UMBC’s Physics Department recently honored one of its founding faculty members with the seventh annual Joseph Mulligan Memorial Lecture, which focuses on a topic related to the history of physics.
This year’s lecture — which is presented by the winner of the Joseph F. Mulligan Award and is based on a gift by Eleanor Mulligan in memory of her husband — was given by student Diana Marcu, who spoke on the topic “Neutrinos: History and their Role in Astrophysics.”
Dr. Mulligan joined the newly-founded UMBC in 1968. He served as the UMBC Dean for Graduate Studies and Research from 1968 to 1982, and as acting Chair of the UMBC Physics Dept from 1987-1988. In 1989 he was made Professor Emeritus of Physics at UMBC. His personal interest in the history of physics is what inspired the lecture that memorializes him today.
He stated: “For many years I have had an interest in the history of physics and the history of ideas, and during my teaching career read many biographies of physicists and occasional articles and book reviews in Isis. I used some of this material in my physics lectures, and found that liberal arts students are anxious to know more about the lives of famous physicists, and respond with interest and enthusiasm when such topics are introduced into physics classes.”