Seminar by Thaddeus Massalski

Seminar date: 

Monday, June 4, 2012 - 11:00am

Location: Fung Auditorium

Meteorites and Asteroids, Past and Future 

Thaddeus (Ted) Massalski, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Materials Science, Engineering and Physics

Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract: I will start by pointing out that the words “meteorite” and “asteroid” are increasingly turning up in everyday press, on television and in university research proposals, and for good reason. I will then briefly mention how I got interested in these topics (looking for possible evidence of extraterrestrial life in meteorites). Then I will describe various types of bodies that come 'out of space' and what we know about them so far. The first part of my talk will deal with the Widmanstatten patterns studied in metallic iron-nickel meteorites and the possibilities of calculating the cooling rates and the sizes of the bodies from which the samples came. Then I will describe some asteroids and comment on what are our options if one was discovered heading for a possible collision with our Earth (sending an expedition to try to give it a push). 

Biosketch: Prof. Thaddeus (Ted) B. Massalski, (Prof. Emeritus of Materials Science, Engineering and Physics, Carnegie Mellon University) was formerly one of the directors of the Mellon Institute and an Institute Professor. He was born in Warsaw, Poland, but left abruptly at age 16 during World War II and, via Switzerland and France, he finally arrived in Italy where he joined the Polish Second Corps in the British 8th Army. He was 19 when the war finished. He started his college education in Italy, then moved to England and, as a veteran, completed his college education there. Subsequently he came to the University of Chicago in 1955, where he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Metals. He returned to England two years later, but came again to the U.S.A. in 1960, to join the Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh. When The Mellon Institute and Carnegie Tech joined to form CMU, he became a professor in two departments. 

I. Research: Well over 200 publications: alloy phase transformations, thermodynamics, phase diagrams, phase stability, amorphous materials, magnetic materials, and crystallography. Over 200 invited lectures and presentations. Highly cited on ISI. 

II. Professional standing: Member of three foreign Academies. Elected Fellow, or Hon. Fellow, of numerous societies: TMS, ASM, APS, IOM (Brit.), IIM (India), JIM (Japan) etc. Member, or Chair of numerous government panels, committees, Exec. Sec. and Governor of Acta Mat. Board. Visiting Professor at various times: Cal. Tech, Stanford, Harvard, UCLA, Krakow, Goettingen, Oxford etc. 

III. Academic Record : Co-author (with C.S. Barrett) of 3rd edition "Structure of Metals" - 8 foreign language translations, over 50,000 volumes sold. Author, or co-author of 3 other books. Currently, Editor, or Co-Editor: Progress in Materials Science, Metallurgical Transactions. Past Editor, or Member of various Editorial Boards in USA and abroad. Author, or co-author, of numerous books, chapters, symposia, workshops, etc. 

IV. Awards : 4 gold medals: Acta Materialia(International), ASM(USA), Losana (Italy), JIM(Japan). Silver and bronze medals.2 foreign doctorates h.c. Several national and international awards: Hume-Rothery (TMS, USA), Chochralski (Poland), Humboldt (Germany), Sendzimir (New York), Campbell (ASM, USA), Hume-Rothery (Brit), Fulbright(USA) etc. Numerous memorial lectures and special papers presented round the world. 

Seminar Date