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David Turnbull (materials scientist)

David Turnbull (1915-2007) was an American materials scientist born February 18, 1915 in Elmira, Illinois. He graduated from high school in 1932 and then attended Monmouth College, specializing in in physical chemistry. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1939.[1][2]

He joined the General Electric research laboratory in 1946, performing research into nucleation of structural transformations (solidification of liquid metals), demonstrating that such complex processes could be quantitatively understood. Using a low-melting-point metal, gallium, Turner determined that the small supercoolings usually seen resulted from heterogeneous catalysts in the melt. When liquid gallium is dispersed as small droplets, large supercoolings could be achieved. The previously empirical study of metal solidification was provided a consistent scientific foundation. < ref name="science" />

Turnbull and his General Electric colleagues developed metal-alloy processing. Turner and I. S. Servi developed homogeneous nucleation theory for a solid-solid transformation, providing the technologically important basis for strengthening metallic alloys through precipitation hardening. < ref name="science" />

In 1962 Turnbull joined Harvard University as the Gordon McKay Professor of applied physics, where he taught for 23 years. < ref name="auto" / >

References and Notes

  1. ^ Science 6 July 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5834, pp. 56 - 57; DOI: 10.1126/science.1145490
  2. ^ [ David Turnbull's autobiography]
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "David_Turnbull_(materials_scientist)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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