Sydney Chapman Centennial Celebration



The Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF), paused in its work on the afternoon of January 28, 1988, to honor the memory of Sydney Chapman on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Chapman served as advisory scientific director for the institute from 1953 to 1970 and was instrumental in establishing the research agenda of the institute. His work and fame, however, were international: Essentially, he was the founder of the field of solar-terrestrial physics. He received AGU's highest honor, the Bowie Medal, in 1962.

Syun-Ichi Akasofu, director of the Geophysical Institute and first a student, then a collaborator of Chapman, opened the proceedings with a brief review of the life Work of this great pioneer. Chapman was author or coauthor of seven significant books. He also coined many terms now standard in the field (including “aeronomy” and “electrojet”) and led many distinguished organizations, including the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) and the Special Committee for the International Geophysical Year (IGY).