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The Life of Frank Coles Phillips

Product Code: M0023
Series: GSL Memoirs
Author/Editor: Edited by Richard J Howarth (University College London, UK)and Bernard E Leake (Cardiff University, UK)
Publication Date: 24 June 2002
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Description

Memoir 23

Frank Coles Phillips was a petrographer, mineralogist and structural petrologist working in the middle of the 20th century. He was very influential, both in the UK and abroad and was responsible for encouraging the development of structural geology as a discipline in Australia and for the adoption of the stereogram as a fundamental interpretational tool in a structural geology in the UK. He was a superb teacher, perhaps best known amongst mineralogists and geologists of today for his classic textbooks, An Introduction to Crystallography and The Use of Stereographic Projection in Structural Geology.

Phillips was the first to apply the methods of structural petrology (the study of the microscopic fabric of deformed rock) in a attempt to unravel the complex structural history of the Moine rocks of northwestern Scotland. His findings were at odds with those of his contemporaries and resulted in the Moine petrofabrics becoming embroiled on a long-running controversy, only completely resolved since the mid-1980s.

This geological biography of an importance 20th century mineralogist and petrologist takes a critical look at Phillips' research in the context of contemporaneous developments in structural and Moine geology. It reviews his work in relation to both past problems and present solutions. It will be of interest to all geologists, especially structural and microstructural geologists, historians of sciences and the general reader with an interest in science.

Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN: 1-86239-102-5
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-1-86239-102-4
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 104
Weight: 0.65 kg

Contents

Preface • Family background and personality • School years (1910–1920) • Cambridge (1920–1935) First degree; Research studentship; Post-doctoral work; The Green Bed study; The universal stage; Stereographic projection; New skills; Departmental reorganization • Petrofabric research; Basic principles; Sander’s petrofabric method; Kinematic interpretation; Structural petrology at Cambridge • Understanding of Moine geology in the 1930s • Cambridge (1936–1946), Microfabric of the Moine schists. I; The ‘Tarskavaig Moines’; Other pre-war activity; War years; Petrofabrics of the Ben Vuirich granite; Dissonant voices; Microfabric of the Moine schists. II; A return to crystallography; Time for a change • Liverpool (1947), The appointment; A new environment; Catastrophe Aftermath • Bristol (1948–1952), The petrofabric controversy begins; Phillips prepares a rebuttal; A counter-example from Norway; Structural petrology short courses • An Australian lecture-tour: Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Return to New South Wales; Outcome • Background to controversy; Developments in understanding of Moine geology during the 1950s and 1960s • Bristol (1953–1967) Stereograms for macroscopic data; New petrofabric difficulties; Cornish sea-floor studies; Further controversy; Gemstones • Retirement • Benefits of hindsight; The true significance of Sander’s b-axis; The explanation of ‘crossed-girdles’; The nature of the Moine Thrust; Unravelling the ‘Tarskavaig Moines’; The cause of Kvale’s confusion; Modern understanding of the cause of the lineation and fabrics measured by Phillips in the Moine rocks • Conclusion; Notes; References

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