Historic Sites Initiative

Now accepting nominations for 2017. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Historic Sites Mission

The APS Historic Sites Initiative was created by the APS Executive Board in October 2004 with the following mission:

"The purpose of the Historic Sites initiative is to raise public awareness of physics. Unexpected encounters with an attractive plaque that identifies an important and interesting event in the history of physics will be an effective way of getting physics before the general public. The initiative will also benefit physicists by increasing their own awareness of important past scientific advances, hence of their membership in the historic evolution of their profession."

In pursuit of this mission, the Society has established the Historic Sites selection committee to evaluate potential historic physics sites in the United States. When a site is chosen, a ceremony is arranged at which a plaque is presented, often by a member of the APS presidential line (the vice-president, president-elect, president, and past president).

Suggest an Historic Site!

Gray arrow Eligibility Requirements
Gray arrow Historic Sites Nominating Form

Hughes Lab
Unveiling the plaque commemorating the operation of the world’s first working laser.
Hughes Research Laboratories
Malibu, California

Commemorated Historic Sites

Alfred O. C. Nier
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson
Bell Labs, Holmdel, NJ
Arthur Compton
Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Benjamin Franklin
The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA
Bronx High School of Science
Bronx, NY
Brookhaven National Lab
Upton, NY
C.J. Davisson and L.H. Germer
Bell Labs, West Village, New York City, NY
Carl Anderson
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA
Carnegie Institution, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism
Washington, DC
Charles David Keeling
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA
Clyde Cowan and Frederick Reines
Savannah River Site
E.F. Nichols and G.F. Hull
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
Ernest Lawrence and M. Stanley Livingston
University of California, Berkeley
Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Soddy
McGill University, Montréal, Québec
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Batavia, Illinois
Founding of JILA - CU-Boulder and NIST
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Founding of the Physical Review
Cornell University, Ithaca New York
George Stranahan, Michael Cohen, and Robert Craig
Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen, CO
Henry Augustus Rowland
The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, 1960 - 2013
Yorktown Heights, NY
Isidor Isaac Rabi
Columbia University, New York, NY
J. Willard Gibbs
Yale University, New Haven, CT
Jefferson Laboratory
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
John Bardeen, Leon Cooper and J. Robert Schrieffer
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
John Bardeen, William Shockley, Walter Brattain
Bell Laboratories, New York, NY
Joseph Henry
The Albany Academy, Albany, NY
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, NM
Michelson and Morley
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
MIT Radiation Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Mount Washington Observatory
Mount Washington, NH
Robert Millikan
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Shelter Island Conference
Shelter Island, NY
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Menlo Park, CA
Summer Symposium in Theoretical Physics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
The Synchrotron Radiation Center
The University of Wisconsin-Madison
Theodore Maiman
Hughes Research Laboratories, Malibu, CA
Wu, Ambler, Hayward, Hoppes, Hudson and the National Bureau of Standards
Washington, D.C.