Len Fisk

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Len Fisk

Thomas M. Donahue Distinguished University Professor of Space Science

Office Location(s): 4201 Randall
Phone: 734.615.6069

  • Fields of Study
    • The physics of the Sun and the Heliosphere
  • About

    Professor Fisk is currently conducting theoretical research on the physics of the solar atmosphere and the heliosphere, the region of space over which the Sun exerts influence.  Fisk has published extensively on the behavior of the solar magnetic field, the acceleration of the solar wind and solar energetic particles, the propagation and acceleration of energetic particles in the heliosphere, and the interaction of the solar system with the local interstellar medium.  Based on his work in the heliosphere, Fisk is now extending his studies to the acceleration of galactic cosmic rays in the interstellar medium.

    Professor Fisk is also interested in national space policy. Fisk was the Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from 1987 to 1993.  In this position he was responsible for the planning and direction of all NASA programs concerned with space science and applications and for the institutional management of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Fisk also served as Chair of the National Academies’ Space Studies Board from 2003 to 2008.

    Professor Fisk is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA); he is a Foreign Member of Academia Europaea and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.  Fisk is the recipient of the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 1992, the AIAA Space Science Award in 1994, and the IAA Basic Science Award in 1997 and 2007.

    Selected Publications

    Acceleration of Galactic Cosmic Rays in the Interstellar Medium, (L. A. Fisk, G. Gloeckler), Astrophys. J., in press, 2012.

    Energetic Particle Acceleration in the Heliosphere, (L. A. Fisk, G. Gloeckler), Proc. 10th Inter. Conf. Astrophys., in press, 2012.

    The Impact of Space on Society: Past, Present, and Future, (L. A. Fisk), Space Policy, 24, 175, 2008.

    The Open Magnetic Flux of the Sun: Transport by Reconnections with Coronal Loops, (L. A. Fisk), Astrophys. J., 626 (1), 563-573, 2005.

    Acceleration of the Solar Wind as a Result of the Reconnection of Open Magnetic Flux with Coronal Loops, (L. A. Fisk), J. Geophys. Res., 108 (A4), pp. SSH 7-1, CiteID 1157, DOI 10.1029/2002JA009284, 2003.

    Motion of the Footpoints of Heliospheric Magnetic Field Lines at the Sun: Implications for Recurrent Energetic Particle Events at High Heliographic Latitudes, (L. A. Fisk), J. Geophys. Res., 101 (A7), 15,547-15,554, 1996.

    3He-Rich Flares: A Possible Explanation, (L. A. Fisk), Astrophys. J., 224, 1048, 1978.

    An Interpretation of the Observed Oxygen and Nitrogen Enhancements in Low Energy Cosmic Rays, (L. A. Fisk, B. Kozlovski and R. Ramaty), Astrophys. J. Lett., 190, L35, 1974.

  • Education
    • Cornell University A. B., 1965
    • University of California, San Diego, Ph.D., 1965