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Memoir

T. Michael Sanders
Regents' Proceedings 352

T. Michael Sanders, Ph.D., professor of physics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 2000.

Following service in the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II, Professor Sanders received his A.B. degree from Harvard College in 1948 and his M.S. (1951) and Ph.D. (1954) degrees from Columbia University. His dissertation research included observation of the microwave spectrum of hydroxyl, the first free radical studied in this way. From 1953-55, Professor Sanders was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, where he measured, for the first time, the Lamb Shift in unstable, excited states of the hydrogen atom. From 1955-65, he served on the faculty of the University of Minnesota. He came to the University of Michigan in 1963 as a visiting professor and was named professor in 1965.

At the University of Minnesota, Professor Sanders' research interests moved from atomic and molecular physics to solid-state and low-temperature physics. His research on free electrons in helium gas at low temperature provided the first evidence of an unusual electron "bubble" state, previously suggested in liquid helium. At Michigan, he continued his research on helium at low temperature and began studying the newly discovered quantized vortices. This research culminated in the first detection of single, quantized vortex lines in a rotating vessel of superfluid liquid helium. Other work included a very high-resolution measurement of the surface tension of liquid helium near the temperature at which it becomes superfluid.

Professor Sanders has been involved in the development of several new physics courses. These popular courses, designed for the nonscientist enthusiast, include "Controversial Scientific Claims and Discoveries," "Everyday Physics," and "The Physicists and the Bomb." He has served on the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Executive Committee, the Senate Assembly, and on the physics department's executive committee. He has been a visitor at the University of California at Berkeley, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Cornell University, and Universita di Firenze and has held fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan and John Simon Guggenheim Foundations.

The Regents now salute this faculty member by naming T. Michael Sanders professor emeritus of physics.