Daniel L. Decker has been appointed chairman of Brigham Young University's physics department, succeeding Howard B. Vanflett, who will return to full-time teaching and research after 9 years as department head.

The appointment is effective fall semester, BYU President Jeffrey R. Holland said."Professor Decker has a distinguished career in teaching and research," said Grant W. Mason, dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. "He has the respect of his colleagues and an international reputation in the area of high-pressure, solid state physics."

The new chairman has done research at the Bell and Howell Research Center in Pasadena, Calif.; the David Sarnoff Laboratories, RCA, Princeton; the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratories in New Mexico; the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois; and the Centre des Etudes Nucleaires de Saclay in France.

Decker joined the BYU faculty in 1958 after receiving bachelor's and master's degrees at BYU and a doctorate at the University of Illinois.

He has been honored as a Charles E. Maw Scholar, a Celanese Corporation of America Fellow, a National Science Foundation Fellow, a BYU Sigma Xi lecturer and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.