Mary K. Hudson

Academic Appointments
  • Eleanor and Kelvin Smith Distinguished Professor of Physics

  • Senior Research Associate, NCAR High Altitude Observatory

Space Physicist Mary K. Hudson, PhD UCLA 1974, is Professor of Physics and served for eight years as Chair of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College. Hudson is currently a Co-Principal Investigator on two experiments on the recently launched NASA Van Allen Probes satellites designed to study earth's radiation belts, and on the Balloon Array for Radiation-belt Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL) along with Professor Robyn Millan of the Physics and Astronomy Department. Hudson and her students study the weather patterns that originate from solar eruptions, following the energy and mass transfer through the interplanetary medium, all the way to the earth's ionosphere. Current areas of investigation include the evolution of the radiation belts; how the ionized particle outflow known as the solar wind and the magnetic field of the sun interact with the magnetic field of the earth, producing electrical currents in the ionosphere; and the effects of solar cosmic rays on radio communications near the earths poles. Professor Hudson is also funded through NSF to study solar energetic particles and their access to the atmosphere.

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NCAR High Altitude Observatory, Boulder CO


Physics and Astronomy


  • B.S. U.C.L.A.
  • M.S. U.C.L.A.
  • Ph.D. U.C.L.A.

Selected Publications

  • D. N. Baker, S. G. Kanekal, V. C. Hoxie, M. G. Henderson, X. Li , H. E. Spence, S. R. Elkington, R. Friedel, J. Goldstein, M. K. Hudson, G. D. Reeves, R. M. Thorne, C. A. Kletzing, S. G. Claudepierre, A Long-lived Relativistic Electron Storage Ring Embedded within the Earth's Outer Van Allen Radiation Zone, Science (2013) DOI: 10.1126/science.1233518.

  • Brito, T. L. Woodger, M. Hudson, and R. Millan, Energetic radiation belt electron precipitation showing ULF modulation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, 22, doi:10.1029/2012GL053790, 2012

  • Mary K. Hudson, Where did all the electrons go?, Nature Physics; 8 , 182, (2012)

  • Mary Hudson, Thiago Brito, Scot Elkington, Brian Kress, Zhao Li and Mike Wiltberger, Radiation belt 2D and 3D simulations for CIR-driven storms during Carrington Rotation 2068, J. Atmos. Solar Terres. Phys., 83, p. 51-62, 2012.

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Works In Progress

Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling, an NSF Science and Technology Center: Co-Director for Magnetosphere Modeling; Radiation Belt Storm Probes: NASA satellite and balloon campaign to study the Earth’s radiation belts; on following instrument teams: (1) Energetic Particle Composition and Thermal Plasma (ECT) Suite, (2) Electric Field and Search Coil (EFASC) Suite, (3) Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses (BARREL)