John W. Cahn, German-born American metallurgist, Died at 88

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John Werner Cahn was born on January 9, 1928, in Cologne, Germany and died on March 14, 2016.

He was an American scientist.

Hye received the 1998 National Medal of Science.

John was a professor in the department of Materials Science at MIT (1964 to 1978).

In 1977, Cahn held a position at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly the National Bureau of Standards, NBS).

John had a great influence on the course of materials research during his career.

He was considered very knowledgeable on thermodynamics, John applied the basic laws of thermodynamics to describe and predict a wide range of physical phenomena.

During 1954, he joined the Chemical Metallurgy research effort at the General Electric laboratory in Schenectady, NY, led by David Turnbull.

However, David Turnbull had done pioneering work on the kinetics of nucleation, and the group focused on understanding the thermodynamics and kinetics of phase transformations in solids.

John became a professor in the Department of Metallurgy (now Materials Science) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1964).

He resigned from MIT in 1978.

During 1969, he had started a long professional relationship with his graduate student Francis Larché, whose work focussed on the effect of mechanical stress on the thermodynamics of solids.

The Larche–Cahn approach was the main component of the treatment of the thermodynamics of stressed materials.

Some examples of this phenomenon are the regions near a coherent precipitate—or the stress field around a dislocation.

During 1975, John Cahn worked with his graduate student Sam Allen on phase transitions in Iron alloys, including order-disorder transitions.

The work was led to the Allen–Cahn equation.

John had held an affiliate professor position at the University of Washington (1984).

John W. Cahn passed away at 88 yrs old.

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