Richard Makinson

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Richard Elliss Bodenham Makinson (5 May 1913 – 15 January 1979), known as R.E.B. or Dick Makinson, was an Australian physicist. He first enrolled as pupil number 1699 at North Sydney Boys High School and later completed secondary education at Sydney Church of England Grammar (Shore) School before studying at Sydney University.

He contributed to the understanding of thermal conductivity in crystals. His work[1] is cited in the classical book Introduction to Solid State Physics by Charles Kittel.[2] He also contributed to the physics of amorphous semiconductors.[3][4] This work is cited in the book Quantum Electron Theory of Amorphous Conductors.[5]

During the Cold War, Makinson was suspected of communist sympathies and explicitly denounced by noted anti-communist William Wentworth. As a result, he was denied a number of teaching positions, including a research chair at Sydney University, where he taught from 1939 to 1968.[6][7]

Dick Makinson was a friend and colleague of John Clive Ward[8] and assisted in the creation of the physics program at Macquarie University where he obtained a position in 1968.[9] In the late 1970s he was an active supporter of the successful Macquarie science reform movement.[10]

Makinson died of cancer in 1979.[9]


  1. ^ R. E. B. Makinson, Proc. Cambridge Phil. Soc. 34, 474 (1938).
  2. ^ C. Kittel, Introduction to Solid State Physics, 8th Ed. (Wiley, New York, 2004).
  3. ^ R. E. B. Makinson and P. A. Roberts, Aust. J. Phys. 13, 437 (1960).
  4. ^ R. E. B. Makinson and P. A. Roberts, Proc. Phys. Soc. (London) 79, 630 (1961).
  5. ^ A. I. Gubanov, Quantum Electron Theory of Amorphous Conductors (CB, New York, 1965).
  6. ^ Buckley-Moran, Jean. "Australian Scientists and the Cold War" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-08-12. 
  7. ^ Moyal, Ann (2006). "7". Maverick Mathematician, The Life and Science of J.E. Moyal. ANU E Press The Australian National University. p. 95. ISBN 978-1920942588. 
  8. ^ F. J. Duarte, The man behind an identity in quantum electrodynamics, Australian Physics 46 (6), 171-175 (2009). .
  9. ^ a b "Makinson, Richard Elliss Bodenham (Dick) (1913 - 1979)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  10. ^ F. J. Duarte, Laser Physicist (Optics Journal, New York, 2012).