This website honors the memory of Professor Leon Knopoff, presenting resources on his life and work. Please click on any of the tabs to begin: Retrospective
for selected articles on his life and accomplishments, oral histories by him, and a list of commemorative academic events; Achievements
for his CV, publications list, and list of students; Photos +
for images of Leon's experiences with colleagues, friends, and family; Memorial gathering
for a record of the event on May 5, 2011, including videos and transcripts of the presentations; or Comments
for more remembrances, with the opportunity to send your own.
Following is a list of selected recent events relating to the legacy of Leon Knopoff:
01.2014 / Leon's oral history
, recorded in 1990 by the American Institute of Physics, was published.
12.2013 / Lingsen Meng became the first professor to hold UCLA's Leon and Joanne VC Knopoff Chair in Physics and Geophysics, which supports the research of an exceptionally promising young scientist for a term of up to five years.
08.2013 / A biographical memoir
of Leon was published by the National Academy of Sciences.
12.2012 / Coauthored with Jean Elkhoury, Leon's last scientific paper – Dynamical Model of Faulting in Two Dimensions and Self-healing of Large Fractures
– was published in Physical Review E
09.2012 / A biographical memoir
of Leon appeared in the Proceedings
of the American Philosophical Society.
08.2012 / A memorial plaque was installed outside Leon's longtime office at 1805 Slichter Hall, UCLA. And on the third floor of Slichter Hall, Leon's portrait was unveiled. The inscription under the portrait reads: LEON KNOPOFF, DIRECTOR OF THE UCLA INSTITUTE OF GEOPHYSICS AND PLANETARY PHYSICS, 1972-1986. Distinguished Professor of Physics and Geophysics, and Research Musicologist, at UCLA from 1950 to 2011. Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Among his many other honors: Docteur Honoris Causa, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg; Honorary Professor, Institute of Geophysics, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing; Gold Medal, Royal Astronomical Society, UK; The (H. F. Reid) Medal of the Seismological Society of America; Emil Wiechert Medal, DGG (Germany); Fellow, Selwyn College, Cambridge. Knopoff developed mathematical formulations of earthquake dynamics, and measured seismic waves and gravity variations around the globe. He was revered for his generous international collaboration and exceptional teaching.
04.2012 / The Seismological Society of America featured a special session – Physics in Seismology: The Legacy of Leon Knopoff
– at the 2012 Annual Meeting in San Diego.