David R. Bates


Born November 18th, 1916, Omagh, County Tyrone, Ireland.

Member Royal Irish Academy 1952. FRS 1955. Hon. Foreign Member American Academy Arts Sciences 1974. Ass. Member Royal Academy Belgium 1979. Foreign Assoc. National Academy of Science USA 1984. Hughes Medal, Royal Society 1970. Chree Medal, Institute of Physics 1973. Gold Medal, Royal Astron. Society 1977. Fleming Medal, Am. Geophys. Union 1987. Hon. Degrees: Ulster, NUI, York (Ontario), Belfast, Dublin, Glasgow, York (England), Stirling, Essex. Knighted 1978.

Author of:

Over 300 papers in scientific journals.

Important Contributions:

Bates explained how electrons and positive ions recombine in ionosphere (with H. S. W. Massey). He gave theory of dissociative recombination and, much later, super-dissociative recombination. He devised Coulomb approximation for calculating absolute strengths of spectral lines (with A. Damgaard) in a "Science Citation Classic". Gave first study of photochemistry of atmospheric water vapour and explanation of Meinel hydroxyl bands in nightglow (with M. Nicolet). He also gave the theory of recombination of electrons and atomic positive ions by "collisional-radiative recombination" (with A. E. Kinston, W. R. P. McWhirter) in a "Science Citation Classic". Introduced the need for "translation factors" in quantal treatment of collisions involving charge transfer (with R. M. McCarroll). He gave explanations of stratospheric enrichments of heavy ozone and carbon dioxide.

An obituary can be found at