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SK -- Phil Morrison, ex-W8FIS



I was saddened today to hear on NPR
(http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4619005) that an old
friend and colleague Phil Morrison (ex W8FIS) passed away April 22nd at the
age of 89. I really urge you to listen to the NPR interview.

Phil had a long history in the sciences -- he was a part of the original Los
Alamos and rode in a car with the Plutonium core of the first atom bomb and
witnessed the first explosion at White Sands
(http://www.nuclearfiles.org/redocuments/1945/450716-morrison.html). The
experience turned him into a vocal advocate for arms control
(http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/morrison.html and the August
1995 issue of Scientific American).

Phil was a Professor at MIT. A nice biography can be found at
http://www.nuclearfiles.org/rebios/morrison.htm and his MIT credentials are
seen at
http://web.mit.edu/physics/facultyandstaff/faculty/philip_morrison.html.

Way back in 1959, he was the first to propose (with Giuseppe Coconni, in a
paper published in Nature) that we now have the ability to search for
extraterrestrial intelligence at radio wavelengths. In 1989 he wrote about
his reminisces of the early SETI days in a paper now available from the
SETILeague at http://www.setileague.org/editor/40years.htm. Also read about
his PBS SETI discussions on NOVA at
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/worlds/morrison.html.

Many will also remember Phil and his late wife Phylis for more than 1000
excellent book reviews in Scientific American and their monthly WONDERS
column.

Personally, I spent many pleasurable hours with Phil since the mid-70s
talking about such diverse topics as SETI, astronomy, paleontology,
politics, ornithology, nuclear holocaust, his youthful experiences as a
radio amateur, and the amateur satellite program. I will miss his sage
advice very much.

73, Tom
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