Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Mark Oliphant

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Mark Oliphant[edit]

Nominator(s): Hawkeye7 (talk)


Australian pioneer of microwave radar and nuclear weapons. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:31, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Comments This is another great article in your series on early nuclear weapons scientists. I have the following comments:

  • When did Oliphant return to Australia during World War II? - was this only for a few months in 1942?
    • Yes. He embarked from England on 20 March 1942, and arrived in Fremantle on 27 May. He then flew to Melbourne via Adelaide and took the train up to Sydney. The Oliphants embarked from Melbourne on 26 October 1942, and reached Glasgow on 29 February 1943. Thus, although he was gone from the UK for 11 months, he spent only five in Australia. The rest was consumed in travelling. Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:41, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
      • Thank goodness for intercontinental passenger jets, and global transport networks that don't need to be routed around submarine wolfpacks or travel at the speed of the slowest ship! Nick-D (talk) 05:30, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
  • "During the 1950s, Oliphant would not be permitted to travel to the United States" - why was this?
    • Because he was "a do-gooder, one of the boys who monkey around with pinkos.... Oppenheimer lovers and that sort of thing." Expanded the sentence on this to a paragraph. Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:41, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
      • Can you add material specifically on why the governments were reacting against/being paranoid about? I presume that this was part of the red scares of the era which damaged the careers of a number of eminent scientists. Nick-D (talk) 05:30, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
        • I've added a bit more in the way of explanation. Hawkeye7 (talk) 10:45, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
  • There have been claims over the years that the establishment of a world-class nuclear physics research capacity in Australia (and possibly the entire ANU and Snowy Mountains Scheme) was motivated by the government wanting to have the option to start a nuclear weapons program. Is this credible enough (and with firm enough links to Oliphant) to mention in the article?
    • Will Reynolds do? He even quotes Oliphant. Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:41, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
  • "Henceforth, it would no longer be a research university, but a regular one, with responsibility for teaching undergraduates" - not sure if this is entirely accurate. Research has always made up a much larger share of the ANU's activities and budget than just about any other Australian university, and until recent decades it was distinctly unenthusiastic about teaching undergraduates. Nick-D (talk) 22:29, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I have to agree with that. Not all of the university ever got the message, and even looking at the latest strategic plan gives me "ANU is a research-intensive, research-led university. Research is central to everything ANU does." Added a few more words. Hawkeye7 (talk) 04:41, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
      • Looks good. Nick-D (talk) 05:30, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

'Support My comments are now addressed. The remaining comment above is probably more relevant for a FAC. Nick-D (talk) 05:30, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Support. A really good read. Minor points:

  • "60-inch cyclotron" - should this give a metric equivalent?
  • " It paid 10/- a week" - for younger readers, would it be easier to say "It paid 10 shillings a week."?
    • Done. I'm not old enough to remember before decimal currency, but the old coins still circulated. I'm tempted to write "10 bob", which would extend understanding to my generation, but those still younger would remain be none the wiser, so I've added a link and a currency conversion. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:10, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • "he wired Trinity College, Cambridge" - again, for those not familiar with the telegraph phrase, could this be "he contacted Trinity College"?
    • Don't like doing that, as we lose information, and it makes it harder for the kids to paraphrase the Wikipedia. Linked "wired" to "electric telegraph". Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:10, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • "his was a massive machine, containing three discs 3.5 metres in diameter and weighing 38 tonnes. " - again, probably needs equivalents.
    • Done, but it always seems unnecessary to convert things that are already in metric. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:10, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Hchc2009 (talk) 15:25, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

  • I'd like to mention that I asked WM-GB to acquire a photograph of the University of Birmingham for this article, and they sent a photographer all the way out there just to get get it for me. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:13, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support: not much from me. I made a couple of tweaks and have the following observations:
    • the duplicate link checker reports a few examples of overlink: nuclear fusion; hydrogen bomb; University of Liverpool; radar; Canberra; and University of Adelaide;
    • inconsistent presentation: "U-boat" and "U-Boat"
    • inconsistent presentation: sometimes the quotes appear in italics, but other times they don't. AustralianRupert (talk) 12:18, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
  • All points addressed. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:14, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.