Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Eugene N. Parker
University of Chicago


"For seminal contributions in plasma astrophysics, including predicting the solar wind, explaining the solar dynamo, formulat-ing the theory of magnetic reconnection, and the instability which predicts the escape of the magnetic fields from the galaxy."


Parker received a BS in physics from Michigan State University in 1948 and a PhD in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1951. He was an Instructor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Utah 1951-1953 and then a research associate with Walter M. Elsasser in the Department of Physics. Parker moved to the University of Chicago in June 1955 as a research associate with Professor John A. Simpson. Parker and was appointed an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and the Enrico Fermi Institute in 1957, and professor in 1962. He was appointed professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics in 1967. Parker retired from the University of Chicago in 1995. Parker was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1967.

Parker has received various scientific awards over the years, beginning with the Space Science Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 1964, and including among others the Henrijk Arctowski Medal of the National Academy of Science1967, the Hale Award, American Astronomical Society, 1978, the United States National Medal of Science 1989, the William Bowie Medal, American Geophysical Union 1990, the Gold Medal, Royal Astronomical Society 1992 and the Bruce Medal, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 1997. It has been announced that Parker is the recipient of the 2003 Kyoto Prize in Basic Science.

Selection Committee:

Wallace Manheimer (Chair), Y.K. Martin Peng (12/03), Edward Frieman ('02 Rcpnt) (12/03), William Heidbrink (V Chair) (12/04), Daniel Dubin (12/04)