Bill McGowan 1969 to 1972J. William McGowan [1969-84]] (St.-Francis Xavier, BSc,
1953; Carnegie-Mellon, MSc, 1958; Laval, PhD, 1961) came to Western from
General Atomic in San Diego, where he had been for most of the time since
his graduation from Laval. Bill introduced the Department to a new style
of research with the construction of the MEIBE (Merged Electron and Ion
Beam Experiment) laboratory, which permitted the measurement of scattering
cross sections at very low rest-frame energies. With its van de Graaff accelerator
and large amounts of ultra-high-vacuum equipment, it was laboratory physics
on a new scale for the Department. Dr. McGowan also attempted to change
the Department in other ways, and the few years of his chairmanship were
quite turbulent. He resigned as Chair in 1972, but remained with the Department
until 1984 when he accepted the position of Director of the National Museum
of Science and Technology in Ottawa.
During this period the Department hired a number of new faculty, laying
the foundation for the present atomic and molecular physics group; this
included T. Dean Gaily [1970-present] (Washington, PhD,
1968), S. David Rosner [1971-present] (Princeton, PhD,
1968), and, a bit later, Richard A. Holt [1976-present]
(Princeton, PhD, 1973). It was an unusual period, as the Department was
continuing to grow at the same time as funding and graduate student numbers
were starting to decrease. It was the beginning of a period of relative
stagnation. Following Bill McGowan's resignation, Gordon Lyon [1962-87]
(Saskatchewan, BSc, 1956, PhD, 1961) served as Acting Chairman for 1972-73.
In 1973, at the end of a period of almost 30 years of continuous growth,
the Department had 27 faculty members, the largest at any time in its history.
The faculty included, in addition to those already mentioned elsewhere in
this history, the following long-term members of the Department: Yen
Fu Bow [1966-1986] (Michigan, PhD, 1964), William R. Jarmain
[1960-1977] (Western, BA, 1941, MSc, 1946), Robert P. Lowe
[1968-present] (Western, BSc, 1957, PhD, 1967), John Nuttall
[1972-1992] (Cambridge, PhD, 1961), and James (Jake) K.E. Tunaley
[1971-1996] (Sheffield, PhD, 1967).