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Microwave Pioneers: John C. Mather, "A Singular Purpose"

Siegel, Peter H. (2021) Microwave Pioneers: John C. Mather, "A Singular Purpose". IEEE Journal of Microwaves, 1 (1). pp. 25-31. ISSN 2692-8388.

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This article is the first in a continuing series of biographical pieces on individuals who have made significant and continuous contributions to microwave science, technology and applications over the course of their careers. It is intended to bring to the reader, especially those new to the field, a portrait of an individual who serves as a role model for the community and a detailed description of their accomplishments. At the same time, it tries to bridge with commonality, the experiences of the subject with those of the scientists, engineers and technologists who are following in their footsteps or hope to establish a similar record of success. The articles are composed only after an extensive face-to-face interview with the subject and are helped immensely by additional input and editing by the subjects themselves. The focus of this article is Dr. John C. Mather, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, for the first complete measurement of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) blackbody spectrum, and the first confirmed findings of CMB anisotropy. For astronomers and cosmologists at least, these were arguably two of the most important and influential experimental discoveries of the 20th century. For microwave engineers, the satellite mission that Dr. Mather conceived and worked on for more than fifteen years, is a crowning achievement in a very large suite of successful microwave science instruments that NASA has developed, built and delivered to space.

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Siegel, Peter H.0000-0002-2539-4646
Additional Information:© 2020 IEEE. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Received 31 August 2020; revised 8 September 2020; accepted 14 September 2020. Date of current version 7 January 2021. This article was compiled after a series of two interviews with Dr. Mather on August 20 and 21st, 2020, Normally, the interviews would have been face-to-face, but Covid 19 restrictions forced their conversion into video conference sessions. The author has known Dr. Mather personally since having had the fortune to overlap with him at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in NYC, NY between 1975 and 1976. Dr. Mather participated in the interview from his home in Maryland and graciously consented to look over and edit the final text, as well as the relevant text of the companion article on the CMB that accompanies this article in the Inaugural issue of this new IEEE Journal of Microwaves.
Subject Keywords:Cosmic microwave background (CMB), COBE, cosmology, John C. Mather, microwave applications, microwave science
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201002-154501124
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Official Citation:P. H. Siegel, "Microwave Pioneers: John C. Mather “A Singular Purpose”," in IEEE Journal of Microwaves, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 25-31, winter 2021, doi: 10.1109/JMW.2020.3025239
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105773
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:05 Oct 2020 14:14
Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 22:04

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