Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Parade of Oliphants

Pat Oliphant is one of the best-known cartoonists working in the U.S., and is often the subject of controversy with his cutting satires. Born in Adelaide, Australia he has lived in the States since the 1960s. His cartoons have been awarded with the prestigious Pulitzer Prize.

Interestingly, his uncle, Mark Oliphant, who died in 2000 at the age of 98, aimed at a different target--the world of nuclei. Oliphant was one of the few researchers who worked with two of the greatest 20th century experimental physicists-- Rutherford at Cambridge and Lawrence at Berkeley. Oliphant played an important role in the Manhattan Project, and built in Birmingham, England one of the earliest cyclotrons (circular particle accelerators), in some ways a precursor to the Large Hadron Collider. Oliphant later became governor of South Australia.

Each Oliphant has been richly rewarded with accolades for his creative accomplishments. After all, Oliphants don't work for peanuts.

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