Jesse W. Beams Award

The Jesse W. Beams Research Award, first presented in 1973, was established by the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society to recognize especially significant or meritorious research in physics, the major portion of which was carried out while the recipient was resident in the ten-state region of the Southeast. The award is named for Jesse Wakefield Beams, a remarkably broad and productive experimental physicist who received his Ph.D. from and spent most of his career at the University of Virginia. His many outstanding contributions to physics research include: construction of the first electron linear accelerator, development of the magnetic ultracentrifuge with many practical applications in both the physical and biological sciences, and improvement of the Cavendish technique for the determination of the gravitational constant. He served as president of the American Physical Society in 1958, and received the National Medal of Science in 1967. The Beams Award honors those whose research led to the discovery of new phenomena or states of matter, provided fundamental insights in physics, or involved the development of experimental or theoretical techniques that enabled others to make key advances in physics, and the contributions of the award recipient should have received the critical acclaim of peers nationally and internationally.

Nomination Information

Nominations for each award should be sent to the award committee chair by August 26th in the form of a single pdf file. (If electronic submission is not possible, please send four copies of the nomination.) A complete nomination consists of a CV, a nominating letter and up to three supporting letters (a maximum of two pages each). At least one of the letters should be from an institution other than the nominee's home institution. No other supporting documents are needed, but may be included. We particularly encourage you to think of potential women and minority candidates. Nominations will be considered active for three years, though updating materials for nominees not chosen in the prior year is encouraged. Past winners are listed below.

Send Materials to:
Chair: Rachel Yohay
Florida State University

Members of the Beams Award Committee:
Chair: Rachel Yohay, Florida State University,; Robert Pattie, East Tennessee State University,; Lex Kemper, North Carolina State University,; and Mohammad Ahmed, North Carolina Central University and TUNL, SESAPS Vice-Chair (non-voting),


2019: Arthur E. Champagne, Christian Iliadis, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
2018: Jorge Piekarewicz, Florida State University
2017: Henry Krakauer, College of William and Mary
2016: Gabriela Gonzalez, Louisiana State University
2015: Anatoly V. Radyushkin, Old Dominion University
2014: Brad Cox, University of Virginia
2013: Robert P Behringer, Duke University
2012: Walter de Heer, Georgia Tech
2011: John Thomas, North Carolina State University
2010: Beate Schmittmann, Virginia Tech
2009: Gerald Lucovsky, North Carolina State University
2008: Herbert Mook, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
2007: Berndt Mueller, Duke University
2006: Akuruni V. Ramayya, Vanderbilt University
2005: Thomas Curtright, University of Miami; Charles Thorn, University of Florida
2004: Thomas Thundat, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
2003: Jerzy Bernholc, North Carolina State University
2002: M. Raymond Flannery, Georgia Institute of Technology
2001: Lynn Boatner, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
2000: Kirby Kemper, Florida State University
1999: Uzi Landman, Georgia Institute of Technology
1998: Donald D. Clayton, Clemson University
1997: Gary Mitchell, NC State University
1996: Pierre Sikivie, University of Florida
1995: George Samuel Hurst, University of Tennessee
1994: Frank Avignone, University of South Carolina
1993: Fereydoon Family, Emory University
1992: Edward Bilpuch, Duke University
1991: Robert Compton, Oak Ridge National Lab
1990: Joseph Ford, Georgia Institute of Technology
1989: Arthur Snell, Oak Ridge National Lab
1988: James McCarthy, University of Virginia
1987: David Landau, University of Georgia
1986: Paul Stelson, Oak Ridge National Lab
1985: Hugh Kelly, University of Virginia
1984: Rufus Ritchie, Oak Ridge National Lab
1983: Ivan Sellin, Oak Ridge National Lab
1982: Horst Meyer, Duke University
1981: Albert Fromhold, Auburn University
1980: Horacio Farach, University of South Carolina; Charles Poole, University of South Carolina
1979: Larry Biedenharn, Duke University
1978: E. Dwight Adams, University of Florida
1977: Lawrence Slifkin, UNC-Chapel Hill
1976: Robert Coleman, University of Virginia
1975: Joseph Hamilton, Vanderbilt University
1974: Walter Gordy, Duke University
1973: Earl Plyler, Florida State University

Nominees and award and office holders 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.