Matthew Koss

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Matthew B. Koss (born September 16, 1961 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a widely published solid state physicist.

He received his AB degree from Vassar College in 1983 and a Ph.D. in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics from Tufts University in 1989.

From 1990 to 2000 he worked at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as the Lead Scientist for the Isothermal Dendritic Growth Experiment (IDGE), a basic microgravity research project on dendritic solidification that conducted Space Shuttle flight experiments on STS-62, -75, and -87.

He is currently the Principal Investigator of the Transient Dendritic Solidification Experiment (TDSE) [1], a flight experiment being prepared for operations on the International Space Station in 2006.

In June 2003, Koss created a controversy by authoring an Op Ed article in the New York Times claiming that scientists bore partial responsibility for the space shuttle Columbia disaster. He argued that most micro-gravity scientific experiments did not require manned space missions, but were used to sell the space program.[1] The article drew widespread attention, and resulted in congressional hearings at which Koss appeared.

Current work[edit]

In 2000, Koss started working as a professor at The College of the Holy Cross. He continues his isothermal dendritic growth research and in 2005 began research on the physics of baseball.

Physics of Baseball[edit]

Currently he has collected data on a baseball in flight to create his own reynolds number vs drag coefficient plot, to compare against other models. He has also created a hybrid model of the flight path that a baseball will take, given all of the initial conditions. To this model are now being added other factors that will affect the flight, such as the spin decay rate of a baseball in flight.


  1. ^ Koss, Matthew B. (2003-06-29). "How Science Brought Down the Shuttle". New York Times. p. 13. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 

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