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Recognized and respected internationally for his work on positrons, the antimatter equivalent of the electron, Professor Rich carried forward a departmental tradition of accomplishment in precision measurements of atomic physics. His studies of positronium lifetimes and the magnetic moment of the electron and positron were crucial tests of the theory of quantum electrodynamics; he was well known for the design of the positron microscope and for his work with polarized positron beams. His broad-based research program included astrophysical observations, improvements in medical technology, and initial studies aimed at the creation of anti-hydrogen. His work was continually innovative and of fundamental import.

Professor Rich was born in New York, New York, in 1937. He received his B.S. degree in physics from Brooklyn College in 1959, his M.A. degree from Columbia University in 1961, and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1965. He was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Physics in 1966.

At the University of Michigan, Art built a strong team of physicists. He was esteemed particularly for training and encouraging the many undergraduate students who participated —in positions of real importance —in his various research projects. Art served with distinction on numerous committees, including the Senate Assembly and the advisory board of the Phoenix Memorial Project; he was a senior fellow of the Michigan Society of Fellows from 1979-82. Nationally, he was a leader of the community of atomic physicists. He was a member of the National Research Council's committee on fundamental constants and the international organizing committee of the 11th International Conference of Atomic Physics; he was chair of the 12th International Conference of Atomic Physics.

Art was a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences. Art was an innovative thinker with a comprehensive vision of physics, and with the perseverance and care for exactitude necessary for success in his chosen specialty. He had profound insight and was adept at designing experiments that cut to the heart of the theoretical issues in atomic physics. He was adept as well at communicating his vision to others and at coordinating their efforts toward a common goal.

Faculty History Project

Arthur Rich