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1882 - 1972

Oscar Ulrich Vonwiller was Professor and Head of the Physics Department at the University of Sydney. He was an original Optical Munitions Panel member, and went to practically all of the Panel meetings. Vonwiller was also a member of the Board of Visitors at the Commonwealth Solar Observatory.

Oscar Vonwiller ... had always taken an active interest in Mount Stromlo and had defended it in the lean years when Government money was hard to get for science ... Oscar fostered Mount Stromlo, and of course Sydney Observatory as well. He also taught his men very thoroughly, as of course did Laby ... Like Kerr Grant, Vonwiller was a man of great breadth of interest. - R. v.d.R. Woolley (1)

Under Vonwiller's direction, the Physics Department at the University of Sydney undertook the reconditioning and tropic proofing of approximately 10,000 binoculars (of differing types); the manufacture of various optical instruments; investigation and development of blooming techniques for glass; and investigation of desiccating agents, such as silica gel and alumina, which absorb water and could be used to fight mould problems experienced by Australian defence forces in the tropics.

(1) R. Woolley (1968), 'Mount Stromlo Observatory', RAAS, vol 1, no. 3, November, pp. 54.

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Bright SPARCS Biographical Entry

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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