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SUNSPOTS HELP HER TO BE THE
FAMILY'S WEATHER BUREAU
MISS PAMELA WHITE, of Glebe, the only
woman working on sunspot activity at the Potts Hill field station of the C.S.I.R.O. '
Miss RUBY PAYNE 11 SCOTT (Mrs. W. H. Hall, of Oatley), who for three years was in charge of the Potts Hill field statioii of the
A YOUNG Sydney woman is very
popular at home because she can usually tell when its going to rain, and can advise mother the best dav for the washing, and whether or not to
plan for week-end tennis.
She is Miss Pamela White, only woman working at the CSIRO s field station at Potts Hill, her job in a radio research laboratory working on sunspot aciivitv has earned her the title of The Family Weather Bureau "
But she admits that her sister (a dental nurse) and her two brothers (one a Radio Resarch Board officer, the other a dentistry student) tease her when something (such as a cyclonic disturbance) upsets her calculations
Miss White has been at Potts Hill for more than a
year. Her "boss" is Mr. Alec Lille who, with another young physicist, Miss Ruby Payne Scott (now Mrs. W. H Hall of Oatley), built up the station four years ago.
THE work in which Miss
White co operates - a study of the radio waves that come from the sun and sometimes cause bad static on wireless sets-is aimed toward
the improvement of world wide radio transmission, and weather forecasting.
This is how she describes her work : ' We get reports from our astronomers on the ocurrence of sunspots, and their position, and we can prove them ourselves by traini ng our small telescope on the sun and reflecting the bright disc to a piece of white
"The sunspots show up as smudgy dots on the spot of bright light, and you can prove they're not just dirt on the telescope glass by moving the spot The smudges move
WE have for some time
known the sun gave out radio waves which, if they are very strong will interfere with home wireless sets. Usually though, the waves are weak and can only be detected on radar apparatus.
"We can now prove that these radio waves come from the same position on the sun as the sunspots and, by means of diffeient kinds of aerials, we pick them up and measure their intensity.
"During the war, there used to" be a lot of these huge, peculiarly shaped structures all along the coast. Since then, we have new and better types, with a sensitised mag- netic field round them which is upset when intercepted by the sun's waves."
In her spare time, Miss White manages to ñt a whole range lof hobbies.
"For the summer-swim i..h.,4," she said. "I've been keen on swimminf as long as 1 can remember, and now 1 teach it in the ¡earn-to-swim campaign, and 1 represent Balmoral on the N.S.W. Ladies' Amateur Swimming Association.
','T^HEN Tm mad about car
1 clubs, and belong to two -the Australian Sporting Car Club and the little 15-Car Club in North Sydney. I make up treasure hunts for them, and members have to drive round looking'for my clues.
"Then I belong to Mosman Musical Society. I can't sing a note, but 1 do mv best help- ing out, like ' selling pro- grammes."
And on top of all this activity, her mother said: "And of course Pamela can cook and sew and knit. She likes playing about with Con- tinental dishes, and she has two little nieces to knit for."
Miss Ruby Payne-Scott, who was for three years, until a year ago, in charge of Potts Hill station, now has a nine months' old baby. Peter. She has abandoned all scientific matters to become a wife, mother, and housekeeper.
"We've got this new house at Oatley." she said, "and I'm desperately busy making cur- tains, and cushions, and so forth. We actually moved in a year ago, after helping to build it ourselves, but it's only
lately we've got water and electric light."
Miss Payne-Scott has been married for eight years to a P.M.G. tele-technician she met when out with a group of bush-walkers.
"We both used to belong to the Sydney Bushwalking Club, but have had' to give it up now," she said.
She admitted that over the tea table, they sometimes dis- cuss the P.M.G.'s new me- thods. "But I'm not much good at this for my husband," she said. "I know absolutely
nothing about telephone's."
Miss Payne-Scott received her M.Sc. degree in physics from Sydney University in 1936. Since then she has worked with the radiophysics section of the C.S.I.R.O.