American Philosophical Society
Member History

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105. Physical Earth Sciences[X]
1Name:  Dr. Leon Knopoff
 Institution:  University of California, Los Angeles
 Year Elected:  1992
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  105. Physical Earth Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1925
 Death Date:  January 20, 2011
A pioneer in the study of the scattering and diffraction of elastic waves in the earth, Leon Knopoff was Professor Emeritus of Physics and Geophysics at the University of California, Los Angeles. He had been associated with UCLA since 1950 and since 1959 as professor of geophysics and physics and as a research musicologist. During a distinguished career that had also taken him to Miami University and the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Knopoff delineated the major differences in the structure of the earth's mantle beneath the continents and oceans and made significant contributions toward establishing relationships between the physics of fracture and clustering of earthquakes with special attention to the problems of earthquake prediction. For such accomplishments he was awarded the Emil Wiechert Medal of the German Geophysical Society (1978), the H.F. Reid Medal of the Seismological Society of America (1990) and the Royal Astronomical Society's Gold Medal (1979) and had been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1949 and was also Docteur honoris causa, Universite Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg (2004) and Honorary Professor, Institute of Geophysics, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing (2004). Leon Knopoff died at home in Sherman Oaks, California, on January 20, 2011, at the age of 85.
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