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World Renowned Physicist Dies

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Dr. Harrison M. Randall, 98, world renowned University of Michigan professor emeritus of physics who made major conil tributions to the theory of atomic strucil ture, development of sonar and determination of penicillin's structure, died MonI day at University Hospital. He broke his hip in a fall at his home at ij 1208 Prospect about a month ago and had I been a patiënt at the hospital since that I time, having undergone surgery for the I injury. Dr. Randall switched fields of interest I at the age of 71 after retiring from the I U-M faculty in 1940, pursuing research in I bacteriology until after his 95th birthday. : His work in the new field with Prof. Donald W. Smith of the University of Wisconsin in which they combined bacteriology with infrared physics resulted in the I identification of forms of tuberculosis bacI teria in man, cattle and birds. The former president of the American I Physical Society was a specialist in infraI red spectroscopy. His work in developing I techniques and equipment for measuring I infrared absorption of molecules contribI uted to the theory of atomic structure and I gave his laboratory on the Ann Arbor camI pus an international reputation. As a result of bringing international I fame to the local campus, he became the I first U-M professor to have a building I named after him in his lifetime. The I newly completed East Physics Building I on E. University was renamed the HarI rison Randall Laboratory in 1940. j Dr. David M. Dennison, U-M Harrison I M. Randall Professor of Physics and I former department chairman, said today I of Dr. Randall, "it is due to his efforts I and his genius that the physics depart1 ment is what it is today. He introduced 1 modern research methods and built a I staff of theoretical and experimental phyI sicists who have made the department faI mous all over the country. He meant a I lot to us, and to the physicists of the ■ world." During World War I, Dr. Randall worked I with the U.S. Bureau of Standards to deI velop submarine detectors which were I the forerunners of modern sonar equipI ment. In World War II, he headed one of four 1 U.S. and British groups which collaborated I to determine the complicated structure I of the penicillin molecule. Between the 1 two wars his series of infrared physics I meetings attracted some of the most i prominent physicists of North America I and Europe to the Ann Arbor campus. I Several of those taking part were Nobel I Prize winners, and others later won the world's most coveted prize for major contributions to humanity. Dr. Randall himself received many honors during his career, including the coveted Frederic Ives Medal of the American Optical Society in 1953. He was honored with the U-M's Henry Russel Lectureship in 1940, the highest honor the University bestovvs upon its faculty members. But when other men were retiring to lives of leisure, he took up research in a new field, and in 1960 at the age of 89 was invited to Washington, D.C., to report on j his research in infrared applications to I ology before the American Physical i ciety. In the same year ,the Journal of the Optical Society of America paid special tribute to Dr. Randall on his 90th birthday by devoting a special issue to the U-M professor-emeritus. Still doing research in 1966 at the age of 95, he was honored by the U-M with an honorary doctor of laws degree, and the same year was saluted by the Ann Arbor City Council as the city's outstanding senior citizen and presented a key to the city by former Mayor Wendell E. Hulcher. He received an honorary doctor of science degree from Ohio State University in 1956. Dr. Randall was born on Dec. 17, 1870, in Burr Oak, a village near Coldwater. He received a bachelor's degree in 1893, and a master's degree in 1894, both from the U-M. He then taught at West Bay City and East Saginaw high schools until 1900, when I he returned to the U-M to pursue work on I a doctórate in physics which he received I in 1902. He joined the U-M faculty as an I instructor at that time. Dr. Randall's early years in the physics j department were devoted to studies of the expansión properties of metáis. In 1909-10, I he took leave to go to the University of Tuebingen in Germany, where he began the study of infrared physics. In 1917 he was promoted to full professor, chairman of the physics department I and director of physics laboratories, posts I he held until his retirement. He and Ida May Muma were married I in 1898, after they met as students. She I died in 1943. Other survivors include a daughter, Mrs. I Sterling (Mary) Emerson of Pasadena, I Calif.; two sons: John R. Randall, I sor of geography at Ohio State University, I Columbus, and Robert D. Randall, a 1 nessman in Normal, 111.; six grandchildren I and seven great-grandchildren. A son, I John, and a daughter, Esther, preceded I him in death. Private graveside services will be held I in Forest Hill Cemetery. Memorial I ices will be announced later.