The Bruce Medalists


  portrait Photo courtesy Prof. Parker
Eugene Newman Parker
10 June 1927 1997 Bruce Medalist

Gene Parker was educated at Michigan State University and the California Institute of Technology. He spent four years at the University of Utah and since 1955 has been at the University of Chicago, where he has held positions in the physics department, the astronomy and astrophysics department, and the Enrico Fermi Institute. His research has been largely in the broad field of astrophysical plasma dynamics. He is probably the leading authority on the solar wind and the effects of magnetic fields in the heliosphere. His work has greatly increased understanding of the solar corona, the solar wind, the magnetic fields of both earth and sun, and their complex electromagnetic interactions. He has seen spacecraft go out into the heliosphere and confirm theoretical models he developed before the space age, when observations of comet tails provided nearly all the data available. His books, especially Cosmical Magnetic Fields, have educated generations of investigators. His most recent book includes the effects of magnetic fields of planets, stars, and galaxies on X-ray emissions.

Presentation of Bruce medal
Mercury 26, 3, 6 (1997).

Personal Web Page
At University of Chicago

Other awards
American Astronomical Society, Henry Norris Russell Lectureship, 1969.
American Astronomical Society Solar Physics Division, George Ellery Hale Prize, 1978.
American Geophysical Union, John Adam Fleming Medal, 1968; William Bowie Medal, 1990.
American Physical Society , James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics, 2003.
Astronomische Gesellschaft, Karl Schwarzschild Medal, 1990.
Inamori Foundation, Kyoto Prize for Basic Science, 2003.
National Science Board, National Medal of Science, 1989.
Royal Astronomical Society, Chapman Medal, 1979, presented by M.J. Seaton, QJRAS 21, 73 (1980); Gold medal, 1992.
l’Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, ADION medal, 1999, presented by Annick Pouquet-Davis

Biographical materials
American Geophysical Union
Indian Institute of Astrophysics

AIP Center for History of Physics
LASR Alumni
University of Chicago
University of Chicago Chronicle, 22, 19 (2003).

Named after him
Minor Planet #11756 Geneparker

More references

The Bruce Medalists

Please send comments, additions, corrections, and questions to