Physics & Astronomy ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-27-1955


A problem in mathematical ballistics of fundamental importance in meteoritics is investigated in this thesis, namely the problem of estimating the speed at which a meteorite of assigned shape, mass and density struck a specific earth-target, either from purely theoretical considerations or from penetration or other impact-effects actually observed and measured in the earth-target.

In the second chapter several methods for calculating impact-velocities based on terminal ballistic theory are developed. While some of these methods can be successfully applied to as many as 63 recovered meteorites, others are applicable only to a very few known meteorites because of the failure of meteorite collectors to scientifically investigate and record all the data relating to the impact-funnels made in the earth-target falling meteorites.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Physics & Astronomy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Lincoln LaPaz

Second Committee Member

M.S. Hendrichson

Third Committee Member

Paul W. Healy

Fourth Committee Member

Milton Kahn




Ballistic Resistance, Meteoritics, F.R. Moulton, Earth-Target Meteorites, Terminal Ballistic Theory

Document Type