"For the pioneering development of the atmospheric fluorescence technique as a method for exploring the highest energy cosmic rays."
George Cassiday received his A.B. in 1963 from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. in 1968 from Cornell University. Since 1970 he has been at the University of Utah, beginning as a postdoctoral fellow, and rising through the ranks to Professor (1981-present). He was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan in 1985, and a visiting teaching fellow at the Center for International Studies and Arms Control, Stanford University, from 1985-1991.
Among many significant accomplishments, Cassiday developed the 2nd generation large tank Cherenkov light detectors deployed in the deep underground Utah Neutrino detector. He also built a cosmic ray telescope that was used to measure the bulk density of 2000 feet of mountainous rock overburden of the Utah neutrino detector.
Cassiday designed and built the worlds first working air fluorescence cosmic ray detector that conclusively demonstrated the feasibility of the technique by detecting the passage of extensive air showers in coincidence with the EAS ground array operated by John Linsley at the University of New Mexico. He designed and built the first operating all sky air fluorescence detector, The Flys Eye in the western Utah desert at Dugway Proving grounds. The worlds highest energy cosmic ray was subsequently detected by this detector. He also spearheaded the formation of Utah-Michigan-Chicago collaboration that resulted in the first detector to simultaneously measure electrons, muons and air fluorescence in EAS.
His awards include the PSAC Outstanding Teaching Award (1992-1993) and the University of Utah Distinguished Professor Award (2001-2002). In 2006 he was selected as Distinguished Visitor to the U.S. Naval Carrier Task Force program to evaluate careers in science with U.S. Navy.