Extinction: Impact physics and life on Earth

31 March 2014, 1.00 PM - 31 March 2014, 1.00 PM

1.15 Queen's Building, University of Bristol
Speaker: Prof. Neil K. Bourne, University of Manchester

Matter is ever-changing, its form developing in a series of nested processes which complete on the time scales on which mechanisms operate.

This talk concerns behaviour in the regime beyond yield which encompasses a range of amplitudes and responses in which condensed phase materials access states in which they bond in a different manner such that in the limiting case, strength is not defined. The driving forces are vast whilst the different rates of change observed in operating processes are on scales that span many orders of magnitude. A case study concerns the extreme conditions brought about by the infamous Chicxulub impact event.

This talk spans materials science, mechanical engineering, physics, physical chemistry and geophysics to trace the common threads connecting bombs, desk toys and the extinction of the dinosaurs.

All welcome. 

Further information:

Prof. Neil K. Bourne ScD FInstP
Fellow of the American Physical Society
Director Centre for Matter under Extreme Conditions
School of Materials
University of Manchester
Research Complex at Harwell
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0FA, United Kingdom.

Prof Bourne is an expert in material behaviour under extreme conditions, i.e. shock, impact and explosions of metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, etc.
His work covers material inelastic behaviour at very high pressures and strain rates. For example, he has designed an experimental facility for measuring material behaviour at impact velocities of over 10km/s, relevant for spacecraft impact and related problems.
He is a physicist by training, with interests in experimental measurements of material behaviour under extreme conditions.
As the director of the newly established Centre for Matter under Extreme Conditions in Manchester, he is keen to talk to fellow experimentalists and modellers about common problems and possible collaborations.

Prof Bourne obtained his PhD and ScD from the University of Cambridge. He has held appointments at the Universities of Manchester, Cambridge, Cranfield and Imperial College, London, and as a Distinguished Scientist at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE).

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