David J. Stevenson

David John Stevenson (born 2 September 1948) is a professor of planetary science at Caltech. Originally from New Zealand, he received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in physics, where he proposed a model for the interior of Jupiter. He is well known for applying fluid mechanics and magnetohydrodynamics to understand the internal structure and evolution of planets and moons.

Stevenson's tongue-in-cheek idea about sending a probe into the earth includes the use of nuclear weapons to crack the Earth's crust, simultaneously melting and filling the crack with molten iron containing a probe. The iron, by the action of its weight, will propagate a crack into the mantle and would subsequently sink and reach the Earth's core in weeks. Communication with the probe would be achieved with modulated acoustic waves.[1][2] This idea was used in the book Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception.

In 1984, he received the H. C. Urey Prize awarded by the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society.

Stevenson is a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences.[3]