Fred Taylor

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Fred Taylor

Halley Professor of Physics Emeritus

I was head of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics at Oxford for 21 years from 1979 and now am Halley Professor Emeritus in Oxford Physics and an Emeritus Fellow at Jesus College. Before that I was for ten years at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, where I later held a Distinguished Visiting Scientist position. I led projects that sent the first British hardware to another planet (Venus in 1979) and placed the first British equipment on the surface of Mars (by accident, in 1989). In the 1990s we built instruments that addressed the Earth's ozone depletion crisis and were sent all over the Solar System as far as Saturn to study planetary weather and climates. I've published 300 refereed scientific papers and 10 books, including two undergraduate texts (‘Elementary Climate Physics' and 'Planetary Atmospheres', published by Oxford University Press) as well as research summaries such as 'The Scientific Exploration of Mars' (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and 'The Scientific Exploration of Venus' (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Most recently, I published an autobiographical history centred on my fifty years in Oxford Physics and at NASA entitled 'Exploring the Planets: A Memoir' (Oxford University Press, 2016).

I constructed courses in Climate Physics for the 3rd year of the Oxford Physics course and 'Planetary Atmospheres' for the 4th year, and wrote text books for each: 'Elementary Climate Physics' (Oxford University Press, 2005), and 'Planetary Atmospheres' (Oxford University Press, 2010) but no longer teach as I retired in September 2011.

The Physics of planetary atmospheres, including the Earth; experimental methods for studying atmospheres from satellites, space probes and ground-based observatories; the theory of atmospheric radiation and atmospheric molecular spectroscopy; the global energy balance and climate of the Earth and planets.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
FoodTubes International Ltd
UK Space Agency
Innovate UK
REF 2014