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Henry Albert Howard Boot

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Henry Albert Howard (Harry) Boot (1917–1983), physicist

1917 born on 29 July in Hall Green, Birmingham, son of Henry James Boot, electrical engineer at the firm of Bellings, and his wife, Ruby May Beeson.

Educated at King Edward's High School, Birmingham, and at Birmingham University, where he studied physics and graduated BSc in 1938.

WWII The professor of physics at Birmingham University put Henry Boot, J. T. Randall, and James Sayers to work on the problem of developing microwave generators. Boot and Randall used the magnetron, a thermionic valve capable of producing high power oscillations in the microwave region.

1940 By late February they had constructed a new type of cavity magnetron, with a radiation wavelength of 9.8cm; by May an experimental radar set using a pulsed 10cm cavity magnetron had been built at the Telecommunications Research Establishment; by September 1940 a submarine periscope could be detected at a range of 7 miles.

1943 the Birmingham physics department returned to the study of atomic physics (for atomic bombs); Boot moved to British Thomson-Houston at Rugby to continue the development of very high power magnetrons.

1843 Randall and Boot were awarded the Thomas Gray Memorial Prize of the Royal Society of Arts for 'improving the safety of life at sea' (as shortwave radar enabled detection of the presence of U-boats without revealing the convoy's own position).

1945 He rejoined the Birmingham department (to help build the cyclotron)

1948 Principal scientific officer with the Royal Naval Scientific Service in the Services Electronics Research Laboratories (SERL) at Baldock in Hertfordshire

1948 Married Penelope May, daughter of Luke Herrington, an engineer; they had two sons.

1949 Award by the Royal Commission of Awards to Inventors

1958 Received the John Price Wetherill Medal of the Franklin Institute, Pennsylvania

1959 Received the John Scott Award of the City of Philadelphia

1977 Retired from Baldock.

1983 Died in Cambridge

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