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Carl Wulfman

Former professor and chair of physics Carl Eugene Wulfman passed away Aug. 29 at age 87. he taught at Pacific for 35 years.

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Pacific mourns passing of emeritus physics professor Carl Wulfman

Sep 24, 2018

Theoretical physicist Carl Eugene Wulfman, professor emeritus and former chair physics, passed away at his home in Seattle, Washington, on Aug. 29. He was 87. He taught at Pacific for 35 years, retiring in 1996.

Dr. Wulfman came to University of the Pacific in 1961 as chair of the College of the Pacific Department of Physics. During his tenure, he attracted a strong and diverse faculty, strengthened the department and established a master of science program designed to attract Japanese students, published scientific papers in the most prestigious peer-reviewed journals advancing understanding of atomic physics and presented his research at scientific conferences worldwide. In 2011, he published the text, "Dynamical Symmetry." He received numerous grants supporting his research from such entities as the National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society and others. He served as a visiting lecturer and research fellow at universities and scientific foundations around the world, including Mexico, Japan, England, new Zealand and Israel, to name a few.  

In addition to chair of the physics department, he served as chair of the Academic Council and on numerous College and university committees. In 1982, he received the Distinguished Faculty Award, recognizing his outstanding teaching, internationally recognized research and contributions to the university. At his retirement in 1996, received the Order of Pacific, the university's highest award.  

Professor Carl Wulfman
Carl Wulfman

He grew up in Detroit, Michigan, where his interest in scientific exploration was sparked at age 10 by his childhood chemistry set. At age 14, he published his first scientific paper, "Anthraconite Near Norwood Michigan," in the October 1945 edition of Rocks and Minerals. He graduated early and at the top of his class from Cass Technical High School in Detroit and was awarded the Moses Gomberg Fellowship in Chemistry at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  

In the second week of his freshman year, he met his wife-to-be, Constance "Connie" Ann Hart, and the two were married in September 1952. He graduated with his bachelor of science in chemistry in 1953 and began pursuit of his doctorate that same year on a Fulbright fellowship to Queen Mary College, University of London. He returned to the States after completing his doctorate, holding positions at the University of Texas, Austin, and Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio, before coming to Pacific in 1961.  

An expert in geology and astronomy, he was an avid collector of fine mineral specimens, rare books, mushrooms, important scientific works, and the history of early Canadian exploration. He enjoyed exploring the remote Sierra Nevada with his sons. He continued research until his passing, developing theories about physics of light over cosmological distances, and the geometry of expanding space-time volumes, work which has insightful implication for deeper interpretation of the rate the universe expands.  

Following his retirement from Pacific, the couple relocated to the Olympic Peninsula, settling in Port Angeles, Washington, in 2003. His wife preceded him in death January 2013, only a few months after their 60th anniversary. He is remembered with love by his sons Michael, Peter Andrew and Edward, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, along with many relatives and dear friends.  

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 16 at the St. Andrew's Episcopal Church at 510 E Park Ave. in Port Angeles, Washington.  

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