Scientific Reminiscences

Reminiscing my sixty year pursuit of the physics of the Sun and the Galaxy

Eugene N. Parker


Abstract Reminiscing begins with childhood and passes on to student days through graduate school and the first real contact with research. Then early academic positions and stumbling efforts to pursue my ideas. The first significant progress came as a research associate with Prof. W. M. Elsasser at the University of Utah, beginning with an introduction to magnetohydrodynamics and the generation of the geomagnetic field through induction in the liquid metal core of Earth. A move to the University of Chicago to work with Prof. J. A. Simpson, on the implications of cosmic ray variations and interplanetary magnetic fields, led to the theory of coronal expansion and the solar wind and then to exploring the dynamical effects of cosmic rays on the galactic magnetic field. Spontaneous current sheets and intrinsic rapid reconnection in interlaced magnetic field line topologies were the next big project, leading up to retirement. Finally, it is a pleasure to recall my many associates, whose fresh thinking helped stimulate the daily research activities.


Keywords dynamo — magnetohydrodynamics — plasma

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