The big 2011 AGU convention is winding down in San Francisco with news of a bay area physicist winning the big award.
Congratulations Dr. Alan M. Title!
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All the deets:
“Lockheed Martin Physicist Honored With 2011 American Geophysical Union John Adam Fleming Medal
PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 8, 2011 – Dr. Alan M. Title, physicist at the Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto, was honored last evening with the 2011 John Adam Fleming Medal, at a ceremony at the 2011 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco. The Fleming Medal is awarded not more than once annually to an individual “for original research and technical leadership in geomagnetism, atmospheric electricity, aeronomy, space physics, and related sciences.”
Established in 1960, the Fleming Medal is named in honor of John Adam Fleming, who made important contributions to the establishment of magnetic standards and measurements. Fleming served as AGU officer in a number of positions, including: secretary of the Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity section (1920-1929), Union General Secretary (1925-1947), and honorary president (1947-1956). John Adam Fleming was associated with the science of geomagnetism throughout his career, and with the American Geophysical Union from its founding until his death.
As a scientist, Alan Title studies the Sun. His primary research interest is the generation, distribution, and effects of the solar magnetic field throughout the Sun’s interior and outer atmosphere. Using spectral imaging techniques we now can map both horizontal and vertical flows in the solar interior and surface. Flow maps have shown among other things how the solar interior rotates as a function of radius. This profile is essential for any understanding of interior magnetic field generation – dynamo action. Magnetic fields can be measured in the photosphere and inferred in the interior and outer atmosphere. Using these techniques it has been discovered that magnetic field emerges everywhere on the solar surface at a rate sufficient to completely replace the fields outside of active regions in less than a day, and even active region fields are replace in at most a few weeks. The detailed mechanisms by which magnetic energy is released is currently the focus of his research. At present, he has 169 articles in refereed journals. Building on accumulated knowledge, through observation and experimentation, he asks new questions of the Sun and formulates hypotheses on how it might work.
As an engineer, Alan Title designs, develops, builds, and flies new instruments that will gather the data necessary to test those hypotheses. He led the development of tunable bandpass filters for space-based solar observations, a version of which is currently operating on the JAXA/ISAS Hinode spacecraft. He also invented a tunable variation of the Michelson Interferometer that has been employed on the SOHO spacecraft, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the Global Oscillations Network Group of the National Solar Observatory as well as other ground-based systems.
Extraordinarily dedicated to advancing public awareness of science, Dr. Title has supported activities at the Tech Museum, Chabot Observatory, Boston Museum of Science, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Hayden Planetarium. In addition, his educational outreach funding has supported a yearly summer program for Stanford undergraduates, and the Stanford Hass Center activities that develop science programs for K-12 classrooms. And for two decades, promising students from the Palo Alto High School District have come to work in his laboratory.
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