About Dr. James Benford

Dr. James N. Benford

I was born in Alabama in 1941. As my father was in the military, I have lived in several different locales, including abroad. I studied physics at the University of Oklahoma, and in 1969 received a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California at San Diego.

In the next 26 years I worked at Physics International. There I developed skills in intense beams, pulsed power and high power microwaves. In 1983, I was given responsibility to investigate the use of pulsed power technology for high power microwave generation. Over the next nine years, I developed an extensive research capability and Physics International became the major company in the field of HPM. I developed a variety of microwave sources at very high power levels, built the largest high power microwave experimental facility in the country, and developed a research group working in the areas of microwave source physics, microwave beam propagation and microwave effects on electronics. This eventually lead me to begin the world’s first high power microwave product line. In 1990, I founded the High Power Microwave Division of Physics International with responsibility for an annual budget of about three million dollars and supervision of fifteen physicists and technical support personnel. In 1993-1995, I was program manager of ORION, the largest and most complex HPM system ever built.

In 1996 I founded Microwave Sciences, Inc. With the added flexibility gained, the company has been a successful means of:

  • Broadening my participation in HPM research and development, including contracts in the US and internationally, including private companies, governments and universities (see list of clients at the Microwave Sciences page).
  • Increasing efforts in HPM education
  • Writing the second edition of my comprehensive book, High Power Microwaves
  • Advancing space applications of microwaves, especially propulsion
  • Developing and supporting Heimdall, the HPM System concept code, now in version 4.01

I am active in HPM source development, testing facility operations, and advanced applications. My current interests include phase control of high
power arrays by phase-locking of oscillators or master oscillator-driven high power amplifiers. My past experience includes work on electromagnetic
launchers, pulsed power design, system studies, and the use of electron beams for many applications.