Robert Hanbury Brown

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Robert Hanbury Brown (born August 31, 1916 in Aruvankadu , India , † January 16, 2002 in Andover , Hampshire , England ) was an English physicist and radio astronomer .

Brown studied at the University of London and graduated with a Master of Science degree in 1935 . From 1936 to 1942 he was responsible for the development of radar at the Ministry of Aviation . In 1942 he went to Washington, DC for three years to work in the joint research group with American colleagues. After the Second World War he was employed by the Ministry of Supply, where he took care of the construction of suitable telecommunications systems .

Between 1949 and 1964, Brown was Professor of Physics at Manchester University . There he developed the early devices for radio astronomy that were used in the Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory just outside of Manchester, including the intensity interferometer , regardless of colleagues who had considered this device to be impossible. From 1964 to 1981 he worked at the University of Sydney . He is one of the discoverers of the Hanbury Brown-Twiss effect . In 1974 he and Bruce Balick discovered Sagittarius A * (which later turned out to be a supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way) at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory .

Robert Hanbury was President of the International Astronomical Union from 1982 to 1985 .