Professor Emeritus George Trammell dies at age 94

George Trammell ’44, professor emeritus of physics, died July 29. He was 94.

George Trammell

George Trammell

Trammell, who had a B.A. in physics from Rice and a Ph.D. from Cornell University, served on the Rice faculty from 1961 through 1993. He received tenure as a professor of physics in 1964.

Jim Hannon ’62, also a professor emeritus of physics, recalled that as a senior, he took the first course that Trammell taught at Rice — graduate electricity and magnetism. “This was a pretty scary course,” Hannon said, noting that Trammell used “two very formidable and sophisticated texts.” But Hannon said Trammell’s lecture style was “much more entertaining, engaging and insightful than today’s meticulously prepared PowerPoint slideshows.”

Trammell worked with students on fundamental research on neutron scattering, rare earth magnetism, coherent gamma-ray optics, gamma-ray superradiance, resonant magnetic X-ray scattering, X-ray holography and electron holography. He also collaborated with colleagues on papers about gravitationally induced electric fields in conductors.

“I found working with George a real joy, partly because George was so smart and so open in sharing what he knew,” Hannon said. “But also because he was just a lot of fun to be around. He genuinely liked people and saw a lot of humor in life, and he could tell very funny stories about himself as well.”

Trammell’s daughter, Susan Froelich, said the burial will be a graveside service at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at Houston’s Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery, 12800 Westheimer Road, followed by a reception at the home of one of Trammell’s sons, Peter, at 14507 Bramblewood Drive.


About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.