STEMmer of the Month

Henry G. Booker

(December 10, 1910– November 1,1988)

Henry G. Booker was a physicist and engineer who researched radio wave propagation and electromagnetism. In 1965, he helped the University of California, San Diego start the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. He was born in London, England and obtained a B.A. degree in Pure and Applied Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, England in 1933. He was awarded the Smith Prize in 1935 and thereafter became a research fellow of Christ’s College.

When Booker began his research in 1933, he worked closely with the radio group in the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. His work was concerned the magno-ionic theory and published four papers of the physics of radio waves when they enter the ionosphere.

During World War II Booker was responsible for the theoretical research at the Telecommunications Research Establishment in England, where he was involved in developing new ideas on antennas, electromagnetic wave propagation, and radar systems, all of which were critical to Britain’s defence. During this period, he conducted radio meteorological investigations in England, India, Australia, and New Zealand on the phenomenon known as anomalous propagation or super-refraction. In some conditions the troposphere can act as a reflector of radio waves and with Earth’s surface it forms a waveguide in which radio waves can travel abnormally large distances.

Now to recognize students’ hard work, dedication and commitment to their studies, the Booker Award was set up at the University of California, San Diego. It is an award that can be received to those who take Electrical and Computer Engineering in their undergraduate degree.

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”   

Mae Jemison, first African American woman astronaut in space

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”

Rachel Carson – marine biologist, conservationist and author

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

Stephen Hawking- theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author
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