Radio Science in the UK 1919-2019

Martin Paul Robinson, Eleri Pryse, Keith Grainge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The development of radio science in the UK in the hundred years since the founding of URSI is outlined here. Early research into the ionosphere by Appleton and colleagues experimentally confirmed the existence of a layer of conductive plasma in the earth’s atmosphere, and observations of reflections from this layer prompted the invention of radar by Watson Watt and others. The availability of surplus radio equipment after the Second World War was a factor in the development of radio astronomy by Ryle’s group in Cambridge and researchers lead by Lovell at Jodrell Bank. Other post-war developments included medical applications, waveguides, computational electromagnetics, novel antennas for electromagnetic compatibility and continued interest in wireless communications, ionospheric propagation and radio astronomy projects like the Square Kilometre Array. The UK’s contribution has been enriched by the collaborative, international ethos of URSI.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication100 Years of the International Union of Radio Science
Place of PublicationGent, Belgium
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9789463968034
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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  • radio frequency
  • Historical Article
  • UK

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