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Francis Jones (physicist)

Francis "Frank" Edgar Jones, FRS,[1] MBE (16 Jan 1914 - 10 April 1988) was a British physicist who co-developed the Oboe blind bombing system.[2]


Jones was born in Wolverhampton, the son of a teacher. In 1921 the family moved to Dagenham, Essex, where he attended the Royal Liberty School at Romford.[1]


During World War II Jones worked in the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) and collaborated with Alec Harley Reeves to develop the Oboe blind bombing system. After the war he directed investigations in the Basic Research Division of TRE on the detection and properties of infra-red and millimetre-wave radiation. He also made very accurate measurements of propagation velocity of electro-magnetic radiation at radio frequencies and studied applications of radar in meteorology. He became Deputy Head of the Division (later renamed the Physics Department, Royal Radar Establishment)

In 1953, as Chief Scientific Officer and Deputy Director, Royal Aircraft Establishment (Farnborough), he initiated joint rocket programme with Royal Society for exploration of upper atmosphere and, together with Desmond King-Hele, studied the orbits of artificial satellites. In 1957 he was co-author with R.A. Smith and R.P. Chasmar of The Detection and Measurement of Infra-Red Radiation.[3]

Awards and honours

Jones was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1969.[1] He was awarded an MBE in 1945.


  1. ^ a b c MacFarlane, G. G.; Hilsum, C. (1990). "Francis Edgar Jones. 16 January 1914-10 April 1988". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 35: 180. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1990.0008. 
  2. ^ Jones, F. E. (1946). "Oboe: A precision ground-controlled blind-bombing system". Journal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers - Part IIIA: Radiolocation 93 (2): 496. doi:10.1049/ji-3a-1.1946.0133. 
  3. ^[dead link]

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