Hans A. Bethe Prize

To recognize outstanding work in theory, experiment or observation in the areas of astrophysics, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, or closely related fields. The prize consists of $10,000 and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient. It is presented annually.

Rules and eligibility

This Award is made annually for outstanding accomplishments in the areas of astrophysics, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, or closely related fields. This prize shall ordinarily be awarded to one person but may be shared when all recipients have contributed to the same accomplishments. Nominations will be considered for three review cycles, provided the nominator re-certifies the nomination before the next deadline.

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.

Establishment and support

This prize is endowed by contributions from the Division of Astrophysics, the Division of Nuclear Physics and friends of Hans A. Bethe to honor him for his outstanding and numerous accomplishments in both astrophysics and nuclear physics.

Recent recipients

Frank Paul Calaprice

2023 recipient

For pioneering work on large-scale ultra-low-background detectors, specifically Borexino, measuring the complete spectroscopy of solar neutrinos, culminating in observation of CNO neutrinos, thus experimentally proving operation of all the nuclear-energy driving reactions of stellar evolution.

Madappa Prakash

2022 recipient

For fundamental contributions to the physics of hot and dense matter, and their implications for heavy ion collisions and multi-messenger observations of neutron star structure and evolution.

James W. Truran

2021 recipient

For distinguished contributions across the breadth of nuclear astrophysics, Galactic chemical evolution and cosmochronology.

Fiona Harrison

2020 recipient

For pioneering work in conceiving and executing the first focusing telescope in the high energy X-ray regime, NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) satellite. NuSTAR has enabled major advances in understanding phenomena in the most extreme environments in the universe.

Ken'ichi Nomoto

2019 recipient

For lasting contributions to our understanding of the nuclear astrophysics of the universe, including stellar evolution, the synthesis of new elements, the theory of core-collapse and thermonuclear supernovae, and gamma-ray bursts.

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.

Hans A. Bethe Prize

Nominations deadline
June 3, 2024

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