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Robert H. Dicke

AKA Robert Henry Dicke

Born: 6-May-1916
Birthplace: St. Louis, MO
Died: 4-Mar-1997
Location of death: Princeton, NJ
Cause of death: Illness
Remains: Buried, Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, NJ

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Physicist, Inventor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Dicke radiometer

Experimental physicist Robert H. Dicke made crucial contributions to the development of radio telescopes and the discovery of thermal background radiation, proposed the concept of superradiance, predicted the discovery of the Big Bang echo, and did extensive work in the experimental and theoretical basis for gravity physics. He designed the Dicke radiometer (a microwave receiver) and studied atomic physics, quantum optics, and radar technology. His work on coherent radiation emission was a precursor to development of the laser. With his graduate student, Carl Brans, Dicke proposed the Brans-Dicke theory of gravitation, that gravity has two components: a dominant and familiar force compelling objects to fall downward, and a much weaker component that causes objects to shrink or expand. He also patented an improved clothes dryer.

Father: Oscar Herman Dicke (patent office worker, b. 29-Apr-1888, d. 7-Feb-1971)
Mother: Flora Peterson Dicke (m. 19-Nov-1914, d. 20-Jun-1954)
Mother: Lula Thompson Ault Dicke (stepmother, m. 9-Apr-1955)
Brother: Howard Oscar Dicke (b. 7-Sep-1918, d. 25-Aug-1923)
Wife: Annie Henderson McRory Currie (b. 8-Jan-1920, m. 6-Jun-1942, d. 1-Oct-2005, three children)
Daughter: Nancy Jean Dicke Rapoport (b. 9-May-1945)
Son: John Robert Dicke (b. 23-Nov-1946)
Son: James Howard Dicke (b. 12-May-1953)

    University: BS, Princeton University (1936)
    University: PhD Nuclear Physics, University of Rochester (1939)
    Teacher: Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1939-46)
    Professor: Science, Princeton University (1946-97)

    Rumford Prize 1967
    National Medal of Science 1971
    National Academy of Sciences 1967
    American Philosophical Society

Author of books:
Principles of Microwave Circuits (1948, with C. G. Montgomery and E. M. Purcell)
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (1960, with James Wittke)
The Theoretical Significance of Experimental Relativity (1964)
Theoretical Significance of Experimental Relativity (1965)
Gravitation and the Universe (1970)


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