James W. Brault

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James W. Brault (February 10, 1932 – November 1, 2008) was a 20th-century scientist and a pioneer of Fourier transform spectroscopy. He was a world-leading expert in physical instrument design, numerical methods as applied to spectroscopy, and in atomic and molecular spectroscopy.[1]

He graduated from Princeton University in 1962 as a student of Robert H. Dicke on the gravitational redshift of the sun and worked later at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, where he installed a high-resolution Fourier transform spectrometer used for astronomy, solar physics, and laboratory spectroscopy. In his early years, Brault was involved in the development of the lock-in amplifier, and of differential interference microscopy and phase modulation microscopy with Robert D. Allen.


  1. ^ "James W. Brault". Academic Search. Microsoft. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  • Sumner P. Davis, Mark C. Abrams, and James W. Brault, Fourier Transform Spectrometry, Academic Press, 2001.
  • Ginette Roland, James W. Brault, and Larry Testerman, Photometric Atlas of the Solar Spectrum from 1,850 to 10,000 cm−1, 164 pp., Kitt Peak National Observatory, 1981.
  • James W. Brault, "Frequency Responsive Networks", U.S. Patent US3296464, 1967.
  • James W. Brault, "Gravitational redshift of solar lines", Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 8, 28, 1963.
  • Photograph during solar eclipse in 1965: http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0323.html