Dr. Friedmann Freund

Dr. Friedmann Freund is a NASA Senior Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center, Earth Science Division, Code SGE, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000; Senior Scientist, Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute 189 Bernardo Ave. Mountain View, CA 94043; Adjunct Professor, Department of Physics, San Jose State University, San Jose CA 95192-0106 Since 1985 at NASA Ames Research Center, from 1985 to 1987 as NRC Senior Associate. Since 1989 Principal Investigator at the Carl-Sagan-Center, SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA. Since 1989 Adjunct Prof., Physics Dept., San Jose State University, San Jose, CA.Prior to USA: Tenured Professor of Geoscience, University of Cologne, Germany 1970-1987; Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of Göttingen, Germany 1967-1969Multiple guest scholarships at the University of Namur, Belgium, University of Burgundy, Dijon, France, University of Paris-Jussieu, Stanford University, Cornell University, and University of Maryland Baltimore County: Research Interests: With a background in crystallography and a lifelong interest in defects in crystals, specifically in defects introduced by the interaction of gases such as H2O and CO2 with oxide materials and with silicate minerals. I was lucky to discover something that had been totally overlooked in the scientific community: a redox conversion whereby oxygen anions donate an electron to the solute species, which derive from the dissolution of H2O and CO2 in the solid state. This is a fundamental process by which the biogenic elements H, C (and N and S) become chemically reduced in the solid matrix – a process of enormous consequence for understanding as to how complex organic molecules can be generated and how they led to the Origin of Life. The other aspect of the same redox process is that essentially all rocks in Earth’s crust contain oxygen anions in the valence state 1- forming peroxy defects. I discovered that these peroxy defects generate highly mobile electronic charge carriers when rocks are stressed. These charge carriers have remarkable properties such as the capability to spread out of the stressed rock volume. They travel fast and far – meters in the laboratory, tens of kilometers in the field. They can generate electric currents deep in the Earth’s crust millions of amperes strong. As they flow, they emit electromagnetic radiation. When they arrive at the Earth’s surface they produce a plethora of effects, including massive air ionization leading to perturbations in the ionosphere. The charge carriers are implicated in anomalous animal behavior prior to major earthquakes. The discovery of the previously unknown but fundamentally important electronic charge carriers catapulted me into earthquake (EQ) research, more precisely into the study of pre-EQ signals. There are many different pre-EQ signals. However, prior to the discovery of these elusive charge carriers in rocks, nobody had been able to come up with a physically sound explanation as to how these pre-EQ signals might be generated. This has now changed to the better. In the not-so-distant future, provided funding becomes available, we expect to be able to forecast major EQs weeks and days in advance – minimizing infrastructure damage and minimizing loss of life. Until then I’ll be working on deciphering how the sun affects seismic activity, how the sun’s activity as transmitted via the ionosphere influences human health and human behavior – giving a new meaning to the word “Living with a Star”.

Broadcast 1788 (Special Edition)

Guests: Dr. Friedmann Freund, Brian Shiro. Topics: Earthquake forecasting & space resources. You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Dr.

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