Jafar Arkani-Hamed received a mining engineering degree (1963) from the University of Tehran, Iran, and a Ph.D. (1969) in geophysics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was a professor of physics at AryaMehr University, Tehran, in 1969– 1982. Arkani-Hamed was a visiting scientist at Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, Texas, in 1971–1973 and at MIT in 1974 and 1977–1979. Arkani-Hamed was a research associate in the Department of Geology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1982–1984 and was a professor in 1984–1986. He was a professor in the Department of Geophysics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, in 1986–1987 and was an associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences, Brock University, Saint Catherine, Ontario, Canada, in 1987– 1988. Arkani-Hamed was professor of geophysics at McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada, in 1988–2005. Since 2005, he has been professor emeritus at McGill University and adjunct professor in the Department of Physics, University of Toronto. Arkani-Hamed’s research interests are in internal dynamics and tectonics of terrestrial planets and magnetic properties of their lithosphere. In 1963, he won the Scientific Gold Medal of Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Iran.
In 1977, Arkani-Hamed was awarded a Fulbright scholarship, and in 1985, he won the NASA Achievement Award and NASA Group Achievement Award. In 1987, Arkani-Hamed received an honorary diploma at the International Space University, France. In 1973, he became a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of London, and in 1974, he was a founding Fellow of the Academy of Science of Iran. In 2005, he became a Fellow of the Academy of Science, Royal Society of Canada.