Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science

Robert P. Lowe - In Memoriam

Robert P. Lowe - In Memoriam

Professor Emeritus Bob Lowe passed away peacefully in his home in London, Ontario, at 11:00pm on Saturday, 7 January 2017. He had been battling cancer.

Robert P. (Bob) Lowe was born in England, and grew up in Port Stanley. As an Honors Mathematics and Physics undergraduate at Western, he may well have been a regular commuter on the London Port Stanley train. He graduated from Western in 1957 and began working for the Defence Research Board (DRB) in Valcartier, Quebec. During his tenure at DRB, Bob continued his studies in atmospheric physics at Western under the supervision of Ralph Nichols, eventually graduating with a PhD in Physics in 1967. Bob began as a faculty member in Western's Department of Physics in 1968, retiring from the recently formed Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2001.

Robert P. Lowe

Bob focused his research on the infrared airglow produced by the Hydroxyl radical. He became a world-renowned expert in satellite based observations of airglow. At one stage he used airborne-ready equipment borrowed from the DRB at Elginfield Observatory, collaborating with Jim Moorhead and William Wehlau on various astronomy projects, observing the infrared spectra of a comet, as well as the Orion Nebula and stars in its environs. Bob also used the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) to observe HeH+ in planetary nebula NGC 7027.

Bob Lowe did not let retirement hamper his research efforts, just recently publishing a paper with co-author and his former PhD student, Dave Turnbull. Bob's research legacy can be partially viewed on his ResearchGate web site.

Bob had a brilliant mind, and a big heart, combined with sophisticated sense of humour.  His world-wide travels as a scientist allowed him to indulge in his love of international cuisine.

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