Issue Date: January 10, 2011
William G. Golden
William G. Golden, 58, professor of chemistry at Humboldt State University, in Arcata, Calif., was killed on Nov. 19, 2010, in an automobile accident in Mendocino County.
Golden earned a B.A. in chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, in 1974, and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1978, working with John Overend.
He joined Humboldt State in 1993 after many years as a leading research scientist and staff engineer at IBM in San Jose, Calif. At the time of his death, Golden was chair of both the chemistry department and the physics and astronomy department at the university.
While at IBM, Golden helped invent polarization modulation infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy, a technique that records the differential infrared absorption between s- and p-polarized light for molecules adsorbed on a metal surface.
The recipient of Humboldt State’s Outstanding Faculty Award in 1999, Golden was a member of the American Physical Society, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, and ACS, which he joined in 1975.
He is survived by his wife, Tatyana; two stepchildren; and three children from a previous marriage.
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