Caltech Scientists Offer Theory of Ganymede's Oxygen and Ozone

Tucson, Arizona — When Galileo discovered Ganymede four centuries ago, little did he suspect that the third satellite from Jupiter might be glazed over with the very substance he was breathing.

It took modern astronomical instruments and chemical knowledge for scientists to detect the oxygen and ozone that coat Ganymede. Now, two planetary scientists affiliated with the California Institute of Technology have developed a theory to account for the presence of the substances, as well as the mechanism by which their concentrations are maintained.

Thundercloud Photos, Theory Suggest That Jupiter Is "Wet" After All

PASADENA— The Galileo probe that dropped into Jupiter's atmosphere last December detected a surprisingly small amount of water. But scientists at the California Institute of Technology have new thundercloud photographs and a theory to suggest that the solar system's largest planet may be "wet" after all.

Caltech Geologist Elected to Chinese Academy of Sciences

PASADENA— Peter Wyllie, professor of geology at the California Institute of Technology, has been elected a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

Wyllie was elected at this summer's eighth general assembly meeting. As a member, Wyllie will be eligible to participate in the next general assembly in 1998. In August, he was also appointed an honorary professor at the China School of Geosciences in Beijing.

David Stevenson is Appointed the First Van Osdol Professor

PASADENA—David Stevenson, professor of planetary science at Caltech, has been named the first holder of the recently established George Van Osdol Professorship.

A native of New Zealand, Stevenson earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and his doctorate in theoretical physics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He joined the Caltech faculty in 1980 as associate professor and was named professor in 1984. Stevenson served as chair of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences from 1989 to 1994.

Scientific Pioneer Clair C. Patterson Dies

PASADENA—Clair C. "Pat" Patterson, who won the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in 1995, died suddenly on Tuesday morning, December 5, at his home in The Sea Ranch, California, northwest of Santa Rosa. He was 73.

Patterson, who had a remarkable talent for finding the most important scientific problems and then solving them, is best known for his determination of the age of the earth and the solar system, and for his pioneering work on lead pollution in the modern world.

Geologist Wyllie Elected President of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics

PASADENA—Peter Wyllie, Professor of Geology at Caltech, was elected president of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics in July at the IUGG's XXI General Assembly in Boulder, Colorado.

Wyllie, who was vice president of the IUGG from 1991 to 1995, will serve a four-year term as president, from 1995 to 1999. He is the first American to head the IUGG since 1967.

Allen to Receive Rare Medal of the Seismological Society of America

PASADENA—Caltech geologist Clarence Allen will receive the 1995 Medal of the Seismological Society of America at the society's next annual meeting in April 1996 in St. Louis, Missouri. Allen, a professor of geology and geophysics, emeritus, will be honored for his "outstanding contributions in seismology or earthquake engineering."

This prize is the highest medal that the society can bestow upon a member, and unlike many awards that are given on a regular schedule, the Medal of the SSA is given only occasionally, when someone worthy is identified. The last such award was made in 1993.

Three Caltech Professors Elected to Fellowship in AAAS

PASADENA—Caltech faculty members Thomas Ahrens, Paul Jennings, and Anthony Readhead were recently elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest honor societies in North America.

Caltech Geologists Share 1995 Urey Medal

PASADENA—Sam Epstein and Hugh Taylor, both geologists at Caltech, and Robert Clayton of the University of Chicago jointly received the 1995 Urey Medal on April 10 at a ceremony in Strasbourg, France.

The Urey Medal is the highest award of the European Association of Geochemistry. The award, which consists of a medal and a certificate, is named for Harold C. Urey, the American chemist who discovered the isotope deuterium, a heavy form of the element hydrogen.

Article Questions Validity of Research on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields

Hundreds of scientific studies on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields may be invalid, researchers suggest in a letter to be published in the March 9 issue of the journal Nature.


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