Boot, Henry Albert Howard

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b. 29 July 1917 Birmingham, England
d. 8 February 1983 Cambridge, England
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English physicist who, with John Randall, invented the cavity magnetron used in radar systems.
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After secondary education at King Edward School, Birmingham, Boot studied physics at Birmingham University, obtaining his BSc in 1938 and PhD in 1941. With the outbreak of the Second World War, he became involved with Randall and others in the development of a source of microwave power suitable for use in radar transmitters. Following unsuccessful attempts to use klystrons, they turned to investigation of the magnetron, and by adding cavity resonators they obtained useful power on 21 February 1940 at a wavelength of 9.8 cm. By May a cavity magnetron radar system had been constructed at TRE, Swanage, and in September submarine periscopes were detected at a range of 7 miles (11 km).
In 1943 the physics department at Birmingham resumed its research in atomic physics and Boot moved to BTH at Rugby to continue development of magnetrons, but in 1945 he returned to Birmingham as Nuffield Research Fellow and helped construct the cyclotron there. Three years later he took up a post as a Principal Scientific Officer (PSO) at the Services Electronic Research Laboratories at Baldock, Hertfordshire, becoming a Senior PSO in 1954. He remained there until his retirement in 1977, variously carrying out research on microwaves, magnetrons, plasma physics and lasers.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Royal Society of Arts Thomas Gray Memorial Prize 1943. Royal Commission Inventors Award 1946. Franklin Institute John Price Wetherill Medal 1958. City of Pennsylvania John Scott Award 1959. (All jointly with Randall.)
Bibliography
1976, with J.T.Randall, "Historical notes on the cavity magnetron", Transactions of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ED-23: 724 (provides an account of their development of the cavity magnetron).
Further Reading
E.H.Dix and W.H.Aldous, 1966, Microwave Valves.
KF

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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