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It is essential ... that you co-opt the very best men and brains that are to be found within the country.

L. Hartnett to T.H. Laby, 9 July 1940, Australian Archives, MP 730/11 16.

Optical Munitions Panel Meeting 1941 - 57.4 K

Australia's leading physicists were gathered to work on the problem.

Hartnett met with Laby and other senior physicists in Melbourne on 26 June 1940. This meeting led to the formation of the Optical Munitions Panel, with Laby as Chairman.

The OMP brought university-based scientists together with representatives from government laboratories and the armed services. The Panelís main task was to advise Hartnett and to offer assistance to organisations and industries involved in the optical munitions effort. However, many of its members became directly involved in the production process - designing, building and testing instruments.

The scale of the OMPís task quickly became apparent. The armed services submitted a list of twelve urgently required instruments - over 15,000 items were needed, at an estimated cost of £750,000. And this in a country where hardly a single such instrument had ever been produced!

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Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 30 April 1997
Comments or corrections to: Bright Sparcs (bsparcs@asap.unimelb.edu.au)
Prepared by: Denise Sutherland and Elissa Tenkate
Updated by: Elissa Tenkate
Date modified: 19 February 1998

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