Award (Germany); Doctor Honoris Causa from SUNY-Stonybrook; and the Fifth Physica Lezing (The Netherlands). In 1992, he was knighted into the Dutch Order of the Lion in honor of Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands. He received the 1993 High Energy Physics Prize from the European Physical Society. He has been a towering presence in world physics and an invaluable colleague at the University of Michigan.

The Regents now salute this faculty member by naming Martinus J. Veltman the John D. McArthur Professor Emeritus of Physics.