Credit: National Academy of Sciences
Congratulations to Dana W. Longcope, Montana State University, Bozeman, winner of the 2021 National Academy of Sciences’ Arctowski Medal for fundamental research on the nature of solar magnetism, magnetic topology, and reconnection. Longcope has held several positions on AURA governance bodies including serving on the AURA Board of Directors and the National Solar Observatory Council.
The Arctowski Medal is presented every two years to recognize outstanding contributions to the study of solar physics and solar terrestrial relationships. The Medal is now presented with an award of $100,000, plus $100,000 to support research in solar physics and solar terrestrial relationships at an institution of the recipient’s choice. The Arctowski Medal was established in 1958 by the bequest of Jane Arctowska in honor of her husband, Henryk Arctowski.
Dana Longcope is known for fundamental research on the nature of solar magnetism, magnetic topology, and solar magnetic reconnection, providing a unified framework for understanding the energization and dynamics of quiet sun, active regions, flares, and coronal mass ejections.
A creative, prolific physicist, he has explored questions of solar magnetism, energy storage and release, and the resulting dynamics. Through his many successful collaborations, he has led peers and students in dozens of high-quality publications. His 55 first-author papers have established foundational theories and provided the framework to analyze and interpret observations, which have been widely applied by peers and colleagues.
His principal achievements revolve around four poles: Developing fundamental equations of motion for thin bundles of twisted magnetic flux, pioneering the topological description of three dimensional magnetic fields in the solar corona, establishing a unified picture of three dimensional magnetic reconnection with applications to the quiet sun, active regions, x-ray bright points, flares, and coronal mass ejections, and advancing theories of the response of the Sun’s atmosphere to coronal reconnection.
Dana Longcope is a Professor and the head of the Physics Department at Montana State University-Bozeman, where he has been since 1996.