Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Archived notes on the scientific work of Denis Rancourt

Scientific work

Dr. Denis G. Rancourt, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

… was a Full Professor with tenure in the Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Ottawa, a member of the Ottawa-Carleton Institute for Physics, and a member of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, when he was fired under false pretext on March 31, 2009.
(Read his statement about his dismissal HERE.)

As a scientist, Denis Rancourt has published over one hundred articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals in areas as diverse as lacustrine and marine geochemistry, soil science (pedology), environmental toxic metals, condensed matter physics theory, materials magnetism, metallurgy, organic chemistry, planetary science and meteoritics, mineralogy, aquatic biogeochemistry and biotic mineralization, diffraction and spectroscopic measurement theory (quantum mechanics and statistical analysis), and statistical sensitivity analysis (co-variance, inference, error propagation, etc.).
(Do a Google-Scholar search for author “DG Rancourt”.)
As a teacher, Denis Rancourt developed courses in undergraduate physics, environmental physics, materials science, graduate condensed matter physics, graduate measurement theory (spectroscopy, diffraction, microscopy), quantum mechanics, graduate magnetism, science in society, an "activism course" implemented by "academic squatting", a popular cinema politica weekly series, and others.

Main scientific discoveries and contributions:

•    Solution to the Invar Problem of metal physics

•    Description of the meteorite mineral antitaenite

•    Derivation of the fundamental quantification relation of X-ray diffraction

•    Discovery of the reactive diagenetic Fe-oxyhydroxide phase in lake and marine sediments

•    Description of the phenomenon of superferromagnetism

•    Advances in Mössbauer spectroscopy methodology

•    Advances in layer silicate crystal chemistry and geosensors

•    Descriptions of novel soil and aqueous environment biogeochemical reactions

Main on-going scientific interests:

•   Global carbon pools and fluxes
•   Climate-driven soil development
•   Reactive environmental Fe-oxyhydroxide nanoparticles

•    Environmental and mineral magnetism

•    Lake and marine early sediment diagenesis

•    Aquatic geochemistry and biogeochemistry

•    Development of measurement methods:  diffraction and spectroscopy

•    Physics education research (PER)
•    Professional responsibility and ethics (in science and in institutions)
•    Theory of societal change, pedagogy of liberation

Some main recent scientific publications are as follows.  

Reprints available on request.

Invar Physics and Meteorite Minerals

D.G. Rancourt and M.-Z. Dang.  Relation between anomalous magneto-volume behaviour and magnetic frustration in Invar alloys.  Physical Review B 54 (1996) 12225-12231.

D.G. Rancourt, K. Lagarec, A. Densmore, R.A. Dunlap, J.I. Goldstein, R.J. Reisener, and R.B. Scorzelli.  Experimental Proof of the Distinct Electronic Structure of a New Meteoritic Fe-Ni Alloy Phase.   Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials  191 (1999) L255-L260.

K. Lagarec and D.G. Rancourt.  Fe3Ni-type chemical order in Fe65Ni35 films grown by evaporation: Implications regarding the Invar Problem.  Physical Review B   62 (2000) 978-985.

K. Lagarec, D.G. Rancourt, S.K. Bose, B. Sanyal, and R.A. Dunlap.  Observation of a composition-controlled high-moment/low-moment transition in the face centered cubic Fe-Ni system:  Invar effect is an expansion, not a contraction.   Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 236 (2001) 107-130.

D.G. Rancourt.  Invar behaviour in Fe-Ni alloys is predominantly a local moment effect arising from the magnetic exchange interactions between high moments.  Phase Transitions 75 (2001) 201-209.

Environmental Geochemistry

C. van der Zee, D. Roberts, D.G. Rancourt, C.P. Slomp.  Nanogoethite is the dominant reactive oxyhydroxide phase in lake and marine sediments.  Geology 31 (2003) 993-996.

D.G. Rancourt, P.-J. Thibault, D. Mavrocordatos, G. Lamarche.  Hydrous ferric oxide precipitation in the presence of nonmetabolizing bacteria:  Constraints on the mechanism of a biotic effect.  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 69 (2005) 553-577.

A. Thompson, O.A. Chadwick, D.G. Rancourt, J. Chorover.  Iron-oxide crystallinity increases during soil redox oscillations.  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 70 (2006) 1710-1727.

A, Génin, J.-M. Grenèche, C. Tournassat, J. Brendlé, D.G. Rancourt, L. Charlet.  Reversible surface-sorption-induced electron-transfer oxidation of Fe(II) at reactive sites on a synthetic clay mineral.  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 71 (2007) 863-876.

P.-J. Thibault, D.G. Rancourt, R.J. Evans, and J.E. Dutrizac.  Mineralogical confirmation of a P:Fe = 1:2 limiting stoichiometric ratio in colloidal P-bearing ferrihydrite-like hydrous ferric oxide.  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73 (2009) 364-376.

Environmental and Mineral Magnetism

D.G. Rancourt.  Magnetism of Earth, planetary, and environmental nanoparticles.  In:  Nanoparticles and the Environment, J.F. Banfield and A. Navrotsky (editors), Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry  44 (2001) 217-292 (Chapter 7).

D.G. Rancourt, F. González-Lucena, P.-J. Thibault.  Magnetic granulometry from equilibrium magnetization measurements:  Mineral magnetometry of superparamagnetic particles and application to synthetic ferrihydrites.  American Mineralogist 89 (2004) 987-997.

X-ray Diffraction Theory

D.G. Rancourt and M.-Z. Dang.  Absolute quantification by powder X-ray diffraction of complex mixtures of crystalline and amorphous phases for applications in the Earth sciences.  American Mineralogist 90 (2005) 1571-1586.

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