[meteorite-list] A vote for the Thomson Structure (and previewing 'The Fall of Aguas Zarcas CM2')

From: Kevin Kichinka <marsrox_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2019 10:03:07 -0600
Message-ID: <CANDn_7FXVtMXucv8bu+Z9AiSFt2WUeR8vyWOTdwD1gsNwet9Rg_at_mail.gmail.com>

Team Meteorite:

Richard Montgomery references the 'Thomson Structure' today in a note
regarding the sale of a Sikhote-Alin. Let me expand upon this topic, which
I first wrote about in *Meteorite *(February, 2004), and again in my book
in 2005.

On February 6, 1804, the first description of the process that produces the
mis-attributed 'Widmanstatten Pattern' in Irons was published, written by
William Thomson. For various reasons, this paper was disregarded until some
forensic science work was done in 1939 by R.T. Gunther.

Alois von Widmanstatten (mit umlauts) duplicated the experiment in 1808.
Karl Neumann published those results as a 'new discovery' in 1812.

Francois P. Gillet de Laumont repeated the process, identifying the etched
results, and published a paper in 1815.

Carl von Schrieibers, director of the Vienna mineral and zoology cabinet,
again published the results of Widmanstatten's 1808 work in 1820, naming
the pattern after him.

This was an un-earned honor, and many illustrious people have agreed.

R.T. Gunther wrote about this error for *Nature i*n 1939, attributing the
discovery to Thomson.

Max Hey, Keeper of the Minerals in the British Museum (Natural History)
read the article and agreed with its conclusions.

F.A. Paneth, in a paper published in *Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta*
(1960) wrote...."Thomson undoubtedly...has priority."

Charles D. Waterson published Thomson's biography in the *University of
Edinburgh Journal *(1965) stating, "Thomson's discovery and description
clearly has priority over Widmanstatten."

Marjorie Hooker found Thomson's 1804 paper, and in 1974 wrote, "One of
Thomson's contributions, long unrecognized, was the discovery of the
Widmanstatten Pattern..."

Roy S. Clark of the Smithsonian, wrote in *Meteoritics* (1977) "...Thomsons
1804 paper seems to have been completely ignored...", then he and Joseph
Goldstein emphasized "Thomson's singular achievement" in *Smithsonian
Contributions to the Earth Sciences*.

Richard Norton wrote in '*Rocks from Space*', "Thomson serendipitously
discovered the figures first in 1804."

In Norton's *Cambridge Encyclopedia of Meteorites*, he also hoped, "In all
fairness, this unique texture should have been called the

Hap McSween, former President of the Meteoritical Society, advises that he
will now credit Thomson with the discovery in all future editions of*
Meteorites and their Parent Bodies*.

The Thomson Structure.


I worked the fall zone of Aguas Zarcas before the rains here in Costa Rica,
and have written a memoir of my experience for the Meteorite Times. It's
going to Paul Harris for his review and lay-up as soon as I finish this
message. Look for it in the next issue of this excellent, on-line journal.

Kevin Kichinka
Marsrox at gmail.com
Costa Rica

"The Art of Collecting Meteorites" available on Amazon.
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