The Michigan Engineer News Center

Out of sight: The relentless Edward DeMille Campbell

Blinded in a lab accident just two years after becoming a member of the faculty, Campbell was hardly slowed | Short Read

Edward DeMille Campbell earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1886 and became assistant professor of metallurgy in 1890. One day, just two short years later, Campbell entered the lab, bent to examine a student’s experiment – and a sudden explosion blew glass and other debris directly into the professor’s face.

Professor Campbell lost his sight that day – but that hardly slowed him. Just 10 days later, with his eyes completely covered with bandages, Campbell returned to his classes – and to the work he loved as director of the Chemical Laboratory.

Campbell immediately assumed a life strictly dedicated to a daily routine that started with a rigorous hour in the gym. He established certain hours when students and assistants would read to him – journals and other scholarly articles, as well as newspapers and other news of the day. With notes he prepared using a Braille typewriter, Campbell would become the author of more than 70 technical papers, and would remain at work at the University until his death in 1925.

To learn more, see this Michigan Heritage Project story.

Portrait of Brad Whitehouse


Brad Whitehouse
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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read