APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research

Nomination guidelines
APS medal in an open wooden box on a table with a boquet of white flowers and a candle in the background

The APS Medal was established to recognize contributions of the highest level that advance our knowledge and understanding of the physical universe in all its facets. It is intended to celebrate scientific inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge.

The medal carries with it a prize of $50,000, a certificate citing the contribution made by the recipient, an allowance for travel to the APS Medal and Prize Ceremony and Reception in Washington, D.C., and an invited talk at an APS March or April Meeting.

Rules and eligibility

The prize will be awarded annually without restriction by subfield of physics or by nationality. The award shall ordinarily be awarded to a single person, but a prize may be shared by up to three recipients. Previous winners of other APS prizes and awards are eligible. Nominations will be considered for three review cycles provided the nominator re-certifies the nomination before the next deadline. Self-nominations are not permitted.

Process and selection

The nomination package must include:

  • A letter of not more than 5,000 characters evaluating the qualifications of the nominee(s).

In addition, the nomination should include:

  • A biographical sketch
  • A list of the most important publications
  • At least two, but not more than four, seconding letters
  • Up to five reprints or preprints

Selection Committee

  • John Doyle (Chair)
  • Daniel Fisher
  • Peter Schiffer
  • Karen Winey
  • Kenneth Brown
  • Brian Fields
  • John Wilkerson
  • Robert Bernstein
  • Michael Brown
  • Kristan Corwin
  • Bruce Carlsten
  • David Weiss
  • Xuan Chen
  • Howard Stone
  • Dragana Popovic
  • Amy Liu
  • Peter Olmsted
  • Tanja Cuk
  • Manuela Campanelli

Establishment and support

The APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research is the largest Society prize to recognize the achievement of researchers from across all fields of physics. It is funded by a generous donation from Jay Jones, entrepreneur.

Recent recipients

Prof. Dr. Stuart Parkin

2024 recipient

For major discoveries in spintronics leading to a revolution in data storage and memory.

Sidney R. Nagel

2023 recipient

For incisive experiments, numerical simulations, and concepts that have expanded and unified soft matter physics.

Elliott H. Lieb

2022 recipient

For major contributions to theoretical physics through obtaining exact solutions to important physical problems, which have impacted condensed matter physics, quantum information, statistical mechanics, and atomic physics.

Gordon Baym

2021 recipient

For major discoveries in theoretical condensed matter and many-body physics, neutron star structure and composition, quark matter and quark-gluon plasma physics, and in atomic physics and ultracold quantum gases.

Myriam Sarachik

2020 recipient

For fundamental contributions to the physics of electronic transport in solids and molecular magnetism.

See all recipients

The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, scientists from institutions with limited resources, and scientists from outside the United States, are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research

Nominations deadline
May 1, 2024

Join your Society

If you embrace scientific discovery, truth and integrity, partnership, inclusion, and lifelong curiosity, this is your professional home.