Andrew Prentice is an Australian mathematician. He is known for having made a range of unorthodox yet accurate predictions about the solar system. He also established the theory of supersonic turbulence. He is currently Emeritus Professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash University.
Andrew Prentice was a member of the lecturing staff at Monash University, Clayton. He was considered an excellent teacher, known for his quirky style, including writing on the chalkboard using both hands – almost at random, his anecdotes and random utterances have become folklore amongst Monash mathematics and astrophysics students.
Prentice has made a long list of controversial predictions about the nature of our solar system. To the surprise of many of his colleagues, NASA missions have confirmed that many of his hypotheses were remarkably accurate. Some of his most well known predictions are:
- In 1977, Prentice hypothesised that a rocky moon belt existed at four planetary radii from Jupiter's centre. Two years later, such a rocky ring was discovered, though closer to Jupiter than Prentice had predicted.
- He predicted that Uranus had two more moons or moonlet streams than commonly thought. Nine years later, a new moon (Puck), was discovered to be orbiting Uranus, in addition to a family of nine moonlets
- In 1981, Prentice theorised that the mass of Saturn's moon Tethys was in fact 20–25% larger than the generally predicted level. Three months later, it was confirmed to be 21% larger than previously thought.
- In 1989, he predicted that Neptune had four additional dark moons, at 5, 3.5, 2.5 and 1.8 radii in Neptune's equatorial plane. By the end of the year, four dark moons were discovered in Neptune's equatorial plane at 7, 3, 2.5 and 2.1 radii.
- He predicted that dry ice would be the main carbon-bearing chemical on Triton. Three years later, infrared devices confirmed this.
- Prentice, A.J.R. (2006). "Saturn's Icy Moon Rhea: A Prediction for its Bulk Chemical Composition and Physical Structure at the Time of the Cassini Spacecraft First Flyby". Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia 23 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1071/as05041.
- Prentice, A.J.R. (2006). "Saturn's Icy Moon Rhea: A Prediction for its Bulk Chemical Composition and Physical Structure at the Time of the Cassini Spacecraft First Flyby". Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia 23 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1071/AS05041.
- Prentice, A.J.R.; Jontof-Hutter, D. (2005). "Origin and bulk chemical composition of mercury". In O. Engvold. Highlights of Astronomy, Vol 13 13. pp. 73–74.
- Prentice, A.J.R.; Dyt, C.P. (2003). "A numerical simulation of supersonic turbulent convection relating to the formation of the Solar system". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 341 (2): 644–656. doi:10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06454.x.
- Prentice, A.J.R.; Dyt, C.P. (2001). "A Numerical Simulation of Supersonic Turbulent Convection Relating to the Formation of the Solar System". NASA STI/Recon Technical Report N 02 (39526).
- Prentice, A.J.R. (1999). "Origin, bulk chemical composition and physical structure of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter: A post-Galileo analysis". Earth, Moon and Planets 87 (1): 11–55.
- Dyt, C.P.; Prentice, A.J.R. (1998). "A numerical simulation of supersonic thermal convection". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 296 (1): 56–65. doi:10.1046/j.1365-8711.1998.01240.x.
- Prentice, A.J.R. (1996). "Origin and bulk chemical composition of the Galilean satellites and the primitive atmosphere of Jupiter: A pre-Galileo analysis". Earth, Moon and Planets 73 (3): 237–258. doi:10.1007/bf00115883.
- Prentice, A.J.R. (1996). "Internal structure and bulk chemical composition of Io: A pre-Galileo prediction". Physics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics 213 (5–6): 253–258. doi:10.1016/0375-9601(96)00156-9.
- Prentice, A.J.R. (1993). "The Origin And Composition of Pluto And Charon – Chemically Uniform Models". Proceedings Astronomical Society of Australia 10 (3): 189–195.
- Prentice, A. (1991). "Voyage to the Origin of the Solar-System". Search 22 (3): 101–103.
- Prentice, A.J.R. (1990). "Iron Silicate Fractionation and the Formation of the Inner Planets". Meteoritics 25 (4): 399–400.
- Prentice, A.J.R. (1990). "Neptune Triton – A Moon Rich in Dry Ice And Carbon". Proceedings Astronomical Society of Australia 8 (4): 364–367.
- Prentice, A.J.R. (1989). "Neptune: Predicted origin and composition of a regular satellite system". Physics Letters A 140 (5): 265–270. doi:10.1016/0375-9601(89)90937-7.
- Prentice, A.J.R. (1986). "Uranus: Predicted origin and composition of its atmosphere, moons and rings". Physics Letters A 114 (4): 211–216. doi:10.1016/0375-9601(86)90209-4.
- Prentice, A.J.R. (1984). "Formation of the saturnian system: A modern Laplacian theory". Earth, Moon and Planets 30 (3): 209–228. doi:10.1007/bf00056200.
- Prentice, A.J.R.; ter Haar, D. (1979). "Formation of the regular satellite systems and rings of the major planets". The Moon and the Planets 21 (1): 43–62. doi:10.1007/bf00897054.
- Prentice, A.J.R.; ter Haar, D. (1979). "Origin of the jovian ring and the galilean satellites ". Nature 280 (5720): 300–302. doi:10.1038/280300a0.
- Prentice, A.J.R. (1978). "Origin of the solar system – I: Gravitational contraction of the turbulent protosun and the shedding of a concentric system of gaseous laplacian rings". The Moon and the Planets 19 (3): 341–398. doi:10.1007/bf00898829.
- Prentice, A. J. R. (1976). "Supersonic Turbulent Convection, Inhomogeneities of Chemical Composition, and the Solar Neutrino Problem". Astronomy and Astrophysics 50: 59–70.
- Prentice, A. J. R. (1973). "On Turbulent Stress and the Structure of Young Convective Stars". Astronomy and Astrophysics 27: 237–248.
- CSPA Staff: Andrew Prentice
- "Outstanding Staff Honoured". Monash University. 26 October 2011.
- Journey to the origin of the Solar System (Monash Magazine article)
- "Author Query, Results from the Astronomy Database". Retrieved 24 November 2013.