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Lecturer
Physics

Portrait of Michael McGuirk

Michael McGuirk earned his B.S. in mathematics from Manhattan College and his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maine at Orono.

His research has included electromagnetic wave propagation and the interaction of light with matter. Dense wavelength division multiplexing, which is used to squeeze all those TV channels into one optical fiber, is one practical application of his work. He served as the systems architect for the Diffuse IR Background Experiment instrument on the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite. He managed the design and construction of an interferometer used for a classified project. That interferometer was later repurposed to control polishing of the Hubble Telescope secondary mirror, the one that was done correctly. He designed space flight instruments used to understand the chemistry of the ozone layer and to verify compliance with arms treaties. His research on high-energy-laser mirrors led to a 100-times increase in power-handling ability, and a successful SDI demonstration against a fixed target. He was the systems engineer for the High Energy Transmission Grating on Chandra, and liaison between NASA and the Dutch scientists building Chandra’s Low Energy Transmission Grating instrument. Most recently, he supplied technical expertise to three space weather instruments: the solar proton spectrometer on DSCOVR, and the SUVI and EXIS instruments on the four GOES-R series satellites. At Norwich he teaches PS201 lectures and PS211 labs.

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