Mark Oliphant, Australian physicist

Mark Oliphant, Australian physicist

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Marcus 'Mark' Laurence Elwin Oliphant (1901-2000), Australian nuclear physicist and politician. In 1934, Oliphant, working with Ernest Rutherford, discovered tritium, an isotope of hydrogen. Oliphant spent most of his life designing and building particle accelerators. During the Second World War he was in charge of the team that developed microwave radar. In 1943 he moved to the USA to work on the Manhattan Project. He became a critic of the use of atom bombs, and thereafter campaigned against nuclear weapons. He was knighted in 1959. In 1971 he was elected State Governor of South Australia, a post he held for five years.

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