Alva T. Stair, Jr.

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Alva T. Stair, Jr.

Alva T. Stair, Jr.

“His pioneering work in optics has led to the invention of new systems and a better understanding of earth’s space environment and has impacted the design of this country’s most important space surveillance system.”
Air Force Colonel Gerald P. D’Arcy, 1986


Oklahoma native and scientific pioneer Alva T. Stair, Jr., graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in mathematics in 1952 and received his Ph.D. in physics from OU in 1956. He has published many scientific papers throughout his career and was visiting lecturer in applied physics at the Lowell Technological Institute in Massachusetts from 1960 to 1962, before becoming a Ph.D. advisor at Utah State University (1965-1970). Mr. Stair was also appointed as an air force project scientist (1960-1970), a program scientific director for high altitude effects simulation (1970-1977), branch chief (1975-1982), and was named chief scientist in the senior executive service of the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory in 1982.

Fun fact

A.T. Stair, Jr., pioneered two major technologies: the Fourier Transform Spectroscopy and totally cryogenic infrared sensors for laboratory, rocket, and space use. Within his own laboratory he created the equivalent of an entire physics/chemistry department on infrared radiation processes of aurora, airglow, and nuclear induced backgrounds.

Oklahoma connections

Stair, Jr., was born in Oklahoma City and raised near Canton, Oklahoma.









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