Anne M. Hofmeister's research interests include heat and radiative transfer, classical thermodynamics, newtonian gravitation, and infrared spectroscopy.
The drivers of evolutionary behavior on diverse scales are the force of gravity, which brings objects together, and heat transfer from warmer to cooler bodies, which has contrasting effects. Considering both processes simultaneously reveals that dark matter as envisioned cannot surround galaxies, see the paper “Thermodynamic Constraints on the Non-Baryonic Dark Matter Gas Composing Galactic Halos.”
Regarding gravitation, the oblate shape arises from gravitational equilibrium during spin, as was discovered by Newton and Maclaurin some 300 years ago. In astronomy, orbits have been the focus rather than spin. In a collaborative effort with R.E. Criss (EPS) and E.M. Criss (Panasonic Avionics), we have shown that errors affect various properties of gas giants and their satellites since the non-central nature of attraction to the oblate was not previously considered.
Non-centrality is extremely important to behavior of galaxies, motivating a recent special issue in the journal Galaxies titled “Debate on the Physics of Galactic Rotation and the Existence of Dark Matter,” which is summarized online and accompanied by a video introduction.
Our 2019 textbook, Measurements, Mechanisms, and Models of Heat Transport, offers an interdisciplinary approach to the dynamic response of matter to energy input. Using a combination of fundamental principles of physics, recent developments in measuring time-dependent heat conduction, and analytical mathematics, this reference summarizes the relative advantages of currently used methods in heat transfer, and remediates flaws in modern models and their historical precursors. An inelastic kinetic model for gas is provided, which explains differences among mass and heat diffusivities with kinematic viscosity. Implications for condensed matter are covered and supported with copious data.
The above principles were applied in our 2020 monograph, Heat Transport and Energetics of the Earth and Rocky Planets, with the goal of stimulating thinking beyond the currently popular models of planetary thermal state and evolution. We present a picture of the interior temperatures and of Earth’s evolution that is consistent with observations and physical principles of thermostatics, heat transport, and gravitation. Geotherms for all regions of the Earth are provided. A new explanation for the formation of chondrules and chondritic meteorites addresses the known absence of a heat source sufficient for melting. Mathematic errors invalidating plate cooling models are revealed. Analytical solutions for conductive cooling focus on layers in the continental lithosphere, using new data on andesites and granodiorites.
Anne is currently the organizer for the Distinguished Lecturer Program of the Association of Women Geoscientists.