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Biographical entry Mills, Bernard Yarnton (1920 - 2011)


8 August 1920
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
26 April 2011
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Physicist and Radioastronomer


Bernard Mills was internationally recognised as a pioneer of radio astronomy. He is noted for his work with the "Mills Cross" telescope and the development of the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) which led to the discovery of some of the first pulsars in the southern hemisphere. Mills was Professor of Astrophysics, University of Sydney 1965-1985 and earlier Reader 1960-1965. As a Senior Principal Research Officer in the Division of Radiophysics, CSIRO 1957-1960, he helped design and build the Mills Cross Radiotelescope, Hoskinstown, New South Wales.


Born 8 August 1920. Fellow, Australian Academy of Science 1959, Fellow, Royal Society 1963.


Education - BSc, University of Sydney
Education - BEng, University of Sydney
Education - MEng, University of Sydney
1956 - 2011
Award - Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society, United Kingdom
Award - Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal, Australian Academy of Science
1957 - 1960
Career position - Senior Principal Research Officer, CSIRO Division of Radio Physics
Education - DSc Engineering, University of Sydney
1959 - 2011
Award - Fellow, Australian Academy of Science
1960 - 1965
Career position - Reader in astrophysics, University of Sydney
1963 - 2011
Award - Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), England
1965 - 1985
Career position - Professor of Physics (astrophysics), University of Sydney
Award - Encyclopaedia Britannica Australian Award for Science
1969 - 1971
Career position - Member of Council, Australian Academy of Science
Award - Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)
Life event - Retired
1985 - 2011
Career position - Emeritus Professor, University of Sydney
Award - Grote Reber Medal for Radio Astronomy, administered by Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston

Related Awards

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Oral History Collection

  • Bernard Yarnton Mills - Records, 1925 - 1972, DeB 584; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details

University of Sydney, Archives

  • Bernard Yarnton Mills - Records, 1944 - 1985, P 154; University of Sydney, Archives. Details

Published resources


  • Bhathal, Ragbir, Australian Astronomers: Achievements at the Frontiers of Astronomy, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 1996, 243 pp. Details
  • Frater, Robert H., Goss, Miller and Wendt, Harry, Four pillars of radio astronomy: Mills, Christiansen, Wild and Bracewell, Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland, 2017, 199 pp. Details
  • The Radiophysics Laboratory Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, A Textbook of Radar, Angus & Robertson, Sydney; London, 1947, 579 pp. Author of Chapter 14. Details

Book Sections

  • Mills, B. Y., 'Radio sources and the log N-log controversy', in Sullivan, W. T. (ed.), The early years of radio astronomy: reflections fifty years after Jansky's discovery, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, 1984, pp. 147-66. Details

Journal Articles

  • Anon, 'Bernard Mills (1920 - 2011)', Australian Physics, vol. 48, no. 4, 2011, p. 122. Details
  • Bhathal, Ragbir, 'Bernard Mills and Australian Radio Astronomy', Astronomy & Geophysics, vol. 53, no. 2, 2012, pp. 19-21, Details
  • Christiansen, W. N.; Mills, B.Y., 'Biographical Memoirs [Joseph Lade Pawsey, including publications]', Australian Physicist, vol. 1, no. 9, 1964, pp. 137-141. Details
  • Frater, R. H., Goss, W. M. and Wendt, H. W., 'Bernard Yarnton Mills 1920-2011', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 24, 2013, pp. 294-315. Details
  • Frater, R. H., Goss, W. M. and Wendt, H. W., 'Bernard Yarnton Mills AC FAA. 8 August 1920 - 25 April 2011', Biographical Memoirs of Fellows: Royal Society of London, vol. 59, 2013, pp. 215-39. Details
  • Mills, B. Y., 'Australian contribution to the science of radioastronomy', Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Australia, vol. 8, no. 1, 1988, pp. 12-33. Details
  • Mills, Bernard, 'An Engineer Becomes Astronomer', Annual Review of Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 44, 2006, pp. 1-15. Details


See also

  • Bowen, E. G., 'From wartime radar to postwar radio astronomy in Australia', Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Australia, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1-11. Details
  • Crompton, R. W., 'Leonard George Holden Huxley 1902-198', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 8, no. 4, 1991, pp. 249-264. Details

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn