Essay Contest

The Forum for History of Physics (FHP) of the American Physical Society is proud to establish an annual History of Physics Essay Contest. The inaugural contest, which received 13 entries, was held in 2017 and is now completed. The submission deadlines and other relevant information for the 2018 contest will be announced in April, 2018.

The contest is designed to promote interest in the history of physics among those not, or not yet, professionally engaged in the subject. Entries can address the work of individual physicists, teams of physicists, physics discoveries, or other appropriate topics. Entries can range from about 1500-2000 words, and while scholarly should be accessible to a general scientific audience.

The contest is open to anyone without a Ph.D. in either physics or history; entries with multiple authors will not be accepted. The winning essay will be published as a Back Page in APS News, and its author will receive a cash award of $1000. The judges may also designate one or more runners-up, with a cash award of $500 each.

Entries will be judged by members of the FHP Executive Committee.

2017 Winner

Ryan Chaban

Gray Arrow Winning Essay: "Doublet Dudes: Shaping the Future of Fusionformat_pdf

Ryan Chaban

Ryan is a first-year Ph.D. student at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. His interest in fusion began through a 2016 Summer Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) at General Atomics in San Diego, CA. During that summer he researched energetic particles on the DIII-D Tokamak and this experience guided him towards a research career in fusion energy and intrigued him to learn more about the history of the science.

2017 Runner-up

Shaun Datta

Gray Arrow Essay: "Quantum mechanics as a stimulus for American theoretical physicsformat_pdf

Shaun Datta

Shaun Datta is a senior studying Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science at MIT.