Professor of Physics
Professor R. M. Kiehn, B.Sc. 1950, Ph.D. 1953 (Physics, Course VIII, MIT), started his career working (during the summers) at the Argonne National Laboratory on the Navy's nuclear powered submarine project, and on special projects at MIT. Argonne was near his parents home in the then small suburban community known as Elmhurst, Illinois. At Argonne, Dr. Kiehn was given the opportunity to do nuclear experiments using Fermi's original reactor, CP1. The experience stimulated an interest in the development of nuclear energy. After receiving the Ph. D. degree as the Gulf Oil Fellow at MIT, Dr. Kiehn went to work at Los Alamos, with the goal of designing and building a plutonium powered fast breeder reactor, a reactor that would produce more fissionable fuel then it consumed. He was instrumental in the design and operation of LAMPRE, the Los Alamos Molten Plutonium Reactor Experiment. He also became involved with diagnostic experiments on nuclear explosions, both in Nevada on shot towers above ground, and in the Pacific froma flying laboratory built into a KC-135 jet tanker. He is one of the diminishing number of people still alive who have witnessed atmospheric nuclear explosions. Dr. Kiehn has written patents that range from AC ionization chambers, plutonium breeder reactor power plants, to dual polarized ring lasers and down-hole oil exploration instruments. He is active, at present, in creating new devices and processes, from the nanometer world to the macroscopic world, which utilize the features of Non-Equilibrium Systems and Irreversible Processes, from the perspective of Continuous Topological Evolution. Dr. Kiehn left Los Alamos in 1963 to become a professor of physics at the University of Houston. He lived about 100 miles from Houston on his Pecan Orchard - Charolais Cattle ranch on the banks of the San Marcos river near San Antonio. As a pilot, he would commute to Houston, and his classroom responsibilities, in his Cessna 172 aircraft. He was known as the "flying professor". He is now retired, as an "emeritus" professor of physics, and lives in a small villa at the base of Mount Ventoux in the Provence region of southeastern France. He maintains an active scientific website at http://www.cartan.pair.com/.
Prof. Kiehn wrote the first four volumes of his magnus opus, Non-Equilibrium Systems and Irreversible Processes, during the years 1998-2002, though they weren't published until 2004 with Lulu Publishers. Lulu allowed Kiehn to retain his intellectual property rights and continue editting these important works. Volume 5 was completed in 2008 and volume 6 in 2009.
- arXiv articles
- (1987) The Falaco Effect as a topological defect was first noticed by the present author in the swimming pool of an old MIT friend, during a visit in Rio de Janeiro, at the time of Halley's comet, March 1986. The concept was presented at the Austin Meeting of Dynamic Days in Austin, January 1987, and caused some interest among the resident topologists. The easily reproduced experiment added to the credence of topological defects in fluids. It is now perceived that this topological phenomena is universal, and will appear at all levels from the microscopic to the galactic. LANL arXiv/gr-qc/0101098 (../falaco97.pdf and../topturb.pdf)
- (1989) Irreversible Topological Evolution in Fluid Mechanics in "Some Unanswered Questions in Fluid Mechanics" ASME- Vol. 89-WA/FE-5, Trefethen, L. M. and Panton, R. L. Eds.
- (1987) ?The Falaco Effect, A Topological Soliton? Talk presented at the Dynamics Days conference, Austin, TX Jan. 1987. The Falaco Effect as a topological defect was first noticed by the present author in the swimming pool of an old MIT friend, during a visit in Rio de Janeiro, at the time of Halley's comet, March 1986. The concept was presented at the Austin Meeting of Dynamic Days in Austin, January 1987, and caused some interest among the resident topologists. The easily reproduced experiment added to the credence of topological defects in fluids. It is now perceived that this topological phenomena is universal, and will appear at all levels from the microscopic to the galactic.
- (1990) Topological Torsion, Pfaff Dimension and Coherent Structures, in: "Topological Fluid
- (1991), Compact Dissipative Flow Structures with Topological Coherence Embedded in Eulerian Environments, in: " Non Linear Dynamics of Structures", edited by R.Z. Sagdeev, U. Frisch, F. Hussain, S. S. Moiseev and N. S. Erokhin, p.139-164, World Scientific Press, Singapore
- (1991) ?Continuous Topological Evolution?, LANL arXiv/math-ph/0101032/contevol3.pdf
- (1992) Topological Defects, Coherent Structures and Turbulence in Terms of Cartan's Theory of Differential Topology, in "Developments in Theoretical and Applied Mathematics, Proceedings of the SECTAM XVI conference", B. N. Antar, R. Engels, A.A. Prinaris and T. H. Moulden, Editors, The University of Tennessee Space Institute, Tullahoma, TN 37388
- (1999) Coherent Structures in Fluids are Topological Torsion
Defects, in J, "IUTAM Symposium on Simulation and Identification of
Organized Structures in Flows", N. S?rensen, et al., eds., Kluwer
Academic Publishers, Dordrecht,. See (../copen5.pdf). Presented at the
IUTAM-SIMFLO Conference at DTU, Denmark, May 25-29, (1997).