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Sir Mark (Marcus Laurence Elwin) Oliphant, A.C., K.B.E. 8 October 1901 – 14 July 2000

Brebis Bleaney

Elected F.R.S. 1937


Marcus Oliphant was a gifted physics student from the University of Adelaide who came to work with Rutherford in Cambridge for his doctorate. In 1937 he became Poynting Professor of Physics at the University of Birmingham, where he promoted the development of centimetre–wave research for radar and was active in connection with the atomic bomb. He returned to Australia in 1950 as Professor of the Physics of Ionized Gases in Canberra, but his efforts there to achieve a thermonuclear reaction were unsuccessful. He became the founding President of the Australian Academy of Sciences, received a knighthood in 1959 and was appointed Governor of Southern Australia in 1972.

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