About the records

Title Records of Giovanelli, Ronald Gordon
Date Range 1910 - 1989
Reference MS176
Creator Ronald Gordon Giovanelli (1915 - 1984)
Extent 4.35 metres
Repository Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science
Abstract Giovanelli was Chief of the Division of Physics, CSIRO from 1958-1976. He was interested in both optical measurements and solar astronomy.

Administrative Information

Records for this collection were assembled from personal papers held by Mrs Kath Giovanelli and housed at Ron Giovanelli's office at the National Measurement Laboratory, Lindfield, NSW. We would like to thank both Professor Lawrence Cram and Kath Giovanelli for their assistance in the preservation of these records. The CSIRO Archive should be contacted for further information regarding official records. The National Library of Australia, Oral History Unit holds some tape recorded interviews with Ron Giovanelli done in 1982 by Amy McGrath in Sydney.

  • The records have been allocated to 18 series. The codes used to uniquely identify each series range from GIOS0001 to GIOS0018.

  • Through the processing of the records, 1 provenance entity was identified. The code used to uniquely identify this provenance entity, i.e. records creator or custodian, is GIP0001.

  • The inventory covers items, and may include records of continuing value, records sentenced for destruction and records that have been destroyed. The codes used to uniquely identify each inventory item range from GIOV00001 to GIOV00265. The total collection occupies 435 linear cm of shelf space (or its equivalent).

  • The documentation of the records at inventory level started on 28 April 2004. The latest additions were made on 28 April 2004. The latest modifications were made on 7 September 2007. This collection profile was updated on 8 November 2007.

Scope and Content

"Giovanelli ... sensed, even as early as his Stromlo days, that the most interesting phenomena in the solar atmosphere are closely related to the magnetic fields extending through the solar surface. A fundamental feature of plasmas, including, of course, the solar atmosphere and its interplanetary extensions, is the interplay of energy forms between the energy of magnetic fields on the one hand and the kinetic energy of particles on the other. Following earlier observational studies of solar flares and their structural relationships to sunspot magnetic fields, Giovanelli in 1946 advanced a theory that the flare optical emmission is from atoms excited by electrons accelerated in induced electric fields near neutral points in the evolving magnetic fields of sunspots. This and subsequent publications in 1947 and 1948 introduced the concept that we now call magnetic reconnection (or magnetic merging or magnetic field annihilation). It is not necessary to stress the importance of this concept, which is the basic feature of modern theory of solar and stellar flares as well as a number of important phenomena in the magnetospheres of the earth and other planets."

"Ron Giovanelli's contributions to science and technology extended far beyond his research work. In Australia and abroad he taught and lectured extensively and served on numerous commissions and in other capacities in scientific bodies."

From: J.H. Piddington, "R.G. Giovanelli, 1915-1984", Eos Vol.65, No. 26, 26 June 1984.

Note: This guide contains a Career Summary (pp.3-4), a Table of Contents and record series summary (pp.5-7), the detailed description of the files (pp.8-50), an Index (pp.51-61) and list of Abbreviations (p.62). Throughout the guide the "File Title" is, as close as possible, a transcription of the title given by the creator of the file. Extra description of the file is given in square brackets. The file descriptions and index are a guide to the collection and not a comprehensive reflection of its contents.

Published by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, April 2004
With support from Ian Potter Foundation and The University of Melbourne
Listed by Doug McCann and Gavan McCarthy
HTML edition Ailie Smith
Updated 8 November 2007

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