Terry Parker has BSc and PhD degrees in Physics from the University of London. Following completion of his PhD he spent two years working at Northern Electric Research Laboratories (now Bell Northern Research Laboratories) in Ottawa, followed by a year at Battelle Memorial Institute in Geneva, before returning to the University of London. He was appointed Research Associate, Lecturer, and then Reader in Physics at Westfield College, University of London, spending the year 1975/6 on leave of absence as Visiting Professor of Physics and Senior Fulbright Scholar at Northeastern University in Boston. He moved to Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, in 1984 during the restructuring of London University, and took up his present appointment as Professor of Physics at the University of Essex in January, 1991.
He has 30 years' research experience in solid state spectroscopy, working initially on the development of far infrared dispersive Fourier transform spectroscopy (DFTS) to investigate ionic solids, ferroelectrics, semiconductors, and wire gratings. During the past 10 years he has worked on magnetic media and low dimensional semiconductors. This has included the development of a novel high resolution (0.01 cm-1) far infrared Fourier transform spectrometer for magneto-optic spectroscopy, and the development of techniques for investigating surface and interface modes using attenuated total reflection (ATR) spectroscopy at low temperatures (down to 1.6 K). Measurements on semiconductors are used as a probe of the structural and electronic properties of superlattices, and recent results on GaN have included the first experimental determination of the anisotropy of the electron and hole effective masses in wurtzite-structure epilayers. Recent work on magnetic materials has produced the first reported measurements of surface magnetic polaritons and magnetic polariton dispersion curves in antiferromagnetic crystals (FeF2). In the latest work, ATR has been used to observe magnetic excitations in rare earth metals (Dy), a long-standing problem in experimental solid state physics; these excitations cannot be probed using conventional techniques due to the screening effects of the free electrons.
Terry was a member of the Committee of the Spectroscopy Group of the Institute of Physics for 9 years from 1979 to 1988, Honorary Secretary of the Group for 3 years, and Chairman for 4. He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 1984, and was awarded an NPL Metrology Award in 1987 for proposing a method for the absolute determination of reflectivity. He is active in the international scientific community, and was Chairman of the 18th and 23rd International Conferences on Infrared and Millimeter Waves, which were held at the University of Essex in 1993 and 1998, respectively. He is the author or co-author of more than 175 scientific publications.