Professor James Sayers (2 September 1912 – 13 March 1993) was an important Northern Irish physicist, who played a crucial role in developing centimetric radar - now used in microwave ovens.
He was born on a farm at Corkey in County Antrim. He built a water wheel to provide the farm with electricity.
He attended Ballymena Academy. He went to the University of Belfast, then St John's College, Cambridge gaining a PhD.
Cavity magnetron at the Science Museum
From 1939-43 he conducted research for the Admiralty at the University of Birmingham on centrimetric radar, producing the cavity magnetron. He worked with John Randall and Harry Boot.
From 1943-5 he was part of a group of British scientists that worked on the Manhattan Project.
He received the John Price Wetherill Medal for discoveries in Physical Science in 1958.
From 1946-72 he was Professor of Electron Physics at the University of Birmingham.
He married Diana Montgomery in 1943. They had two sons and one daughter. He lived at Alvechurch in Worcestershire.
He died on 13 March 1993 aged 80.