This issue of History of Physics newsletter is my last as Editor. I have enjoyed and been stimulated by my involvement these past few years, but it’s time for me to pass the baton and move on. I plan to remain active on the newsletter for at least another year as Associate Editor, however, to ensure that a smooth hand-off occurs.
The next Editor, Dwight E. (“Ed”) Neuenschwander, brings impressive credentials to the job, having edited both Radiations magazine and The SPS Observer for the AIP Society of Physics Students. He will inevitably take the History of Physics in new directions. But I hope he will try to maintain—and improve on—some of my innovations, most notably the articles by and about Pais Prize winners. I hope you give him the same level of support and encouragement I have enjoyed.
This is also the first issue of the newsletter published primarily in electronic formats, as downloadable PDF or viewable and printable HTML files on the Forum web site. In general, the Spring issue will be published electronically, while the Fall issue will be printed and mailed to all Forum members as before. Those wishing to receive a paper copy of the Spring issue by surface mail should send me an email (at email@example.com) including a name and street address, and I will add them to the list. By this once-a-year electronic publication, the Forum saves thousands of dollars that it can use instead to support other activities, such as subsidizing travel expenses for invited and student lecturers who otherwise could not afford to speak at our history sessions.
I hope this new publishing approach works well, and our members make the transition to reading about Forum activities in the history of physics online—at least once a year. The PDF version is an exact copy of what gets printed and mailed, so members with access to the Web and a printer can easily make their own copies and read them weeks before they would eventually have arrived by third-class mail. The HTML version can accommodate more articles and photographs than we can ever include in a printed copy—and its total number of pages is not limited to a multiple of four. Ed Neuenschwander will likely take advantage of this flexibility to make the online newsletter even more interesting and successful than the paper edition.
The Executive Committee will be reviewing this experiment and may decide to publish the newsletter differently in future years. In making such an evaluation, Committee members will need feedback from the Forum membership, so please let your reactions be known. And for the rest of this year, at least, don’t hesitate to let me know them, too!
—Michael Riordan, Editor
Note Added: This article represents the views of the author, which are not necessarily those of the FHP or APS.