Department History

Timeline

  • 1885 - Michigan Mining School (MMS) created
  • 1886 - First Classes held in Fire Hall
  • 1887 - First Physics classes held
  • 1889 - Hubbell Hall under construction; school moves in
  • 1890 - Hubbell Hall completed; first math and physics professor hired (Arthur E. Haynes)
  • 1893 - Fred W. McNair replaces Haynes
  • 1895 - James Fisher starts as instructor
  • 1897 - Name changed to Michigan College of Mines (MCM)
  • 1899 - McNair becomes MCM President; Fisher in charge of Math and Physics
  • 1901 - Tamarack Mine experiments begin
  • 1917-1918 - United States involved in WWI; McNair at NBS
  • 1924 - McNair dies in train wreck
  • 1927 - Name changed to Michigan College of Mining and Technology (MCMT); role expanded; new physics courses added
  • 1933 - BS in General Science introduced
  • 1934 - Geophysics research prospers
  • 1941 - Physics Major under BS in General Science first appears
  • 1944 - Fisher faces mandatory retirement
  • 1945 - Math and physics departments split
  • 1946 - BS in Physics, Engineering Physics, and Geophysical Engineering introduced; Sault Ste. Marie branch campus opens
  • 1950's - Enrollment growth
  • 1954 - MS in Physics announced; physics professor becomes director of Sault Ste. Marie branch
  • 1957 - Major overhaul of curriculum as Van Pelt becomes president
  • 1958 - Engineering Mechanics courses move to new EM department
  • 1961 - BS in Engineering Physics renamed Applied Physics
  • 1964 - Name changed to Michigan Technological University; scope broadened; Physics moves into Fisher Hall
  • 1966 - Sault campus becomes Lake Superior State University (LSSU)
  • 1967 - Nuclear Physics research emphasized
  • 1968 - College of Sciences and Arts formed; Hubbell Hall demolished
  • 1970 - Highway moved from north to south side of Fisher Hall
  • 1970's - Push for research causes strife in department
  • 1974 - Geophysics major moves to Geology
  • 1981 - Second push for research emphasizes solid state/materials physics; "Physics of Solids" option becomes available to metallurgy PhD students
  • 1986 - CEC established in present form from earlier incarnations
  • 1987 - Physics PhD program approved
  • 1999 - Physics research expenditures top $1 million
  • 2000 - Change to semester system
  • 2001 - PhD in Engineering Physics added

View Physics Department History Exhibits