Prizes & Awards

Professor Emeritus M. Ozima honored with the V.M. Goldschmidt Medal

  • H. Hiyagon (Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Science)
Figure 1

Professor Emeritus Minoru Ozima

Minoru Ozima (Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo) is the recipient of the 2010 V.M. Goldschmidt Medal. This prestigious award, which was established by the Geochemical Society in 1972 to commemorate V. M. Goldschmidt, “Father of Modern Geochemistry”, recognizes major achievements in geochemistry or cosmochemistry. Prof. Ozima is the second Japanese recipient of the Goldschmidt Award (following Ikuo Kushiro, also Professor Emeritus, the Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo, who was the 2001 recipient).

Prof. Ozima was among the first to focus attention on the fact that the information contained in noble gas isotopes sheds light on the process of formation and evolution of the planets. He is a leading figure in this field, having greatly contributed to the establishment and development of the geochemistry and cosmochemistry of noble gases. A comparison of the two editions of his classic book “Noble Gas Geochemistry” (First Edition published in 1983 and Second Edition in 2002), which was jointly written with F. A. Podosek of Washington University, shows both the scale of developments in noble gas geochemistry during the intervening years and the significance of Prof. Ozima's own contributions. Prof. Ozima has, for example, been a leader in the discussions among researchers on the processes and timing of the formation of the Earth's atmosphere, through analysis of neon of solar isotopic composition (an isotopic composition which is lighter than that of neon in the Earth's atmosphere) and xenon isotopic anomalies discovered within diamonds and other mantle-derived materials.

Prof. Ozima continues to be actively engaged in research. He recently proposed the theory that nitrogen, noble gases and oxygen found in lunar soil originated in the earth's atmosphere, and he has raised important questions about the mystery of the oxygen isotopic composition of solar system materials. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to him on receiving this award.