An alumnus of the class of 1959 nominates this "legendary professor who lectured physics to freshmen and sophomores.

He was particularly famous and remembered for his unforgettable, attention getting demonstration experiments. Two particularly impressive ones come immediately to mind (after more than 50 years):

(1) He entered the classroom late, when everyone's eyes were on the door waiting for him, carrying a suitcase. As he entered the room and turned, the suitcase defied gravity by flipping upward. His subsequent lecture explained gyroscopes.

(2) At the beginning of a lecture, he closed a large knife switch to charge a condenser. At the end of the lecture, he told everyone to hold their ears, hollered that those who could hear him were not holding their ears well enough, and then switched the condenser to a length of wire, which exploded with a terrific bang and flash of light. The wire vaporized and the air in the lecture hall rained metallic dust for quite a while. He demonstrated that a condenser could store an impressive amount of energy."

The photo caption explains that the success of a professor can be measured by the size of the crowds who keep talking with him after class; Prof. Mueller is barely visible in the throng.
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  • I too remember with great enthusials, Prof Hans Muller and his famous freshman physics lectures. I of course didn’t know it at the time, but he was a student of Arnold Sommerfeld, and later, (around 1935) did seminal work on ferroelectricity, and coined the term. Are his birth and death dates recorded? I can’t find them on the web.

    Arthur Ballato

    5 Apr 10 at 12:08 pm