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Arguable Points

March 2024
1min read

I would like to point out an error in the interview with Captain Beach (April/ May). He claims that radar was totally a U.S. invention, which is not quite right. While I’m not an authority on this, I believe the United States had radar before World War II; in fact, it was used to detect oncoming Japanese planes during the Pearl Harbor attack. However, this primitive radar used relatively long wavelengths, which gave only a broad picture of what was happening. The British during the war developed a new type of tube, called a magnetron, which was capable of producing very high power at very short wavelengths. This gave the radar high definition, so that it could actually indicate the size, et cetera, of the object. The older type of tubes, as used in the radios of the era, could not do this. So it was the development of the magnetron that really produced radar as we know it today. I think Captain Beach shortchanged our British friends.

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