Biography

 

George E. Backus
Professor Emeritus of Geophysics
Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics

George Backus is a professor emeritus of geophysics at the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. His research interests include studying how the earth’s magnetic field changes with time as a result of motions in the earth’s molten iron core.

Born in Chicago, Backus received five degrees from the University of Chicago, including a PhD in theoretical physics. The following year he joined Princeton University as a physicist, and became an assistant professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Backus was elected a foreign member of the prestigious Académie des Sciences, headquartered in Paris, France. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and received AGU’s John Adam Fleming Medal. The same year he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. He held Guggenheim Memorial Fellowships. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Last updated February 1990