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Public Science Lecture Series on Saturday Mornings at ODU

Desmond Cook

The Old Dominion University College of Sciences will launch a Saturday Morning Science Series this month with a presentation by physicist Desmond Cook about ongoing efforts to preserve the turret of the ironclad USS Monitor.

Cook, an ODU professor of physics and an expert on corrosion, will give the lecture "Corrosion and Preservation of USS Monitor: Effect of Ocean Submersion on the Wrought Iron Turret" at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, in Room 200 of the Oceanography and Physical Sciences Building.

Anyone with an interest in science, regardless of background or age, is invited to attend. The event and parking are free.

For a quarter century, Cook has been a rust-busting scientist working on troublesome corrosion problems affecting bridges and other steel structures. He joined the Monitor conservation team soon after the recovery of its artifacts nearly a decade ago.

The Monitor was the first ironclad warship to be constructed in the United States. Built in 1862, it was rushed into service in Hampton Roads, where the infamous Civil War battle with the iron covered Confederate frigate, CSS Virginia, was waged on March 9, 1862. The wreck of the Monitor was found in 1973, 16 miles east of Cape Hatteras, and at a depth of 240 feet. The intact turret was recovered in 2002 and is undergoing preservation at The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, less than three miles from the site of the original battle.

Cook will present a brief history of the recovery of the turret and discuss his studies of the corrosion and seawater infiltration into the wrought-iron structure. He also will talk about the development of new preservation methods capable of removing salt and other contaminants from the metal in much shorter times.

The next lectures in the series, all of which begin at 10:30 a.m. on the campus, are:

• Oct. 22: "Consider the Ultraviolet: What Bees See and Why It Matters" by Lisa Horth, Department of Biological Sciences.

• Dec. 10: "Arctic Science: Burning Questions in the Freezing Cold" by Victoria Hill, Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

For more information, visit: http://sci.odu.edu/physics/events/sms.html.

This article was posted on: September 14, 2011

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