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Ora S. Duffendack
The Michigan Alumnus 467

Physicist's Rich Background In Research Aids Teaching

Teaching and research are the 
chief interests of ORA S. DUFFENDACK, Professor of Physics, and 
 and in these two fields he has been
 engaged from his early student days. 
 Today, as a member of the Faculty 
of the Department of Physics, he is 
still carrying on his researches in 
that branch of the science which 
has come to be his special interest—
the study of electronic phenomena in gases—and directs each year the 
research of a number of graduate 

Professor Duffendack was 
born at Napoleon, Missouri, on May 
7, 1890, and began his early school
ing in that community. Later, he
 moved with his parents to Indepen
dence, Missouri, where he entered 
high school, and when he entered
 on college work, it was at Warrens
burg (Missouri) State Teachers' 
College that he enrolled. After two
 years of study there, however, he 
transferred to the University of Chi
cago, and graduated with the Bach
elor of Science degree in 1917. 

Meanwhile, he had gained his first 
teaching experience during five
 years as a teacher in public schools
 in Missouri and Washington. Fol
lowing graduate work at Chicago, he 
went to Kendall College (now the 
University of Tulsa, in Tulsa, Okla
homa) as Professor of Physics, but 
the desire for further study and re
search led him back to the classroom
 and laboratory as a student in 1920
 when he enrolled at Princeton. The
 Eastern university granted him a 
Master's degree in 1921, and in 1922 
he received his Ph.D. degree, these
 years having been spent with the
great physicist, Karl T. Compton.

Dr. Duffendack also held a Fellowship in Physics while at Princeton. 
 After receiving his Doctor's degree, 
he came to Michigan as an Instruc
tor, and during the intervening years
 has risen to full professorship. The 
research work has continued for 
him, however, in the University lab
oratories and at other research cen
ters. He worked in Goettingen, Ger
many, with Professor James Franck 
in 1929-1930 under a John Simon 
Guggenheim Fellowship, while dur
ing the summers of 1924 and 1926, 
 respectively, he was guest research 
physicist at the General Electric re
search laboratories in Schenectady, 
 New York, and at the Nela Laboratories in Cleveland.

Professor Duf
fendack has contributed numerous 
articles to professional journals, 
 chiefly on electrical phenomena in
 gases, on spectro-chemical analysis, 
 and concerning detection and measurement of artificial radioactivity. 
 Among publications for which he 
has written are Physical Review, the
 Journal of Industrial and Engineer
ing Chemistry, and the Proceedings 
of the National Academy of Science.

He is a Fellow of the American
 Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advance
ment of Science, as well as a charter
 member of the American Association
 of Physics Teachers and member of 
the Research Club, of which he was
 recently elected Secretary, of Sigma
 Xi, and Phi Beta Kappa. He serves
 also on committees of the National
 Research Council and the American
 Society of Testing Materials.