Scripps Geophysicist Elected Fellow of Royal Society


Thomas Guy Masters, professor of geophysics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, has been elected a fellow of the Royal Society, the United Kingdom's national academy of science. Masters is associated with Scripps' Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP).

Masters was elected "for his work in seismology including proof that there is a difference in chemical make-up of the solid inner and liquid outer cores of the Earth." The society further notes that Masters "is distinguished for his work in seismology, and has pioneered many new techniques for analysing seismic data, using them to produce Earth models for all the seismic parameters."

"Guy Masters belongs to a distinguished tradition of seismologists in IGPP who study the deepest parts of the Earth using the very lowest frequency oscillations of the whole planet," said Robert Parker, director of IGPP. "Because this region is completely inaccessible to sampling, our knowledge is based entirely on an intricate combination of subtle theory, a mountain of seismic records and a profound understanding of the physics of materials under extreme conditions. Guy is one of those rare individuals who is a master of these diverse fields; he is a true scholar."

Masters received his bachelor's degree in 1975 from the University of Manchester and his Ph.D. in 1979 from the University of Cambridge. He has been associated with Scripps since 1979.

His research focuses on analysis of the large-scale structure of the earth and its crust, mantle and core; development of reference earth models; and the integration of mineral physics, geodynamics and geochemistry into seismological models.

Masters is also fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the American Geophysical Union, and a member of the Seismological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"These new Fellows of the Royal Society are among the best scientists in the UK and Commonwealth," said Lord Robert May of Oxford, president of the Royal Society. "In being elected to the Fellowship they follow in the footsteps of the august scientists of the last three and a half centuries."

Four other Scripps Oceanography scientists have previously been named fellows of the Royal Society: Devendra Lal, professor of nuclear physics; Walter Munk, research professor of geophysics, emeritus; Robert Parker, professor of geophysics and IGPP director; and John Sclater, professor of geophysics.

Founded in 1660, the Royal Society is the world's oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. Fellows are eminent scientists who are elected by peer review for life. There are currently approximately 1,300 fellows and foreign members, including more than 65 Nobel laureates. Past fellows include Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.

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