could be made, it was the first of many research activities in which Arthur was well ahead of others in his research fields. While at NACA, Arthur also designed the first meaningful supersonic wind tunnel in the United States (which achieved Mach number 2.5 in 1942), and his research on shockwave formation, propagation, and stability in supersonic flows made important contributions to turbine engine development and the war effort. During his time at NACA, he continued his graduate studies at Columbia on the subject of gas dynamics. His dissertation adviser was Edward Teller, and his doctoral research involved the measurement of vibrational relaxation times of carbon dioxide molecules using simple aeronautical instrumentation. His Ph.D. in physics was awarded by Columbia in 1947.
In 1946, before completing his Ph.D. dissertation, Arthur Kantrowitz was appointed to a faculty position in the Departments of Aeronautical Engineering and Engineering Physics at Cornell University. He established a very active laboratory at Cornell, where he and his students did groundbreaking research on supersonic nozzle flows, high-temperature (over 10,000 K) shock tubes, and molecular beams. The supersonic high-intensity “nozzle beam” method developed by Arthur and his students at Cornell was critical to the research of at least nine Nobel Prize winners, most notably Yuan Tseh Lee and Dudley Herschbach (1986) and John Fenn (2002). Arthur proved to be an inspiring teacher and research adviser at Cornell. A number of his outstanding students later played important roles in the aerospace industry and in higher education.
While at a cocktail party at Cornell in 1954, Arthur met Victor Emanuel, chairman of Avco Corporation, who told him about a difficult problem being encountered in the design of ballistic missiles. The missiles would have to be able to survive reentry into the atmosphere, where frictional drag could cause surface temperatures to reach 7,500 K or higher, but American missile engineers had not yet been able to duplicate those high-temperature conditions in the laboratory. Arthur informed him that he and his students had been able to achieve