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Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) - Centennial Timeline
Celebrating 100 Years of Discovery

Features: DTM Timeline

1902
Louis A. Bauer submits proposal to establish an "international magnetic bureau" to coordinate research and conduct surveys in unexplored regions

1903
Carnegie Board of Trustees approve proposal and allocate $20,000 for the first year's operations; Bauer named Director

1904
In conformity with the authority conveyed in the Secretary's letter of March 29, 1904, the work of the [Department of International Research in Terrestrial Magnetism] was begun on April 1, 1904, and since then has been steadily prosecuted.- L. A. Bauer in the 1904 CIW Year Book

1905
First land magnetic expeditions dispatched

1905
Magnetic survey of the Pacific begun using the chartered vessel Galilee

1907
Name shortened to "Department of Terrestrial Magnetism"

1909
Launch of non-magnetic yacht Carnegie

Launch of Carnegie, 1909
Dedication of the research vessel Carnegie, 1909

1911-1913
Participation in Australasian Antarctic Expedition

1913
Experimental studies of magnetism and atmospheric electricity begin

1914
DTM moves to Broad Branch Road site

1915-1916
Carnegie circumnavigates Antarctica in a single season

Carnegie sails
Carnegie

1917-1918
Staff conduct research on magnetic compasses for aircraft, anti-submarine devices, and magnetic mines during WWI

1918-1925
Collaboration with Roald Amundsen on Maud Expedition

1919
Watheroo Magnetic Observatory established by DTM in Western Australia

1920
Experiment Building constructed

1921
Carnegie decommissioned at conclusion of Cruise VI

1921-1924
Temporary "igloo" observatories built on Baffin Island and Greenland during MacMillan Bowdoin expeditions

Igloo
Igloo

1922
Huancayo Magnetic Observatory established in Peru

1925
Height of the ionosphere measured using pulsed radio signals

1927
Carnegie recommissioned and refitted for comprehensive oceanographic research on Cruise VII

1928
High-voltage studies begin, using Tesla Coil as particle accelerator

1929
Carnegie destroyed by explosion and fire in Apia, Samoa, November 29; Captain Ault killed

1930
John A. Fleming becomes Acting Director; named Director in 1935

1930
DTM magnetic instruments flown on board the airship Graf Zeppelin

1930
Studies of radiation effects on lab animals and establishment of useful standards for radiation exposure

1931
DTM participates in Nautilus Polar Expedition, first attempt to travel by submarine beneath Arctic ice-pack

1932
Formation of "Committee on Coordination of Cosmic Ray Investigations," centralized at DTM

1932-1933
International Polar Year stations set up at Fairbanks and Point Barrow, Alaska

1932
Atomic physics group abandons use of Tesla Coil, turns to Van de Graaff generators

1933
Experiment Building extension built to house 2-meter Van de Graaff

1934
Systematic monitoring of cosmic-rays begins, using Compton-Bennett meters

1935
First of ten Washington Conferences on Theoretical Physics, co-sponsored by George Washington University and DTM

1935
Studies of proton-proton scattering lead to understanding of strong nuclear force

1935
Multi-frequency automatic ionospheric sounder built, becomes international standard

1935
Manned balloon Explorer II carries DTM electrical conductivity experiments into stratosphere

1937
Appointment of first DTM postdoctoral fellow, physicist R. B. Roberts

1937
Discovery of Forbush effect (cosmic-ray intensity decrease during magnetic storms)

1938
Atomic Physics Observatory (APO), a 3 million-volt, pressure-tank, Van de Graaff accelerator, becomes operational

1939
Uranium atom split at APO on January 28 with Bohr and Fermi present, following 5th Washington Conference on Theoretical Physics

1939
Delayed neutron from uranium fission discovered

1939
Tuve named to President Roosevelt's Uranium Committee

1940
Proximity fuse development begins

1940
Construction of 60-inch cyclotron starts

1940
Research Associates S. Chapman and J. Bartels publish classic treatise Geomagnetism

1941
College Observatory (forerunner of today's University of Alaska Geophysical Institute) established in Fairbanks as joint DTM-U. Alaska facility

