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Can Be "Second To None"-Oliphant

Professor Marcus Oliphant, Director, Research School of Physical Sciences at the Australian National University, yesterday warned Australian scientists not to be "bluffed" by competition from


Professor Oliphant was giving his presidential address, "The Research School of Physical Sciences in the Aus- tralian National University," to the astronomy, mathematics, and physics section at


He said there were those in Australia who argued that the building of large accelerators (for experiments in nuclear physics) could not be justified.

Their reasons were that cosmic radiation provided all the fast particles required and that, in any case, anything we could do in Australia would always be an- ticipated in the U.S.A. or else- where.

'This policy of defeatism in the face of competition from America, in science as in any other sphere of activity, will never enable Australia to ad- vance towards maturity, intellec- tually," Professor Oliphant said.

"Such arguments have already seriously retarded the develop- ment of atomic energy in this country. Australian .scientists must be given the opportunity to work in modern fields at home, or they will assuredly continue to be lost to more enlightened


Reviewing earlier work in the field of nuclear physics, Profes- sor Oliphant said that the design work for Birmingham's proton

Synchrotron had been done primarily by the late Dr J Gooden, of Adelaide

The proton synchrotron al Brookhaven, USA w.s de signed along the same lines bul owing to the greater volume o effort and the greater ease of obtaining machinery and man {als in the US, the Brook haven machine came into opera lion earlier than that in Birmine

ham s

The death of Dr Gooden had also delayed completion of fe British synchrotron, but thanlj to the efforts of other Ans trahans - Drs Hibbard Symonds, and Riddiford-it wy expected to yield a beam of par tides early in 1953


The cyclosynchrotron now being built in Canberra would be simpler and would produe protons with somewhat great« energies Its maximum enerr? was limited only by the streneth of the material of the coils and of the clamping structure

The Canberra machine had the advantages of small size and co t of the equipment If it worltd well it was proposed lo buJd


"It will be clear that our ob- jectives in the field of high-enerey particle physics are comparable with any contemplated in Europe or America " said Professor Oh phant, ' while the methods used should enable us to carry out our

programme at a small fraction of the costs contemplated abroad

"If we succeed, we shall ha\e made a major contribution to the subject with a total expenditure which is within Australia s means and we will have a laboratory devoted to nuclear and particle physics which will be second to none in the world"

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