12 February 2021

William M. Jackson

William Jackson

"Do the best you can on everything that you do, and try to leave the Earth better than you found it."

Position/Title: Distinguished Research and Emeritus Professor

Affiliation: Chemistry Department, University of California, Davis

Areas of Scientific Interest: My research has been centered around developing experimental techniques to be used to explain astronomical observations. This has led me to develop the laser-induced fluorescence technique to measure the properties of free radicals that are observed in comets and other astronomical bodies. These have included the CN, C2, CS and C3 radicals. My measurements of the lifetime of the individual rotational levels the CN B to X transition were used to determine the temperature of the cosmic background radiation from the earth of 2.754 K vs the COBE value of 2.72548 K. I led the team that used the IUE observatory to observe comets in the VUV. Recently, I have been using two tunable VUV lasers to determine the atomic branching ratio from N2, CO, CO2, and NO.