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Author(s): G. E. Powell
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Paper Abstract

'If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.' Sir Isaac Newton.It has been rightly pointed out that such has been the expansion of science in the twentiethcentury that well over 50% of scientists known to history are still alive today. Indeed, in awondrously mixed metaphor, one present-day researcher has stated that "In the sciences, we arenow uniquely privileged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand." Andnowhere is that more true than in the field of research covered by this Conference. Those of uswhose far-infrared experience reaches back to the 1950s will remember that virtually the onlysource we had was a mercury arc lamp and the only detector was a Golay. There were no booksand just a handful of relevant papers. Even by 1970 the authors of the introductory paper at theBrooklyn Symposium on Submillimeter Waves were writing "It is appropriate to view thesubmillimeter wave region as a transition region lying between the millimeter wave and infraredportions of the electromagnetic spectrum and possessing as yet no hallmark of its own". Thatwas perhaps a pessimistic summary, as there were nearly sixty papers at that meeting. Now thatwe have an annual conference - this one with over three hundred papers - I think we can say thatwhat used to be called the 'unexplored region' is being fully explored.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 January 1991
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 1725, Targets, Backgrounds, and Discrimination, 172502 (29 January 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.2300202
Show Author Affiliations
G. E. Powell, Naval Weapons Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1725:
Targets, Backgrounds, and Discrimination
Joseph S. Accetta; G. H. Kelley, Editor(s)

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