- Robert Kerr Appointed Director of the Arecibo Observatory
Robert B. Kerr, PhD, an astronomer and atmospheric scientist, has been appointed as director of the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The observatory is managed on behalf of the National Science Foundation (NSF) by Cornell University's National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center. On Feb. 26 Kerr will assume the position held on an interim basis since Sept. 2006 by Timothy L. Hankins, emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the New Mexico Institute of Technology. Kerr studies the Earth's upper atmosphere and ionosphere and the atmospheres of planets and comets. Most recently, he was a program director in aeronomy at the NSF. He has held academic positions at Dartmouth College, the University of Michigan and Boston University. Early in his career he was on the technical staff at the Aerospace Corp. in Los Angeles, and later was the director of research and CEO at Scientific Solutions Inc. in North Chelmsford, Mass.
- The scientific observation of celestial radiation that has reached the vicinity of Earth, and the interpretation of these observations to determine the characteristics of the extraterrestrial bodies and phenomena that have emitted the radiation.
- The gas of charged particles that begins approximately 50 km above the surface of the Earth and contains a sufficient quantity of electrons and ions to affect the propagation of radio waves.
- The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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