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>  News Releases >   2003 >   September

Michael D. Sturge (1931 - 2003)

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 09/17/03 • Contact (603) 646-3661

Michael D. Sturge, 72, a professor of physics at Dartmouth College, died of leukaemia in England on July 13.

He was born on May 25, 1931 and was raised in Bristol, England. He came from a Quaker family background. His father, Paul Sturge, was General Secretary of the Quaker, Friends' Service Council in London, with which his mother, Rachel, was also deeply involved.

Professor Sturge was educated at Leighton Park School, and Cambridge University, which he attended from 1949-56.

He began his career at Philips Research Laboratories, and the Royal Radar Establishment in Malvern, England.

In 1961 he moved to the United States to work at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. As a solid state physicist his research at Bell Laboratories included work on the Jahn-Teller effect, excitons, the identification of Fano resonances in solids, an establishment of the energy level scheme of very short period indirect gap superlattices, and a proof of the existence of free trions in quantum wells.

Besides numerous scientific papers, he was Editor of the Journal of Luminescence from 1985-1990.

He was the joint editor, with Professor E.I.Rashba, of the book "Excitons", published in 1982 by North-Holland, Amsterdam. Shortly before his death he completed his book, "Introduction to Statistical and Thermal Physics", to be published by A.K.Peters, Boston, in October, 2003.

In 1986 he came to Dartmouth College, wishing to pass on some of the knowledge he had acquired during his years as a research scientist. He taught intermediate and advanced courses in physics and was always enthusiastic about his interaction with the students, above all providing encouragement about how to think for themselves.

He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers.

With great pride, Professor Sturge became a United States citizen in 1987.

An enjoyer of sailing and hiking, he was also an avid reader of history, politics and philosophy. Music was also a particularly important part of his life.

Survivors include his wife Mary of Hanover whom he married in 1956; four sons, David of Baildon, England, Tom of Boston, Ben of Bedford, New York, and Peter of Windsor, England, as well as their spouses, all of whom he was very proud and to whom he was devoted. He also leaves three sisters, Lucy, Ann, Janet, and a brother Roger, all living in England. Professor Sturge leaves seven grandchildren. It was a great sadness to him that his little granddaughter, Rebecca, suffered a long illness. She died just two weeks following his own death.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, September 28 at 3.00p.m. at Dartmouth College's Rollins Chapel.

Because of Professor Sturge's interest in the hospice movement, memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire, 46 South Main Street, White River Junction, VT 05001.

Memorial Service
Sunday, September 28
Rollins Chapel

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