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Spiro K. Antiochos Receives 2013 John Adam Fleming Medal: Citation

Spiro K. Antiochos was awarded the 2013 John Adam Fleming Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held on 11 December 2013 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal is for “original research and technical leadership in geomagnetism, atmospheric electricity, aeronomy, space physics, and related sciences.”

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Abstract

The John Adam Fleming Medal is awarded for “original research and technical leadership in geomagnetism, atmospheric electricity, aeronomy, space physics, and related sciences.” Originality and technical leadership are exactly the characteristics that distinguish the research of Spiro K. Antiochos. Spiro possesses a truly unique combination of physical insight, creativity, and mastery of the concepts and mathematical and numerical tools of space physics. These talents have allowed him to develop completely original theories for major observational problems and to test and refine those theories using sophisticated numerical simulation codes that he himself helped to develop. Spiro's physical insight is especially impressive. He has an uncanny ability to identify the fundamental aspects of complex problems and to see physical connections where others do not. This can sometimes involve ideas that may initially seem counterintuitive to those with less creativity. Many of Spiro's revolutionary advances have opened up whole new areas of study and shaped the course of space physics. Examples include the breakout model for coronal mass ejections (CMEs), the S-web model for the slow solar wind, and the thermal nonequilibrium model for solar prominences. The breakout model is of special significance to AGU as it strives to promote science for the betterment of humanity. CMEs are enormous explosions on the Sun that can have major “space weather” impacts here on Earth. They affect technologies ranging from communication and navigation systems to electrical power grids. Breakout is the leading theory for why CMEs occur and may one day be the foundation for more accurate space weather forecasting.

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