Bracewell, Ronald Newbold (1921–2007)
I recall discussing the Cocconi-Morrison article [see Morrison-Cocconi Conjecture] with Stanford colleagues in 1959 and developing a number of ideas ... Looking back ... I realize the odd coincidence that in 1954-55, when I was lecturing at Berkeley, two people were there who also became key figures in the new developments... I believe that my association with Otto Struve [who had invited Bracewell to come from Australia] and Su-Shu Huang ... must have prepared my mind for the subject of life in space.Bracewell's name is associated with the robotic spacecraft (see Bracewell probes) he proposed might be sent out by advanced civilizations to establish contact with other races in the Galaxy. In 1978, he showed how an optical interferometer consisting of two 1-meter telescopes separated by 20 meters could be used to search for large extrasolar planets by a method now known as nulling interferometry.3 In 1995, he was among two dozen scientists selected by NASA to investigate various approaches to planet-searching using interferometers in space (see Space Interferometry Mission).
Bracewell wrote what is widely regarded as one of the best books on the Fourier transform.4
Related category• SETI
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