1942
Fuse research and development transferred to Applied Physics Laboratory; 22 million fuses manufactured by War's end

1943-1944
Global network of ionosphere stations set up for wartime radio propagation studies

1943
Cyclotron produces first beam, New Year's Eve; radioisotopes produced for biomedical research

1946
Merle A. Tuve succeeds Fleming as Director and initiates modern DTM research directions in seismology, geochronology, and radio astronomy; geomagnetism research terminated
With the completion of many volumes of survey and observatory results, and the transfer of the observatories to other agencies, the Department during this report year has begun to function effectively as a physics department with special research interests in geophysics and in laboratory physics....A deliberate aim to work as physicists, in reasonably fresh areas, on significant problems, however difficult and on problems directed toward philosophical goals without reference to possible applications, is the general policy adopted for guiding the selection and emphasis of the work carried forward. -Merle A. Tuve, Year Book #47 (1947-1948)

1946
Expansion of rock magnetism studies

1947
Derwood (Maryland) Field Station established for ionospheric, cosmic-ray, and (later) radio astronomy work

1947
Lunch Club established

1947-1948
"Project Thunderstorm" measures air conductivity and potential gradient from B-29 bombers

1948
Explosion seismology experiments begin, using war-surplus explosives; first shots in New Mexico and Chesapeake Bay region

1949
Biophysics group begins studies of biosynthesis in E. coli bacteria

1950
Mass spectrometry applied to geochronology in collaboration with Geophysical Lab

1951
DTM-GL seismic expedition to Canadian Shield

1952
Coulomb excitation opens new avenues for nuclear structure studies

1952
Installation of DTM's first radio telescope, a 7.5-meter German radar dish, for studies of galactic hydrogen

1953
Application of ion-exchange resins to chemical separation in geochronology

1954
"Committee on Electronic Image Converters for Telescopes" begins work

1955
Discovery of radio emissions from Jupiter

1956
"Concordia" method makes U-Pb age determination accurate

Explosion seismo experiment in Andes, 1957
Explosion seismology experiment in the Andes, 1957

1957
Seismic expedition to Andes during International Geophysical Year, with shots fired in open-pit copper mines in Peru and Chile; first use of NSF funds for DTM field work

1958
Paleomagnetism studies terminate

1959
Control of Journal of Geophysical Research , edited and published at DTM since 1904, transferred to American Geophysical Union

1960
18-meter radio astronomy dish installed at Derwood

1960-1961
Cooperative network of seismic stations established in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile

1961
Polarized ion source installed in APO

1962
2-meter Van de Graaff donated to Smithsonian Institution

1963
Agar column technique devised, transforming microbiology

1963
Lake Superior seismic experiment involves 14 groups from 5 nations

1963
"Carnegie Earthquake Seminar" brings South American researchers to DTM

1963-1964
Recognition of long-lived isotope systems as tracers of geological processes

30-m radio telescope in Derwood, 1965
Erection of 30-m. radio telescope at Derwood, 1965

1964-1965
30-meter radio astronomy dishes erected at Derwood and La Plata, Argentina

1964
Installation of "Carnegie image tubes" begins at observatories worldwide

1965
East Coast Onshore-Offshore Experiment probes Appalachian crustal structure

1966
Ellis T. Bolton becomes fourth Director; L. T. Aldrich named Associate Director

1966
First non-human computer, an IBM 1130, installed at DTM

1966
Broad-band seismograph developed

1968
Sacks-Evertson borehole strainmeters developed

1968
New "geochemistry" designation reflects geochronology group's growing interest in isotopes as tracers

1971
First strainmeter installed off DTM campus, at Matsushiro, Japan

1971
Geochemists introduce computer control of mass spectrometers

1971
First plate tectonic model for formation and evolution of the Andes

1972
Carnegie sponsors Airlie House Conference on "Plate Tectonics and the Evolution of Continents''

1973
Carnegie sponsors Airlie House Conference on "Geochemical Transport and Kinetics," marking push to understanding diffusion and its role in geochemistry

