James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics

To recognize outstanding contributions to the field of plasma physics. The prize consists of $10,000, an allowance for registration and travel to the meeting at which the prize is awarded, and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient. The prize will be presented annually.

Rules and eligibility

The prize shall be for outstanding contributions to the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of properties of highly ionized gases of natural or laboratory origin. The prize shall ordinarily be awarded to one person but a prize may be shared when all the 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

The prize was established in 1975 by the Maxwell Technologies, Inc., in honor of the Scottish physicist, James Clerk Maxwell and is currently sponsored by General Atomics.

Recent recipients

Thomas M Antonsen Jr

2023 recipient

For pioneering contributions in the theory of magnetized plasma stability, RF current drive, laser-plasma interactions, and charged particle beam dynamics.

Amitava Bhattacharjee

2022 recipient

For seminal theoretical investigations of a wide range of fundamental plasma processes, including magnetic reconnection, magnetohydrodynamic turbulence, dynamo action, and dusty plasmas, and for pioneering contributions to linking laboratory plasmas to space and astrophysical plasmas.

Margaret Galland Kivelson

2021 recipient

For groundbreaking discoveries in space plasma physics and for seminal theoretical contributions to understanding space plasma processes and magnetohydrodynamics.

Warren Bicknell Mori

2020 recipient

For leadership in and pioneering contributions to the theory and kinetic simulations of nonlinear processes in plasma-based acceleration, and relativistically intense laser and beam plasma interactions.

William Matthaeus

2019 recipient

For pioneering research into the nature of turbulence in space and astrophysical plasmas, which has led to major advances in understanding particle transport, dissipation of turbulent energy, and magnetic reconnection.

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.

James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics

Nominations deadline
April 1, 2024
General Atomics

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