Professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan; specialist in the field of solid-state physics, notably the ruby maser and electron spin resonance; and advocate of nuclear power. Papers include biographical materials; correspondence; electron spin resonance and ruby maser research project files; physics and mathematics notebooks; course files; scientific papers, speeches, and testimonies; and visual materials, mainly intended to accompany lectures.
7 linear feet
89171 Aa 2
Finding aid prepared by: Vladimir Kajlik, 1990
Scope and Content:
Kikuchi's Papers consist of 7 linear feet of material documenting Professor Kikuchi's research and academic career over a time span of forty years. The bulk of the collection consists of the lectures Kikuchi gave in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Michigan, 1959-1986. The material from 1956 to 1959 consists of research papers on the ruby maser developed at the Willow Run Laboratory, a facility of the University of Michigan. The papers generated in the 1970s and 1980s reflect mostly Kikuchi's academic and public involvement in pro-nuclear power advocacy.
The papers have been rearranged and organized in eight major series: Biographical (0.1 linear ft); Correspondence, consisting of personal letters from 1942, professional letters from 1949-1950, 1958-1964, and 1972-1988, (0.3 linear ft); Research Projects, arranged chronologically, (0.5 linear ft); Printed Technical Reports by the Department of Engineering, (0.5 linear ft); Notebooks (0.5 linear ft); Lectures for nuclear engineering courses and other topics (3.5 linear ft); Papers 1969-1988 (1 linear ft); and Visual Material (0.6 linear ft), consisting of 99 glass plates, 205 slides, 8 photoprints, and 2 cartoons, all of which relate to Kikuchi's academic activities.
Biographical / Historical:
Chihiro Kikuchi, professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan, was born on September 26, 1914, in Seattle, Washington. He studied at the University of Washington, and received his B.S. in physics in 1939. Continuing in graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati, Kikuchi obtained his M.A. in mathematics in 1943. The following year he completed his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Washington.
Kikuchi began his professional career as a teaching fellow at the University of Washington, 1939-1942. In 1943 he left to teach physics as an instructor at Haverford College. In 1944 he was hired as a laboratory instructor at Michigan State College (now Michigan State University), where he lectured on physics for two years. Appointed an assistant professor in the department of physics in 1946, Kikuchi remained on the faculty at Michigan State College until 1953. For a short period, 1951-1952, he was a visiting professor at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Through the 1950s, Kikuchi was actively involved in many research projects. In 1953 he accepted an offer to conduct research in the field of solid-state physics as a research physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, D.C. From the Naval Research Laboratory, Kikuchi soon returned to Michigan, in 1955, where he continued experiments in solid-state physics at Willow Run Laboratory (W.R.L.), a facility of the University of Michigan. At W.R.L. he started as a research physicist, but soon became head of the solid-state physics research group which he directed from 1958 to 1959. The most notable projects Kikuchi was involved in at W.R.L. were his research on the ruby maser, research on electron spin resonance, research in quantum electronics, and research on radiation effects in solids.
The research on the ruby maser in particular became a high point of Kikuchi's life. The project involved an original technical solution for the action in a ruby maser which Kikuchi had solved at W.R.L., in December 1957.
In 1959, Kikuchi accepted a position as a full professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of Michigan, devoting his time mostly to teaching. However, he remained a technical consultant and specialist in research for many institutions, notably, the Naval Research Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Defense Atomic Support Agency (DASA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and others.
In the position of a technical specialist, Kikuchi was assigned by the IAEA to give lectures at the Tsing Hua University in Taiwan in 1964. As a visiting professor he lectured at the Kyoto University in Japan, 1969-1970. For the Institute of Atomic Energy at Sao Paulo, Brazil, he lectured repeatedly in 1974, and 1976 through 1979.
Since the early seventies Professor Kikuchi concentrated on public issues of nuclear power and, as he put it, on the "strange American public reaction to nuclear power." His interests in pro-nuclear power issues dominated his activities through the eighties and lasted until his death in 1988.
During his academic career Professor Kikuchi published numerous articles on various topics in the field of solid-state physics, among which the research papers on ruby maser and electron spin resonance experiments are noteworthy.
Records were first donated by Chihiro Kikuchi (Donor # 7285 ) in January 1986 and the majority of the collection was deposited in 1988.
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