David John Stevenson
David J. Stevenson, 2015
|Alma mater||Victoria University (B.S., 1971) (M.S., 1972) (D.Sc)|
Cornell University (PhD, 1976)
|Awards||H. C. Urey Prize (1984)|
Whipple Award (1994)
Harry H. Hess Medal (1998)
Richard P. Feynman Prize (2001)
|Doctoral advisor||Edwin Salpeter|
David John Stevenson (born September 2, 1948) is a professor of planetary science at Caltech. Originally from New Zealand, he received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in physics, where he proposed a model for the interior of Jupiter. He is well known for applying fluid mechanics and magnetohydrodynamics to understand the internal structure and evolution of planets and moons. In 1984, he received the H. C. Urey Prize awarded by the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences.
Sending a probe into the Earth
Stevenson's tongue-in-cheek idea about sending a probe into the earth includes the use of nuclear weapons to crack the Earth's crust, simultaneously melting and filling the crack with molten iron containing a probe. The iron, by the action of its weight, will propagate a crack into the mantle and would subsequently sink and reach the Earth's core in weeks. Communication with the probe would be achieved with modulated acoustic waves. This idea was used in the book Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception.