APS News

In Brief

Latest Figures on Women in Physics
Girls now account for half of high school physics students in the US, but in general, participation of women in physics decreases with the years, according to a new report by the American Institute of Physics. In 1993, girls represented two fifths of high school physics students; in 1998 women accounted for only one fifth of physics bachelor's degrees. The percentage of women PhDs in physics and engineering (about 13%) lags behind the percentages for math (25%) and chemistry (31%), and further behind biology and medicine. Among faculty, the proportion of women teaching physics decreases as academic rank and level of department increases. However, the percentage of women faculty members at each rank is consistent with the percentage of women earning PhD's at the time that they got their degrees. 

Townes Receives NAE 2000 Founders Award
Charles H. Townes, who served as APS President in 1967 and who was the co-recipient of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics, has been awarded the National Academy of Engineering's 2000 Founders Award, which was established by the NAE to recognize an Academy member's lifelong contribution to engineering, and whose accomplishments had benefit to the people of the United States. Townes was one of the pioneers in the development first of the maser (microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) and then, in collaboration with his brother-in-law Arthur Schawlow, of the laser. The award consists of a gold medallion, a $2,500 cash award, and a certificate.