Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science

Peter Allan Forsyth

Peter Forsyth, 1953"In November 1961, Peter Allan Forsyth [1961-87] (Saskatchewan, BA, 1942, MA, 1947; McGill, PhD, 1951; F.R.S.C., 1960) came to Western from the University of Saskatchewan to become the 4th Head of the Department of Physics. Following his graduate work at McGill Peter Forsyth joined the Radio Physics Laboratory of the Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment in Ottawa; he was Superintendent of the laboratory when he left in 1958 to become Professor of Physics and Senior Scientist in the Institute of Upper Atmospheric Physics at the University of Saskatchewan. With a background in radar, and a research interest in auroral physics, Peter Forsyth drew the two threads of auroral and ionospheric physics and radio physics together, and set a pattern of research that remained important at Western for the next four decades up to the present day. He continued as Head until 1967, when he stepped down to establish the Centre for Radio Science at Western, and served as the Director of that Centre from 1967 until his retirement in 1987. With Gordon F. Lyon [1962-87] (Saskatchewan, PhD, 1961) and Art Fulford, and also, for a time, Eric L. Vogan [1964-1990] (Western, BSc, 1946, MSc, 1947; McGill, PhD, 1952), he carried out many satellite- and rocket-borne experiments, using space-borne radio transmitters to study the structure of the ionosphere.

Peter ForsythIn addition to his contributions to Western, Dr. Forsyth played an important role in establishing science policy in Canada, both as author and co-author of a number of studies sponsored by the Science Council of Canada, NRC, CAP, and NSERC, but especially in setting up and directing the Space Science Coordination Office at the National Research Council from 1976 to 1979. He was the 35th President of the Canadian Association of Physicists in 1979-80."

[from Don Moorcroft's History of Physics and Astronomy at Western to 2003]

See also Peter Forsyth's History of the Janet Project.