Timothy E. Eastman

Sciences and Exploration Directorate - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Director, Space Physics and Plasma Sciences - Plasmas International

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Dr. Timothy E. Eastman, senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (retired) has more than 40 years of experience in research and consulting in space physics, space science data systems, space weather, plasma applications, public outreach and education, and philosophy of science. This work included serving as a research scientist at Los Alamos National Lab, Branch Chief for the Magnetospheric Physics at NASA Headquarters, senior research scientist and faculty at both the University of Iowa and the University of Maryland, and Program Director for Magnetospheric Physics at the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Eastman discovered the Low-Latitude Boundary Layer (LLBL) of Earth’s magnetosphere (1976), and discovered gyro-phase bunched ions in space plasmas by analyzing energetic ion distribution functions near Earth’s bow shock (1981). The LLBL work, in particular, was further explored by two major multi-spacecraft missions – the Cluster spacecraft mission of the European Space Agency and NASA’s current Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission. He has published over 100 research papers in space physics, philosophy, and related fields.

In addition to an extensive research career, Dr. Eastman provided key leadership of the nation’s research programs in space plasma physics while program manager at NASA Headquarters (1985-1988) and NSF (1991-1994). For such program leadership, he was co-developer of key foundations for major international and interagency projects, including the International Solar Terrestrial Physics program, the Interagency Space Weather Program, and the Basic Plasma Science and Engineering program. He created and maintains major Web sites for plasma science and applications at plasmas.org and plasmas.com, and is lead editor of a book in philosophy of physics entitled Physics and Whitehead, published in 2004 by SUNY Press. Dr. Eastman’s interest in philosophy and philosophy of science extends over three decades with several journal publications in philosophy in addition to the SUNY volume; further, he is on International Advisory Boards for Process Studies and Studia Whiteheadiana (Poland), was lead editor of Physics and Speculative Philosophy (2016, DeGruyter Press). His latest book is Untying the Gordian Knot: Process, Reality, and Context (Lexington Books, 2020).


CPNS Library - Full versions of papers related to CPNS research

Papers for Download


Duality Without Dualism

Our Cosmos, from Substance to Process
Cosmic Agnosticism
The Observational-Inductive Framework for Science
Other selected publications related to CPNS research
      Untying the Gordian Knot: Process, Reality, and Context. Timothy E. Eastman, Lexington Books, 2020

Physics and Speculative Philosophy: Potentiality in Modern Science. T. Eastman, M. Epperson, D.R. Griffin, eds., De Gruyter, 2016



Physics and Whitehead. T. Eastman and H. Keeton, eds., Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004 (Paperback Edition 2008)



Mathootian, F. and T. Eastman, 2009. “Complementary Frameworks of Scientific Inquiry: Hypothetico-Deductive, Hypothetico-Inductive, and Observational-Inductive,” in World Futures 65:61-75. E. Laszlo, ed., Special Issue “Process Philosophy and the Sciences,” F. Riffert& T. Eastman, eds.

Eastman, T., 2008. “Our Cosmos, from Substance to Process,” in World Futures Journal, E. Laszlo, gen. ed., Special Issue “Process Philosophy and the Sciences,” F. Riffert and T. Eastman, eds. 64, 84-93.


Desmet, R., and T. Eastman, 2008. “Whitehead, Physics and Relativity,” in Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought, ed. M. Weber and W. Desmond, Ontos-Verlag.


Eastman, T., 2007.  “Cosmic Agnosticism,” Process Studies, 36.2 (Fall/Winter, 2007).


Eastman, T., 2007. “Innovative Technologies for Future Cities,” Ecozoic Reader, vol. 4, no. 4, 22-25


Eastman, T., 2006. “A Survey of Plasmas and their Applications,” in Plasma Physics Applied, edited by C. Grabbe, Kerala, India: Transworld Research Network.


Eastman, T., “The Observational-Inductive Framework for Science,” in Crisis in Cosmology Conference, edited by J. Almeida, AIP Conference Proceedings #822, American Institute of Physics, 2006.


Eastman, T. E., 2004. “Duality without Dualism,” in Physics and Whitehead, T. Eastman and H. Keeton, eds., Albany: State University of New York Press, Ch. 2, pp. 14-30.


Eastman, T., 2003. Historical review (pre-1980) of magnetospheric boundary layers and the low-latitude boundary layer, in Low Latitude Boundary Layer, P. Newell and T. Onsager, eds., Geophysical Monograph, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C. 



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