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John Henry Carver

I was so pleased to be at university to do physics and mathematics.

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My father was very much a handy person round the house, and I learnt a lot of carpentry from him.

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Being appointed Elder Professor meant very much taking over the shop, in that the professor in those days controlled all the moneys.

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I was interested in nuclei originally with my deuteron photo work because that was one of the fundamental forces, and the measurement was basic to new science.

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The pattern of things was that each of the research students would be doing some particular experiment on the accelerator, often involving the building of counters or a system like that.

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In the tail above the giant resonance, you can get not just one neutron emitted but two, three, four or five, and so there are a lot of things one can measure, looking at the competition with the emission of neutrons and protons and so on.

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My latter schooldays and my university days were during the war, when science - physics, in particular - was a very important and glamorous subject. A lot of us felt that if we couldn't get into science, we might try engineering or medicine.

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I had some vague memory of visiting Canberra as a lad, when we came up with my father by car. But when I made the long train journey from Sydney to Canberra and arrived at the little stop, I did wonder slightly whether this really was the national capital.

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Although important nuclear physics work was to go on in laboratories such as ours had become - and we had to cut down to a lower energy group - it was not fundamentally opening up new insights on the structure of matter. That required you to be in a higher league.

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