Physics Department - University of Alaska



Professor Lars Vegard’s Contributions to Auroral Research:
A sixty year odyssey of curiosity, patience and determination


Charles Deehr

Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, UAF



Professor Lars Vegard was born Lars Grasaasen in 1880 in Vegårshei, Norway. He grew up on a farm and received his early education in the Risør district. He moved to Oslo for secondary education and began at the University of Oslo at the turn of the century. After his MS in physics in 1905, he began his study of the aurora as an assistant to Birkeland in 1905. By 1920, Birkeland had died and Vegard was named to his professorship. Vegard traveled widely, learning laboratory and observing techniques at several research centers in Europe. He was a vital force in the establishment of the Auroral Observatory in Tromsø, The Physics Institute at Blindern (Oslo) and the Norwegian Institute of Cosmic Physics. His almost single-handed documentation of the visible auroral emission spectrum occurred mainly in the last three sunspot cycles of his life, notably during the largest and most active cycles on record.


Friday, Feb. 3, 2006
Globe Room, Elvey building
3:45 pm