Kerr Grant

Physicist, Academic

1878 – 1967


Who was Kerr Grant?

Professor Emeritus Sir Kerr Grant was an Australian physicist and a significant figure in higher education administration in South Australia in the first half of the twentieth century.

Kerr Grant was born in the then rural town of Bacchus Marsh, near Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria in 1878. He studied mathematics at the University of Melbourne and was awarded a BSc in 1901 and MSc in 1903, both with first class honours. In 1904 he studied at the University of Göttingen in Germany where he studied with American Nobel Prize winning chemist and physicist Irving Langmuir. In 1911, he was appointed Elder professor of physics at the University of Adelaide. He held this position until 1948 and his students included Dr. Douglas Allen of the British atomic research team, Professor Eric Jauncey, professor of physics at Washington University, St. Louis, Hugh Cairns, Mark Oliphant, and Howard Florey.

In 1919, he attended the laboratories of the General Electric Co. at Schenectady in the United States. While there he was intrigued by the work performed there on molecular films and on return to Adelaide encouraged study on such films on mercury.

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Jun 26, 1878
Bacchus Marsh
  • Australia
  • University of Melbourne
Lived in
  • Adelaide
Oct 13, 1967

on July 23, 2013


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