1973
Project Nariño, a multi-national explosion seismic project, confirms complexity of Andean crustal structure

1974
George W. Wetherill becomes DTM's fifth Director, brings research direction in theoretical Solar System evolution and cosmochemistry to DTM

1974-1976
Biophysics group phased out

1975
Operation of Van de Graaff accelerator and radio telescopes terminated

1975
Rb-Sr mantle isochrons show continental mantle is both different and old

1976
DTM Dynamos meet Geophysical Lab (GL) Pistons on the soccer field; Dynamos prevail 4-0

1977
Geochemistry proposed as a way to constrain mantle circulation

1978
Discovery of slow/silent earthquakes enabled by array of strainmeters in Japan

1978
Evidence of dark matter found from galaxy rotation curves

1979
Identification of role of subducted oceanic crust in mantle evolution

1979
Strainmeters installed in Iceland

1983
Purchase of commercial multicollector mass spectrometer

1984
Carnegie fosters organization of PASSCAL seismic consortium

1984
Carnegie becomes founding member of Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)

1985
Observations of very young stars and star-forming regions begin

1986
Beryllium-10 studies demonstrate sediment involvement in subduction

1986-1987
Mass spectrometer altered for laser ionization; research using Re-Os system initiated

1988
First results on fossil anisotropy in the mantle

1988
Penetrative convection proposed to explain both geochemistry and geophysics of mantle

1989
Ground broken for New Research Building on January 30

1989
First deployment of DTM portable seismic array in "APT89 Experiment," 1500-km transect across US and Canada

1990
Geophysical Laboratory moves to Broad Branch Road campus

1991
Wetherill retires; Louis Brown named Acting Director

1992
Sean C. Solomon becomes DTM's sixth Director

1992-1999
Brazilian Lithosphere Seismic Project employs 20+ portable broadband stations in joint DTM-University of São Paulo study

1993
First strainmeter study of volcanic eruptive processes

1994-2001
Collaboration in Hubble Space Telescope key project on Cepheid variables refines distance scale of the universe

1995-1996
Ion Microprobe Laboratory built in former cyclotron vault; cosmochemistry strengthened in research program

1996
"Mud Cup I" rekindles DTM-GL soccer rivalry

1996
Research effort on planetary volatiles and interplanetary and interstellar grains begins with ion probe

1997
Hubble Space Telescope photos of "antennae" galaxies bring national attention to work on merging galaxies

1997
Automation of ion probe to hunt for isotopically anomalous interstellar grains

1997-1998
Acquisition of inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometers

1997
Undergraduate summer intern program begins in collaboration with GL

1997-2002
Kaapvaal Craton Project brings seismologists and geochemists together in multinational, multidisciplinary study of southern Africa's cratons

1998
Carnegie becomes founding member of NASA Astrobiology Institute

1998
Identification of extra-Solar System oxide grains from supernova

1998
Feasibility of using Re-Os on sulfide inclusions in diamonds demonstrated

1999
DTM enters search for extrasolar planets, complementing ongoing theoretical work in planet formation

1999
Two borehole geophysical observatories installed in ocean bottom off Tohoku, Japan

1999
First transit of an extrasolar planet detected around HD 209458

2000
Strainmeters predict eruption at Hekla

2001-2003
Astronomy group changes its focus to planets and the Solar System

2002
First volcano-specific strainmeter deployment captures Montserrat dome collapse

2004
Launch of MESSENGER spacecraft to Mercury on August 3, a joint Carnegie-APL-NASA mission

2004
Discovery of Neptune-mass exoplanets


Features
DTM History Boook
DTM Centennial Keepsakes
Links


Ocean Magnetic Survey Expeditions (online exhibition)

J. P. Ault: A Scientist at Sea (online exhibition)

A History of DTM vs. GL Mud Cup Games (1976-present)

Schedule of Events

Friday, 8 October 2004

8:00 am - 11:30 am
Alumni Open House
BBR Campus
Registration in the Abelson Building

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
CIW Staff and Alumni Lunch
CIW Headquarters
Rotunda

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Centennial Symposium
CIW Headquarters
Elihu Root Auditorium

6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Centennial Reception
BBR Campus
By Invitation Only

Contact

For more information about the Centennial please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .