Series 10 - Correspondence files of Mark Oliphant

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Correspondence files of Mark Oliphant


  • 1949-1969 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

3.2 m (16 type 1 boxes)

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Name of creator

(1901 - 2000)

Biographical history

Sir Mark Oliphant was born on 8 October 1901 at Kent Town, South Australia.
Oliphant received his BS (University of Adelaide) in 1926; PhD Physics (Cambridge University) in 1929. He taught and worked alongside Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand-born physicist, as Assistant Director of Research, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge in 1935. From 1937 to 1950 Oliphant was Poynting Professor of Physics, University of Birmingham. He was a member of the UN Official International Atomic Energy Commission from 1946-1947, and member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Australian National University from 1947-1950. In 1950 he was appointed as the first Director of the Research School of Physical Sciences, Australian National University. He was a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1954, and the academy’s first President from 1954 to 1957.He continued his association with the ANU as Professor and Head of Particle Physics, 1954–1964; Professor, Physics of Ionised Gases Unit at the ANU, 1964–1967. From 1971-1976 he was Governor of South Australia. Oliphant was the recipient of numerous fellowships, honorary doctorates and awards including Fellow of the Royal Society 1937; Faraday Medal, Institution of Electrical Engineers 1948; Matthew Flinders Medal, Australian Academy of Science 1961; Foundation Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering 1975; ANZAAS Medal 1979. Oliphant died in Canberra on 14 July 2000.

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Scope and content

These correspondence files were maintained by Oliphant during the period he was head of the Department of Nuclear Physics and Director of the Research School of Physical Sciences, and deal with administrative matters, conferences, external organisations, projects and the Britannica Australia Awards. Some files have a multiple number with D prefix, but a single number has been imposed on all files.


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Single number imposed

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Conditions governing access

Open access under a thirty-year rule; some staff information may be restricted

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Prepared by Maggie Shapley on 12 September 2007; revised by Greg Bell on 19 July 2012




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