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Hiaz.HansJennyr1.1 - 29 Nov 2005 - 16:08 - TWikiGuesttopic end

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Hans Jenny

Hans Jenny (7 February 1899 - 9 January 1992) was an expert on pedology (study of soil resources) and cymatics (study of wave phenomena).

Jenny was born in Basel, Switzerland. He earned a diploma in agriculture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) in 1922, and a D. Sc. degree in 1927 for a thesis on ion exchange reactions.

Following an appointment at the University of Missouri (Columbia), he joined the faculty at Berkeley in 1936. International recognition came to Jenny after the 1941 publication of Factors of Soil Formation. His synthesis of field studies with the abstract formalism of physical chemistry set down the generic mathematical relationship that connects the observed properties of soil with the independent factors that determine the process of soil formation:

Soil = f(climate, organismal pool, topography, parent material, time, )

Jenny left the ellipsis to indicate that there might other variables in the function.

One notable project was his study of Pygmy forest, a remarkable community of ericaceous and coniferous plant species whose stunted growth and grotesquely twisted morphology reveal a long and tortured struggle for survival on some ancient marine terraces in Mendocino County, California.

In 1967, Jenny published Cymatics: The Study of Wave Phenomena. This book was a written and photographic documentation of the effects of sound vibrations on fluids, powders and liquid paste. Photographs of Jenny's work are as remarkable as the patterns which emerged. He concluded, "However, this is not an unregulated chaos; it is a dynamic but ordered pattern."

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