Faculty Type: 
Active Faculty
Professor (Research)

127 Physics and Astrophysics
452 Lomita Mall
Stanford, 94305-4085

Phone Number: 
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What is the structure and dynamics of the interior of the sun, and how do they affect solar activity?

Professor Scherrer does research on the nature and evolution of solar activity and its effects on terrestrial systems. His group’s primary emphasis is on the structure and dynamics of the solar interior using techniques of helioseismology and on the source of space weather using solar magnetic field observations. The primary observations from space have been with the Michelson Doppler Imager instrument on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory mission (since 1995) and the  Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager instrument on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (since 2010). His group also studies solar magnetic fields from the ground using the Wilcox Solar Observatory at Stanford, which has been operating since 1975.

Administrative support staff includes Heidi Wong and Haruko Makitani

Research group includes 12 academic staff, 8 regular staff, and 3 visitors.
Most located in Cypress C and Cedar B buildings.

Career History


  • A.B. Physics, University of California at Berkeley, 1968 
  • Ph.D. Physics, University of California at Berkeley, 1973 
  • Research Associate in Institute for Plasma Research, Stanford University, 1974-1979 
  • Acting Director, Wilcox Solar Observatory, Stanford University, 1985-1987 
  • Senior Research Associate, Institute for Plasma Research (now Center for Space Science and Astrophysics), Stanford University, 1979-1987 
  • Professor (Research), Department of Applied Physics and HEPL, 1987-1995 
  • Professor (Research), Department of Physics, 1995-present 
  • Member American Astronomical Society 
  • Member Astronomical Society of the Pacific 
  • Member American Geophysical Union 
  • Member American Association for the Advancement of Science 
  • Member International Astronomical Union 
  • Member International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics 


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