Series 166 - ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering publications

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ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering publications


  • 1962 - 1996 (Creation)

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0.1 m (1 type 2 box)

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(1948 -)

Biographical history

The Research School of Physical Sciences was the first of the research schools of the Australian National University to be established. Sir Marcus Oliphant who was a member of the Academic Advisory Committee was instrumental in its establishment. His appointment as the Director was announced in 1948 though he did not join the University until 1950, and a number of other staff appointed in 1948 and 1949 worked with him in Birmingham. Oliphant proposed that the school engage in research in fundamental nuclear physics and in the related branch of chemistry – the chemistry of radioactive substances. The foundation stone for the school was laid on 24 October 1949 by Prime Minister Ben Chifley. The six original departments were: Astronomy established in 1950, headed by Richard Woolley; Geophysics established in 1952, headed by John Jaeger; Radio Chemistry established in 1952, headed by Frank Scarf; Particle Physics established in 1950, headed by Marcus Oliphant; Nuclear Physics established in 1950, headed by Ernest Titterton; and Theoretical Physics established in 1951, headed by Ken Le Couteur. Four new research schools have been created from the original school: the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Research School of Earth Sciences, the Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering, and the School of Mathematical Sciences. The establishment of a Department of Electronic Materials Engineering in 1988 led eventually, in 1991, to the school being renamed the Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering. In 2008 the Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering and the Department of Physics, part of the Faculty of Science, merged to create the Research School of Physics and Engineering.

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The publications include a report on the 1962 explosion and Fire in the Belly, a fiftieth anniversary history, by T Ophel and J Jenkin.


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Researchers must sign an access agreement

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Prepared by Maggie Shapley on 15 November 2007




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