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His work on radar aerials and wave mechanics required him to expand his grasp of the mathematics essential for physics - a skill which, it turned out, had not eluded him at all. The war years therefore provided him with the springboard for a postwar career at Cambridge in experimental and theoretical physics and, ultimately, eminence in low-temperature research. Inevitably he focused on the physics of superconductivity - a subject that had fascinated him since boyhood.
Using microwave techniques, a legacy from his radar work, Pippard developed new ways of probing the electron-flow patterns of working superconductors, an area of research being tackled at this time by other scientists, such as Lev Landau in the Soviet Union.
He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1956 and knighted in 1975. He married Charlotte Dyer in 1955, and they had three daughters; they all survive him. Charlotte, always deeply involved with the needs of scientists engaged in international level research, for some time ran the Society for Visiting Scholars. Pippard himself created a fund which will continue to be used to support graduate students. His enormous enthusiasm for science, which has touched generations, now has a life of its own.