1993, 26 Minutes. Classification: G.
Sir Marcus Oliphant was a founding father of the Australian National University in Canberra and a former Governor of South Australia. He won the Exhibition Prize at Adelaide University in 1927 and was accepted by Cambridge University. While there, he was part of a team whose task was to split the atom.
During World War Two, Oliphant developed the centimetre wave radar. His “secret weapon of radar” became a decisive factor in winning the Battle of Britain. Working in England, he also became deeply involved in the development of the atomic bomb. In 1942 he flew to America and helped scientists build the terrifying new weapon.
After the bomb was used against civilians in Hiroshima, Oliphant vowed never to have anything further to do with nuclear power for military means. A remarkable man, he went on to devote his considerable scientific talent and energies to finding peaceful uses for atomic power.
A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
NB The Australian Biography series (1-11) are only available for sale within the territories of Australia and New Zealand.
Writer/Director/Producer: Frank Heimans
Interviewer: Robin Hughes
Running Time: 26 Minutes
Curriculum Links: Particularly relevant for Science and also has applications for English, SOSE/HSIE, Religious Studies, Politics, Philosophy and Ethics. Levels: from middle to senior secondary, and tertiary.