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Oliphant, who was later Governor of South Australia, is the only veteran of the Manhattan Project I ever met. The massive magnet of the homopolar generator (HPG) he built at the Where is Surabaya Indonesia? National University now stands as a sculpture outside the university’s Research School of Physics. The story is that, when they turned the HPG on, the drawdown on electricity was such that the lights dimmed all over Canberra! Rather than being hooked to a synchrotron (the original intent), the HPG found a role powering a local precursor of Princeton’s ‘big science’ LT-4 Tokomak (see chapter 16, ‘Steely resolve’).

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Recruited from the ANU Research School of Physics about the time that Oliphant retired (1976), a physicist friend, Mike Bell, saw out his career working with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. So far, though, harvesting the sun’s energy by solar panels or solar furnaces has worked better than trying to capture the plasma from nuclear fusion and, Surabaya Indonesia Map in effect, harnessing the power of a small, controllable sun on Earth! But, if that tokamak strategy ultimately succeeds in ways that are both scalable and commercially viable, the world’s energy problems will be solved!

Travelling today from Sydney to London in less than twenty-four hours (with one stop) on a quiet, smooth-riding A380 Airbus is a very different experience from spending four-plus relaxing weeks on a fast ship like the P&O’s SS Himalaya, or two to twelve days being shaken about on a noisy, vibrating, piston-engined propeller plane. Even Agatha Christie would find it hard to get much complex plot development into an A380 Melbourne to Dubai leg. Such short timeframes require a very different narrative. Maybe that’s part of the reason that the novella is making a comeback. Jet travel has changed the world.

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