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It is not too far-fetched to say that many young graduate physicists were introduced to their professional career through the recommendations of the [OMP] and many high quality technicians were trained on the high-precision optical work. In many ways the work of the [OMP] during the War looked like a very flourishing graduate school. - H.C. Bolton (1)

Many Australian university students who were studying science (in particular, mathematics and physics) at the start of the Second World War became involved in the work of the Optical Munitions Panel. Their experiences with the Panel and optical munitions research influenced their studies, lives and, in many cases, directed their future careers.

I was a student at the university and I was already interested in Physics as a major subject. When the optical work began under Professor McAulay, we were told that we didn't need to do any laboratory experimental work in the ordinary sense, if we would pitch in and do experimental work on optical techniques. We were just experimenting with prisms, with optical glass, and we took to that. - Geoff Fenton (2)

Some of the students and young graduates who worked for the Optical Munitions Panel include:

(1) H.C. Bolton (1983), 'J.J. McNeill and the Development of Optical Research in Australia', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 5, no. 4, p. 58.
(2) Interview by Jill Cassidy with Geoff Fenton, in Jill Cassidy (1990), Eric Waterworth: an inventive Tasmanian, Exhibition Catalogue, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, 1990, p. 9.

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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: Joanne Evans
Date modified: 4 January 1998

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