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Professor John Henry Carver (1926-)

MSS 0074

Biographical Note | Contents Listing

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Biographical Note

John Henry Carver was Elder Professor and Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Adelaide from 1961 to 1978, having earlier obtained his Bachelor and Masters degrees in Science at the University of Sydney and doctorate at Cambridge and worked as a Research Fellow/Fellow/Senior Fellow at the Australian National University from 1953 to 1961.  His work at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge (1949-53) and at the ANU was in the field of experimental nuclear physics, particularly nuclear photodisintegration.  After his appointment to Adelaide his principal research interests were in rocket experiments (using the government facilities at Woomera) and upper atmosphere and space research, including photoabsorption in molecular oxygen and the evolution of the earth's atmosphere more generally.

In 1978 Carver was appointed Director of the Research School of Physical Sciences at the ANU where he continued the Adelaide U.V. work and initiated a Space Astronomy project in collaboration with the Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring observatories.

A further summary account of Carver's appointments will be found at

These papers were originally held in the Physics Department at the University of Adelaide and were transferred by them to the University Archives together with other departmental records in 1991.  The more personal papers of Professors Carver, Huxley and Kerr Grant were transferred to the Library in 2001.  Because the papers were those accumulated by Carver while at Adelaide they do not reflect his prior or later career.  However, some letters from Carver with reference to both his Adelaide and his ANU work will be found in the papers of Sir Mark Oliphant (MSS 92 O4775p Series 3)

Confidential references, testimonials and examiner's reports on theses, appointment diaries for 1961 and 1976, circular copies of Radio Research Board papers (fellowship applications and reports on projects under grants) and various series of published rocket reports, received with these papers in 2001, were not retained.

Contents Listing

1. Correspondence. Includes correspondence with Harry Medlin re work on DNA and possibility of Crick coming to Australia under the Vice Chancellors Committee Scheme. October 1963-April 1964. 1 cm. 34p.2.  Letters received while on study leave in London and the United States. 48p. 1969, 1972-73.1cm.

3.  Correspondence and other papers relating to talks for radio and television (including scripts for 1965 University of the Air series Science in Space).  1964-71. 156p. 3cm.

4.  Address at 1973 Commemoration (first ceremony). 1cm.

5.  M.Sc thesis 'Some studies in Nuclear Physics'.  1949.  unbound typescript. 2cm.

6.  Curriculum vitae, lists of publications and circulation lists (various dates). 1cm.

7.  Reprints and typescripts of scientific papers.  (includes photographs). 1965-78. 8cm. 17+8 reprints.

8.  'Upper Atmosphere Composition Studies' - first annual report to the Department of Supply. April 1964.
2 copies of typescript. 2cm. 26p.

9.  Correspondence and publications relating to space and rocket research programs. 6cm.
[including separate files on Aerobee 170 Rocket, ESRO TD-1 Satellite, Aircraft observations of October 1976 eclipse and report by Carver on Wresat June 1978 and article for An Encyclopedia on Space Research + photographs]. 200++pp.

Series 10-22. Correspondence/subject files relating to scientific societies and other organizations. 1959-81. 62 cm.
The files relate primarily to organizations of which Carver was an active member, but some contain only circular material, while Series 21-22 and part of Series 13 seem rather to be those maintained by W.G. Elford (subsequently Chairman of the Physics Department). A series consists of a single file unless otherwise indicated.

10. Australian National Committee for Space Research (ANCOSPAR). Correspondence, notes, minutes, memoranda. 1959, 1962-67, 1972-77. 7 files. 6 cm.

11. [Australian Academy of Science] Advisory Committee on Upper Atmosphere Research. Reports, correspondence. 1970-76. 2 files. 7 cm.

12. International Academy of Astronautics. Reports, agendas, congress program. 1971-77. 2 cm.

13. International Astronomical Union. Correspondence, reports of meetings, program. 1969-79, 1972-77. 2 files. 4 cm.
File 2 is that of Carver, file 1 of Elford.

14. Australian Academy of Science National Committee for Space Research. Minutes, memoranda, correspondence. 1970-71, 1973, 1977. 2 cm.
Includes copies of correspondence with NASA and papers relating to a visit by Dr. T.O.Paine, Administrator of NASA, to the Academy in February 1970.

15. Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics. Circular correspondence and publication lists. 1973-78. 2 cm.

16. Australian Conference on Electron Spectroscopy (Australian Spectroscopy Conference). Minutes, correspondence of the organising committee. 1976-79. 2 cm

17. Astronomical Society of Australia. Memoranda, minutes, [routine] correspondence and ASA newsletter 1982. 1974-76, 1982. 2 cm.

18. Astronomical Society of South Australia. Bulletin. Jan.1974-Sept.1978 and astronomical data for Adelaide for 1974 and 1976. 3 cm.

19. Clean Air Committee. Correspondence, circulars. 1970-78. 4 files. 8 cm.
Includes leaflets of the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand.

20. ANZAAS. Reports, minutes of general committee and related correspondence and publications. 1968-75. 4 cm.

21. [Australian Academy of Science] National Committee for Radio Science (originally for Scientific Radio). Agendas, circulars. 1961-76. 3 cm.
W.G. Elford was the Adelaide member of this Committee.

22. Astronomy Advisory Committee. Minutes, papers and related correspondence and publications. 1978-81. 8 files. 17 cm.
W.G. Elford was the Adelaide member of this Committee. One file relates to a proposal for an Australian Universities Telescope in 1979.