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Irwin Oppenheim Award

Help Endow the Irwin Oppenheim Award for best paper by a young investigator in Physical Review E.

Support the Irwin Oppenheim Award

The Irwin Oppenheim Award was established in 2017 to honor the memory and celebrate the legacy of the founding editor of Physical Review E (PRE).

Thanks to the generous support of Irwin Oppenheim’s family and friends, as well as to members of APS and the broader scientific community, the inaugural Oppenheim Award will be made to an early career scientist at the March Meeting 2019 in Boston.

However, for the Award to be fully endowed, we must reach our campaign goal of $90,000 by October 2018. We thank those who have contributed thus far, and invite all who are interested in participating to do so now—to assure that the Oppenheim Award will be given in perpetuity.

Oppenheim photo social

Help Us Reach Our Goal

About the Award

The Oppenheim Award will be the first best-paper award by a Physical Review journal. It will recognize outstanding contributions to physics by early career scientists who publish in PRE. The annual award will consist of:

  • A $3,000 stipend
  • A certificate citing the contributions of the recipient
  • A travel allowance to attend the APS March Meeting
  • An invitation to speak at the APS March Meeting

About Irwin Oppenheim

A charismatic leader and beloved colleague, mentor and friend, Irwin Oppenheim served as senior editor of PRE from its inception in 1993 until 2002. He set high standards and attracted authors and papers from new fields. Under his editorship the journal grew substantially and transitioned to online publishing. Using his stature and impeccable integrity, Irwin established PRE as the premier journal in statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics.

Irwin Oppenheim studied physics and chemistry at Harvard University, graduating in 1949. He performed his dissertation work under the guidance of John Gamble Kirkwood first at Caltech and then at Yale, and received a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1956. His distinguished career as professor of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology began in 1961, when he was hired as the department’s first theoretical chemist, and spanned more than fifty years.

Oppenheim was a pioneer in nonequilibrium statistical physics and kinetic theory. He co-authored the classical text “Chemical Thermodynamics.” Among his most significant works are calculations of transport coefficients for quantum and classical liquids, the development of widely used mode-coupling theories, and the physics of slow relaxation and long-term memory in hard-sphere fluids.

Oppenheim was a dedicated teacher who taught introductory physical chemistry and statistical thermodynamics to decades of MIT undergraduate and graduate students. He mentored more than fifty students and postdocs, many of whom went on to become prominent scientists.

More about Irwin Oppenheim’s remarkable life and distinguished career, including his passion for his work, colleagues, students and mentees, can be found on MIT News.

Thank You to Our Donors

The American Physical Society would like to thank these generous donors for their contributions to the Irwin Oppenheim Award Endowment Campaign:

$20,000 and above
Bernice Buresh

$10,000 -$19,999
Joshua Buresh-Oppenheim and Rachel Hirsch

$5,000 - $9,999
Tom Keyes

$1,000 - $4,999
Anonymous (1), James Bartis, Eli Ben-Naim, Ling Miao and Dirk Jan Bukman, MIT Chemistry Dept., Rashmi Desai, John Deutch, Cynthia Fertman, Robert W. Field, Gary Stephen Grest, Brant Johnson, Richard Koehl, Eric Mazur, Carl Mazza, Jerrold Oppenheim and Theo MacGregor, Leah Oppenzato and Sonia Oppenheim, Ruben Alberto Pasmanter, Steven H. Gorham and Candace Reed, Edith Yanklowitz

$500 - $999
Berni Alder, Paul Davis, C. Bryan and Kathryn Gabbard, Joel Gorham, Harvey and Patti Gould, Ralph and Marcie Hirsch, Margaret Kivelson, C.M. Knobler, Diana Korzenik, Jonathan Machta, Irwin Shapiro, Bruce Yanklowitz, Patti Yanklowitz

Up to $499
Anonymous (1), Jeffrey Corey, Patrick Diamond, Jay Dorfman, B. Ubbo Felderhof, William Goff, Michael David Graham, Robert Griffin, Gerald Hedstrom, Judith Herzfeld, David Schorr Hirsch, Valerie Kivelson and Timothy Hofer, Raymond Kapral, David Lide, Katja Lindenberg, Andrea Jo-Wei Liu, Udayan Mohanty, Sidney Redner, Richard Alan Register, Thomas and Gail Schank, Mary Jane Shultz, H. Eugene Stanley, John Sutherland, Alberto Suárez, Andrei Tokmakoff, Henry Valk, Nan Sirna Waldstein, Daxing Xiong

Ways to Give


Make your secure, online gift today.

By Mail

Send your check, payable to American Physical Society, to:
APS Development Office
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740
Please note "Irwin Oppenheim Award" in the memo.

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