Fred Hoyle and Naval Radar 1941–5
- Cite this article as:
- Domb, C. Astrophysics and Space Science (2003) 285: 293. doi:10.1023/A:1025471906172
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The author spent the years 1941–5 as a member of Fred Hoyle's Theoretical Group in radar research for the Admiralty. Fred was in his mid-twenties when we first met, and a few personal reminiscences are presented. A brief description follows of the composition of the theoretical group. The major aim of the paper is to outline three important contributions which Fred made to the use of radar at sea: (1) height estimation of aircraft at metre wavelengths; (2) anomalous propagation at centimeter wavelengths; (3) detection of aircraft in the presence of window jamming. Finally, an account is given of the determined manner in which Fred negotiated his release from the Admiralty in 1945 so that he could work full time on an idea of major importance to astrophysics which had recently occurred to him; this idea, which he referred to as `the abundance of the elements', (later known as nucleosynthesis) is generally regarded as his most significant contribution to science.