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Sir Mark Oliphant
, late 1960s

by Louis Kahan

pen and ink on paper

Sir Mark Oliphant AC KBE (1901-2000), a pioneer in the development of radar, was Governor of South Australia from 1971 to 1976. He is also remembered, however, as a participant in the Cambridge Cavendish Laboratory research group and in the United States Manhattan Project, which culminated in the artificial disintegration of the atomic nucleus and the bombing of Japan at the conclusion of World War II. He was director of research in the physical sciences at the Australian National University from 1950 to 1966 and the Foundation President of the Australian Academy of Science from 1954 to 1956. A campaigner for the environment, Aboriginal land rights and women's affirmative action, he once described himself as 'one of those persons who wish atomic weapons had never been made'.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 1998
Accession number: 1998.20