Series 665 - Mervyn Paterson's papers and drawings relating to HPT machines

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Mervyn Paterson's papers and drawings relating to HPT machines


  • 1961 - 2011 (Creation)

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1.2 m (2 type 1, 1 type 4 and 2 type 10 boxes)

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Name of creator

(1925 -)

Biographical history

Professor Paterson joined the new Department of Geophysics in the Research School of Physical Sciences as a Senior Research Fellow under Professor JC Jaeger in June 1953, having been awarded a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Adelaide in 1945 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Cambridge University in 1949. He had worked in the Division of Aeronautics at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation from 1945 to 1953. In 1956 he was appointed as a Reader in Crystal Physics and in 1987 as a Professor in the Research School of Earth Sciences, which had been separately established from the Research School of Physical Sciences in 1973. Paterson started the design and construction of the first High Pressure, High Temperature (HPT) rock deformation apparatus in 1960 but it was not until 1988 that Paterson Instruments Pty Ltd (jointly owned by Paterson, his wife Katalin and ANUTECH) was formed to manufacture the apparatus as a commercial activity. Over the next twenty years, 13 were manufactured and sold to universities and research institutions in the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Germany, Switzerland and China. Paterson retired in 1990 and worked as a consultant to Australian Scientific Instruments which took over Paterson Scientific Instruments Pty Ltd in the mid-1990s.

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Scope and content

The laboratory notebooks include calculations, notes and designs relating to the High Pressure High Temperature (HPT) apparatus which Paterson developed for research into rock deformation in the Department of Geophysics in the Research School of Physical Sciences (later the Research School of Earth Sciences). There are also log books of assembly notes for thirteen machines built by Paterson Instruments Pty Ltd (later Australian Scientific Instruments Pty Ltd) for overseas research institutes including Manchester University, the University of Montpellier and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and folders of email correspondence with clients and potential clients. The drawings are of the original design and modifications of the HPT apparatus including assembly, modules and components.


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Researchers must sign an access agreement.

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Digitised copies of the drawings, the laboratory notebooks and assembly notebooks at

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Prepared by Maggie Shapley 16 May 2017.




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