Raymond Hide CBE, ScD, FRS - Curriculum vitae#

Obituary, Royal Meteorological Society


  • Early education at elementary (Bentley New Village) and grammar (Percy Jackson, Adwick-le-Street) schools near Doncaster
  • University education at Manchester University (1947-1950) leading to first-class honours BSc degree in Physics (Samuel Bright and H.J.G Moseley Prizes)
  • Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (1950-53) leading to PhD (1953) and ScD (1969) degrees in Geophysics
  • MA (Oxford)
  • Hon.DSc (Leicester; Manchester, Paris)
  • Senior Research Investigator, Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London
  • Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Oxford

  • Research Associate in Astrophysics at Yerkes Observatory, University of Chicago (1953-54)
  • Senior Research Fellow, Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell (National Service 1954-57)
  • Lecturer in Physics at King's College, University of Durham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1957-61)
  • Professor of Geophysics and Physics at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) (1961-67)
  • Individual Merit Scientist (DCSO 1967-75, Chief Scientific Officer 1975-92), U. K. Meteorological Office, Bracknell (Founder and Director of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, later transferred to Oxford University): Professor of Physics, University of Oxford (1990-1994)
  • Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Oxford (1994-)
  • Senior Research Investigator, Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London (2000- )

Short-term visiting appointments etc.
  • Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (1954)
  • MIT (1959); University of California at Los Angeles (1960)
  • California Institute of Technology (Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar) (1993)

Visiting Professor
  • Department of Mathematics, University College, London (1969-84)
  • Department of Meteorology, University of Reading (1974-1990)
  • Departments of Mathematics and Earth Sciences, University of Leeds (1988-90)
  • Adrian Visiting Fellow, University of Leicester (1981-83)
  • Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford (1983-1997)
  • 29th Gresham Professor of Astronomy, Gresham College, City of London (1985-1990)
  • Distinguished Visiting Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (1985-98) *Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory (now the Southampton Oceanography Centre) (1990-2000)
  • Honorary Scientist, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton (1992-2000)

Served as:
  • Chairman of the MIT Geophysics Programme (1961-66) and Physical Oceanography Programme (1966-67)
  • Member of the British Natural Environment Research Council and Chairman of the NERC “Sub-Council” for Physical Oceanography, Atmospheric Sciences and Hydrology (1972-75)
  • President of the International Commission for Dynamical Meteorology (1971-74)
  • Chairman of the British National Committee for Geodesy and Geophysics of the Royal Society and U.K. Chief Delegate to the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) (1979-85): Member of Special Scientific Policy Committee of the IUGG (1987-1996) and initiator of the international study of the Earth's deep interior (SEDI), etc.

  • Fellow of the Royal Society (of London) (1971, Council 1988-90)
  • Member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (1996)
  • Member of the Academia Europaea (1989); Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1964)
  • Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (1967)
  • Honorary Member of the Deutsches Arbeitskreis Geschichte Geophysik und Kosmische Physik (2001)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Chartered Physicist
  • Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (President 1974-76, Council 1969-72 and 1974-76, Honorary Fellow 1989)
  • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (President 1983-85, Council 1969-72 and 1983-86)
  • (Founding) Member of the European Geophysical Society (now the European Geosciences Union) (President 1982-84, Council 1981-85, Honorary Member 1988)
  • Honorary Fellow of Jesus College Oxford (elected 1997) and of Gonville & Caius College Cambridge (elected 2001)
  • Honorary DSc degrees awarded by the universities of Leicester (1985), Manchester (UMIST) (1994) and Paris (1995).
  • Appointed CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) (1990).

  • Chree (Institute of Physics, 1975)
  • Holweck (Société Française de Physique and Institute of Physics, 1982)
  • Gold (Royal Astronomical Society, 1989)
  • Bowie (American Geophysical Union, 1997)
  • Hughes (Royal Society, 1998)
  • Richardson (European Geophysical Society, 1999)
  • Symons Gold (Royal Meteorological Society, 2003).

Special lectures:
  • Symons (Royal Meteorological Society, 1970)
  • Fisher (Royal Society, Royal Statistical Society, Biometrical Society, 1977)
  • Halley (University of Oxford, 1980); Jeffreys (Royal Astronomical Society, 1981)
  • Holweck (Société Française de Physique, 1982)
  • Union (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, 1983)
  • Scott (University of Cambridge, 1984); Thompson (University of Toronto, 1984)
  • Lindsay (US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1988)
  • Courtauld (Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, 1996)
  • Schuster (University of Manchester, 1998); Starr (MIT, 2001)

Summary of scientific research

Main contributions are in geophysics (geomagnetism, meteorology, geodesy, oceanography, etc.), planetary physics and geophysical fluid mechanics, including magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). His work on the hydrodynamics and MHD of spinning fluids has elucidated flow phenomena in atmospheres and oceans and also within planetary interiors, where magnetic fields are generated by MHD self-exciting dynamo action.

In laboratory studies of "sloping thermal convection" in spinning fluids (carried out at Cambridge University in the early 1950's and reported In his 1953 PhD dissertation) he discovered various regimes of "vacillation" and other multiply-periodic intransitive flows as well as aperiodic flows (geostrophic turbulence). These findings (a) influenced seminal mathematical studies carried out a decade later by Lorenz and others of what came to be known as "deterministic chaos", and (b) provided a paradigm for interpreting large-scale flows in the atmospheres of the Earth and other planets. Related contributions include the concept of "dynamic superhelicity" as well as general theoretical results tested by crucial laboratory experiments on boundary layers, Taylor columns and detached shear layers.

His contributions to electrodynamics and MHD include the concepts of "potential magnetic field" and "magnetic superhelicity" and discoveries of (a) basic theorems satisfied by these quantities and other general results, (b) new types of MHD wave motion expected to occur in spinning planets and stars, (c) methods of locating interfaces and determining lateral variations in their properties, and (d) nonlinear quenching of fluctuations in self-exciting dynamos. He also initiated research on (i) the dynamo origin of the magnetic fields of Jupiter and other major planets and its implications for their internal structure and dynamics, and (ii) the electromagnetic effects of hypervelocity impacts in connection with investigations of the magnetism of small bodies (the Moon, asteroids, meteorites) in the Solar System.

His extensive research on fluctuations of the Earth's rotation led to new developments in areas as diverse as meteorology and climatology and studies of the structure and dynamics of the Earth's deep interior.

In more recent work he introduced and analysed new types of self-exciting dynamo, thereby (a) demonstrating their usefulness as physically realistic low-dimensional models providing insight into temporal fluctuations of stellar and planetary magnetic fields, including the highly irregular time series of geomagnetic polarity reversals, and (b) discovering the process of "nonlinear quenching". His subsequent demonstration of generic nature of nonlinear quenching opens up new lines of research on the control of chaotic behaviour in nonlinear systems.
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