Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism Featured

    Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future.

    MIT Geoffrey Beach A1 Brauer Web
    “There are many thousands of combinations of materials and interfaces that we can create,” says associate professor Geoffrey Beach. “So with this wealth of material structures, rather than relying on the few materials that nature has given us, we can now design materials and their magnetic properties to exhibit the characteristics that we want.” Photo, M. Scott Brauer

    Geoffrey Beach has been tinkering and building things most of his life, including some 50 model rockets that he built and launched while in high school in Oklahoma. But it wasn’t until his undergraduate studies in physics that he zeroed in on the topic that has dominated his research ever since: the study of magnetism and how to control it.

    In his work, Beach combines the deep, theoretical understanding of a physicist with an engineer’s passion for building and refining the devices needed to carry out his investigations.

    “In high school and college, I was always interested in physics,” says Beach, who is an associate professor in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, where he earned tenure in 2015. He received his bachelor’s degree from Caltech, where his interest in magnetism first came into focus.

    During those college years studying physics, “everyone there wanted to work on gravity,” he says. “I liked the theoretical aspect, but I’ve always been a very hands-on person. I always liked to build things, and I really like to see how things work.”

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    David L. Chandler | MIT News Office
    April 24, 2017