Welcome to the Emeriti Profile where we ask one of our emeritus faculty questions about their careers and what they have being doing since retirement. Is there a faculty member that you recall from being a student and are you wondering what they are up to? Do you have fond memories of a certain instructor? Tell us who they are and we will try and connect with them for an update.
How many years you were a faculty member?
I was a professor for 32 years, from July 1971 to July 2003.
Can you tell us about your educational background from your undergraduate degree to your PhD?
I received a BSc from Victoria College at the University of Toronto. I was awarded the Governor General’s Silver Medal and was the winner of the 1965 Canada-wide contest from the Canadian Association of Physicists. The prize was a trip to their conference in Vancouver. Those were very different days, in that the pilot welcomed me into the cockpit to observe the crew in action during the flight.
What was your PhD on and why?
My PhD thesis was titled Magnetic Resonance Molecular Beam Studies on HD and D_2. This was a fundamental experiment in quantum mechanics and produced the most accurate measurement of the nuclear quadruple moment of the deuteron to the present time. It was of fundamental importance to quantum mechanics.
What kind of physics did you teach? And why?
At UTM I taught electronics and physics for biology and medicine. My favourite course was the Second Year course Clocks, Quanta and Chaos for non- physicists. At the St. George Campus I taught graduate courses in quantum mechanics and classical electro-dynamics.
What are your fondest memories of being a faculty member in the U of T Physics Department?
I have fond memories of the friendship and the support of my colleagues. I enjoyed being the chair of the Colloquium Committee.
How has the Physics Department changed since you were a faculty member?
Both the department and the campus at UTM have grown considerably since my day. When I arrived UTM was named Erindale College. In my early tenure there were still small swimming pools that had been part of the original estates that had preceded the university. Biophysics is now an important part of the department.
What have you been doing during your retirement?
Following retirement I was a community member of the Research Ethics Board at CAMH- the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. I advocated strongly for patients and their families during the nineteen years I was a member.
I continue to sing tenor in my church choir. I enjoyed digital photography, and tackled organizing the pile of family photos until I lost my sight in August, 2021. Since then I have been learning to use assistive technology and to touch type.
I enjoy learning languages, and listen to French and German radio broadcasts. I am attempting to understand the news in standard Chinese. I became interested in this language when I worked with Chinese students at UTM.
With the help of my son I am continuing to delve into topics of interest using my computer.
Anything else you would like us to know or share?
I really enjoyed my research on the quantum properties of solid methane by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, the optics of liquid crystals, and the development of NMR measurements of trace fluorine impurities in the bones of living human index fingers. The latter research was done in collaboration with the late Kenneth McNeill to investigate nutritional methods of treating osteoporosis.