James Sayers (physicist)

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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.

Early life[edit]

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.[1]

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.

Personal life[edit]

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.


External links[edit]