Letters to editor

Queensland’s first Nobel Prize winner was born in Peeramon (near Atherton) in 1916.  He attended Butcher’s Creek School and later Atherton State School.  In 1923 the family took him to Russia where he continued his education.  He was a distinguished student and he shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1964 for his work on Lasers and Masers.  There has only been one other Nobel Prizewinner in Queensland and that is Peter Doherty who shared the Nobel Prize in 1996.

Alesandr Prokhorov, born at Atherton, Far North Queensland, won the first Nobel Prize for Physics in 1964

I first got to know of Alesandr Prokhorov when I was reading about him as we were setting the questions for a Trivia Night at the Mareeba Bowls Club. We decided to set the information on him as a ‘Who am I’?  The first question was; ‘ I was born in 1916 in Peeramon’.  This was followed by: ‘I shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1964’.   No one in the hall had heard of him and no one won that ‘Who Am I’.  At the end of the evening many people wanted to know his name and Alesandre began his journey from obscurity.  I read in the Tablelander later that a plaque had been placed in Butcher’s Creek School and then later another one had been erected in Atherton Primary School.  It was a lovely outcome to know that Alesandr and his achievements were becoming known in the place of his birth.

I intend further research in this Centenary year of his birth and would be very happy to have help from anyone who knew of the Prokhorov family in Peeramon.

Thank You.

Irene Shanks

Mareeba, 4880