Professor Sir Robert Watson-Watt, CB

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Professor Sir Robert Watson-Watt, CB's Geni Profile

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Robert Alexander Watson-Watt

Birthplace: Brechin
Death: December 05, 1973 (81)
Inverness, Scotland
Place of Burial: Pitlochry, Perth and Kinross, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of Patrick Watson-Watt and Mary Watson-Watt
Husband of Jean Watson-Watt and Dame Katherine Jane Trefusis Forbes, DBE
Ex-husband of Margaret Watson-Watt

Occupation: Scottish botanist and plant ecologist
Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:

About Professor Sir Robert Watson-Watt, CB

Sir Robert Watson-Watt

Robert was born in Union Street, Brechin, in 1892. He showed an early interest in science, spending many hours experimenting in the workshop of his father’s joinery business. He won a scholarship to Brechin High and later to University College, Dundee where he took a degree in Electrical Engineering.

Watson-Watt became fascinated by the exciting new science of radio and at the beginning of World War I he accepted a post in the Government Met Office at Farnborough. He was asked to find a way to forecast the approach of lightening and thunderstorms to warn aviators. During these studies he realised that aircraft could also be detected. He had discovered the science underlying radar.

At first he could detect aircraft up to 8 miles away and then up to 40 miles. The RAF were very impressed with his work and set up a team of scientists to work on Britain’s secret weapon. Ironically the equipment Watson-Watt used - the picture tube in a TV - was given to him by a German scientist.

In 1942, when his work became public, he was awarded a knighthood.

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Professor Sir Robert Watson-Watt, CB's Timeline

April 13, 1892
December 5, 1973
Age 81
Inverness, Scotland
Pitlochry, Perth and Kinross, Scotland