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March 8, 2004

Physics pioneers lauded at U-M

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Physics Department of the University of Michigan is hosting a celebration to honor pioneering African Americans in physics.

"A Celebration of Pioneering African Americans in Physics: From Imes to Moore at the University of Michigan" will be held 1-5:45 p.m. March 17 in West Hall, Room 340. A reception will follow in West 337.

The keynote address will be delivered by John Marburger III, science advisor to the president of the United States and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. U-M President Mary Sue Coleman also will make remarks during the event.

The symposium will honor two prominent U-M alumni:

Elmer Samuel Imes (1883-1941) was the second African American to earn a doctorate in physics in the United States and the first to make a significant research contribution. His thesis research was a pioneering work on the infrared spectroscopy of diatomic molecules, and he received his doctorate in 1918. In addition to his research contributions, Imes maintained close ties to U-M and was responsible for sending several students to the program in the 1930s.

Willie Hobbs Moore (1934-1994) was the first African American female to receive a doctorate in physics in United States, which she accomplished in 1972 at U-M. Her thesis research solved important problems in the vibrational analysis of macromolecules. After receiving her doctorate, she continued research on the spectral analysis of proteins. Her later career was spent with Ford Motor Company, where she worked on improving the reliability of the engineering and manufacturing process.

For more information, visit http://www.physics.lsa.umich.edu/nea/special/imesmoore.asp

 

Contact: Carol Rabuck
Phone: (734) 763-2588
E-mail: crabuck@umich.edu