In Memoriam: Paul S. De Carli

Paul S. De Carli

Paul S. De Carli

It is with deep sadness that I report the death of Paul S. De Carli. Paul passed away on August 4th, 2013. He had recently been diagnosed with an aggressive stomach cancer.

Paul attended Stanford University from 1948 to 1956 and earned a BSc in Materials Science. He worked on shock effects in materials at the Stanford Research Institute, now known as SRI International. In his early career, he made many contributions to our understanding of shock effects on minerals using shock-recovery experiments.  For example, he and his colleagues were the first to use shock to form amorphous quartz, and to synthesize diamond, maskelynite and stishovite. He and coauthors were the first to experimentally demonstrate the shock origin of melt veins in meteorites and the entrapment of noble gasses in shocked meteorites. These and many other contributions helped planetary scientists to recognize and use shock effects to interpret the impact history of our planet and solar system.

For much of his career with SRI, Paul worked on government contracts that involved large-scale shock experiments and material properties. When Paul retired in 1995, he returned his attention to meteoritics and planetary science to help others to better understand shock physics and shock effects in rocks. I learned a lot from Paul and thoroughly enjoyed working with him on shocked meteorites. Paul remained very active in science until the very end. He is a coauthor on a recent Nature Geoscience paper and on several scientific papers currently in preparation. He presented an hour-long lecture at the SETI institute last month entitled “Free Samples from Mars” and he had planned to attend the 2013 meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Edmonton to present results on the importance of shock veins in the survival of shocked meteorites.

Paul De Carli was a great man who was kind and generous. He was very active in his community, playing the bassoon in his local orchestra, participating in community events, tutoring kids in English and more. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, his local community and by the global scientific community. Paul is survived by his wife Anne, his son John, and his daughter Elizabeth.