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Wayne E. Hazen
The University Record Online

A native of Michigan, he received his Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1936 and his doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 1941 in cosmic ray physics as a student of Wallace Brode. He served on the Berkeley physics faculty until coming to U-M in 1947, where he remained throughout his career. Although he retired to emeritus status in 1984, he continued to be an active contributor to the Department of Physics. He chaired the doctoral thesis committees of 14 students, many of whom have gone on to prominent roles in space physics and other areas of science.

Hazen’s early research at Berkeley involved determining the mass, spin and other properties of the then-recently discovered mu meson (muon). Together with Professor A.Z. Hendel at the research station on Mount Chacaltaya in Bolivia he studied the radio pulses (10-100 MHz) produced by cosmic ray air showers, determining their polarization and spectra. Another significant research finding of Hazen was seeking to duplicate and subsequently to disprove the Australian claim for the discovery of free quarks (particles with electric charge of one-third that of an electron or proton) in a cloud chamber. He continued his studies of cosmic ray air showers at many sites around the world throughout his career.

He thoroughly enjoyed his professional interactions with colleagues and his travels around the world, friends say. He held a Guggenheim Fellowship at MIT in 1947, and again at Imperial College (London) in 1954; he also was a Fulbright Scholar at the Ecole Polytechnique (Paris), 1953-54. In 1958-59 he was the Smith-Mundt Professor at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon, and in 1966 he served as a consultant to the Agency for International Development Summer Institute in India. In 1972 he was a visiting professor at the University of Leeds (England), where he began a collaboration with Professor A.L. Hodson. In the 1980s he undertook an experimental collaboration with cosmic ray physicists in Western China. His global travels with his family were extensive.

Hazen’s love of adventure and exploration were unsurpassed; he was energetic and on the move well into his 90s, friends and family say. He enjoyed hiking, skin-diving, windsurfing, skydiving, skiing and flying (he had a pilot’s license). He constructed a significant portion of his family home and cottage, and also three wooden boats; his household engineering exploits were legendary, friends say.

He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Jean Hazen of Ann Arbor; children Sue Lillie of Denver, Gretchen Hazen of Anchorage, Alaska, Virginia Hazen of Casper, Wyo., and Eric Hazen of Brookline, Mass.; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

— Submitted by Carol Rabuck, Department of Physics