Professor of Space Physics in UCLA
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Professor of Space Physics in UCLA

Vassilis Angelopoulos is a Professor of Space Physics in the Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences and the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (Space Science Center) at UCLA and Principal Investigator for NASA.

UCLA is recognized internationally as a leader in the plasma physics of space. Research done by the space physics group includes data analysis, simulation, modeling, and theoretical plasma physics.

Professor Angelopoulos’s current research aims to understand how particles are accelerated in Earth’s magnetosphere, how the upper atmosphere and ionosphere respond to space currents, and how the lunar environment is affected by its interaction with the solar wind. Professor Angelopoulos holds appointments at the Space Sciences Laboratory, UCB and at the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

He has been the Principal Investigator of THEMIS, the scientific and technical lead of this NASA/MIDEX mission, since its inception in 2001. He is currently working on storms and substorms at Earth while incorporating new data from the Moon’s plasma environment, as part of the ARTEMIS mission. He recently received funding from NASA, NSF, and the Air Force Research Laboratory to build the first satellite on the UCLA campus, the Electron Loss and Fields Investigation (ELFIN) cubesat. This tiny satellite will study how electrons are scattered from the radiation belts by electromagnetic waves.

Prior to joining the University of California in 1995, Angelopoulos worked at the Applied Physics Laboratory from 1993-1995. He received the American Geophysical Union’s Macelwane medal in 1993 and the Zeldovich medal by the Russian Academy of Science and COSPAR in 2001.

He has authored and co-authored more than 100 publications in refereed journals on data analysis, plasma theory and space plasma phenomenology, space technology, space instrumentation and mission analysis and design.

When not working, he enjoys playing music, solving puzzles, reading fiction, mountain bike riding and playing basketball with his two children, Nikolas and Constance.