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Irwin Oppenheim Award

Help us increase the endowment for the Irwin Oppenheim Award for Best Paper by a Young Investigator in Physical Review E (PRE).

Support the Irwin Oppenheim Award

This award recognizes outstanding contributions to physics by early career scientists who publish in PRE. We are working to increase this award from a $3,000 stipend to $5,000 so it is on par with other APS awards. The Irwin Oppenheim Award was established in 2017 to honor the memory and celebrate the legacy of the founding editor of PRE.

View past Oppenheim Award recipients

Oppenheim photo social

Fundraising Goal

About the Award

The Oppenheim Award is the first best-paper award by a Physical Review journal. It recognizes outstanding contributions to physics by early career scientists who publish in PRE. By making a donation, we will be able to offer an annual award of:

  • A $5,000 stipend
  • A certificate citing the contributions of the recipient
  • A travel allowance to attend APS March Meeting
  • An invitation to speak at APS March Meeting

Our goal is $50,000.

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.

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