Celebrating 100 Years of Discovery at DTM: 1904 to 2004

1902 Links

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

Ocean Magnetic Survey Expeditions (online exhibition)

1903 J. P. Ault: A Scientist at Sea (online exhibition)

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

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

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

1917 - 1918

Staff confuct research on magnetic compases 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 decomissioned at conclusion of Cruise VI

1921 - 1924

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

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 destoryed by explosion and fire in Apia, Samoa, November 29; Captain Ault killed

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 Exploerer II carries DTM electrical conductivity experiments into stratosphere
1937
Appointment of frst 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 Graaf 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
Research Associates S. Chapman and J. Bartels publish classic treatise Geomagnetism
1941
College Observatory (forerunner of torday's Univeresity of Alaska Geophysica 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 prpagation studies
1943
Cyclotron produces first beam, New Year's Eve; radioisoptopes produced for biomedical reseearch
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 bomberes
1948
Explosion seismology experiments begin, using war-surplus explosives; first shots in New Mexico and Chesapeak 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
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
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 terminated
1959
Control of Journal Geophysical Research. edited and published at DTM since 1904, transferred to the 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
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 of DTM campus, at Matsushiro, Japan
1971
First plate tectonic model for formation and evolution of the Andes
1972
Carnegie sponsors Airlie House Conference on "Olate Tectonics and the Evolutionof 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 in the soccer field; Dynamos prevail 4-0
1977
Geochemistry proposed as a way to constrain mantle circulation
1978
Discovery of slow/silent earthquakes enabled to array of strainmeters in Japan
1978
Evidence of dark matter found from galaxy rotation curves
1979
Identification of role of subducted oceanic crustin 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 an dstar-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 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
Brazillian 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 probs 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 - 2012
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 ocide 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 Agust 3, a joint Carnegie-APL-NASA mission
2004
Discovery of Neptune-mass exoplanets
Features
DTM History Book
DTM Centennial Keepsakes