It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Dan Spiegel, professor of Physics and Astronomy, who died last week. He was 53.
Professor Spiegel completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1989, working at the boundaries of physics and chemistry with his adviser, Alan Heeger, the 2000 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. Upon joining Trinity in 1991, Professor Spiegel built the upper-division physics lab sequence from scratch, including a Photonics course, blending elements of electronics and optics that was among the first of its kind. One of his original lab activities earned him an “Editor’s Choice Award” from the American Journal of Physics. His research into molecular motion overturned much of the previous common knowledge about diffusion in liquids.
An effective and dedicated teacher, Spiegel frequently involved students in his soft matter research and many received Goldwater Scholarships, NSF Graduate Fellowships, and other awards. Known by his colleagues as hardworking and an energetic mentor, he had a keen interest in helping students understand how physics overlaps with other sciences, as well as other fields.
Outside of Trinity, Spiegel was an active volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. He is survived by his son Adam, ex-wife, Rita, and his parents. Funeral arrangements are pending. A campus memorial service is being planned for early fall.