Rutherford - Recollections of The Cambridge Days
158 pages. Hard Cover.
20 black and white plates.
Out of Print
My Comments on This Book
This is the best book of a personal nature about Ern.
Mark was a
plain-speaking Australian so gives a warts and all account of someone he loved. He was
very close to Rutherford, in fact he was almost the adopted son that Rutherford never had.
Both were antipodians and both knew what it was to loose an off-spring.
Mark was inspired
to want to work with Rutherford at the Cavendish after hearing him speak in Adelaide
during the 1925 tour. Mark arrived in 1927, rising to be an Assistant Research Director
and leaving to run a show of his own at Birmingham just before Rutherford's untimely death
in 1937. After Cockcroft and Walton had split the atom Mark and Ern built another
accelerator to accelerate heavy hydrogen and discovered the heaviest isotope of hydrogen
(tritium, H3) and the light isotope of helium (He3).
That's about as
much as I need say on the book which I highly recommend. But I would like to say a little
about Mark, who, in my opinion, was a much underrated person. At Birmingham, Mark had his
team develop techniques for short wavelength RADAR which culminated in Randle and Booth
inventing the cavity magnetron which allowed airborne RADAR for night-fighters, submarine
detection and bomber blind-navigation. After working on uranium isotope separation at Los
Alamos he returned to Birmingham to build a proton syncrotron before patriotically going
back to Australia to establish the Research School of Physical Sciences. After retirement
he became Governor of South Australia.
Mark died 14 Jul
2000, aged 98. He had obituaries around the world (eg The Times (London) p21 18 Jul 2000).
I had the privilege of writing one for the Annual Yearbook of the Royal Society of New
Zealand, of whom Mark was an Honorary Fellow. He is the subject of an out of print
biography Oliphant Cockburn and Ellyard, Axiom Books, (Australia) 1981. David
Ellyard has some limited edition copies left.
The only defect is the lack of an index and a list of illustrations.
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||The Cavendish Laboratory
||Counting, Money and Mass Spectroscopy
||Radio, Junk, Tea, Visitors
||Chadwick and the Neutron
||Cockroft and Walton
||Working with Rutherford
|| Home, Holidays, Politics
|| Rutherford and Nuclear Energy
|| Directing Research, DSIR, Science and the People
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Not known at this stage.