2023 Essay Contest
The Forum on the History and Philosophy of Physics (FHPP) of the American Physical Society is proud to announce the outcome of our 2023 History of Physics Essay Contest. We received thirty entries from seven countries: the United States, Australia, Germany, India, Oman, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The entries were evaluated by our FHPP Executive Committee. The essays were judged on originality, clarity, and potential to contribute to the field.
The 2023 Winner Is:
Rebecka Mähring -- for the outstanding essay, "Hilde Levi: A Jewish Woman's Life in Physics in the 20th Century." This inspiring account of Dr. Hilde Levi's life describes her pioneering interdisciplinary labors in biophysics and on the applications of radioisotopes. Levi collaborated with various other physicists, scientists, and medical professionals. Her unpretentious kindness enabled her to fulfill, renegotiate, and transcend traditional gender roles.
An abridged version will be published as the Back Page of APS News. Rebecka Mähring receives a cash award of $1,000.00, plus support (up to a $2,000.00 value) for travel, registration, hotel lodging and meals, to be an Invited Speaker at the APS April 2024 Meeting in Sacramento, California, to present a talk based on the essay.
We also award three Runners-Up, in a three-way tie, with cash awards of $500 each. In alphabetical order, they are: Stefano Farinella, “Galileo’s Use of Mathematics in its Historical Context”; Preetha Sarkar, “Meghnad Saha: A Win for Science”; and Jessica Schonhut-Stasik, “The Transit of Venus, King Kalākaua, and Indigenous Knowing.” Below, we include information about each award recipient, links to their commendable essays, and past winners.
The FHPP Essay Contest promotes interest in the history of physics. The contest is intended for undergraduate and graduate students but is open to anyone without a Ph.D. in physics or history. Entries can address the work of physicists, physics discoveries, or other related topics. At 2,500 words, entries should be scholarly and accessible to scientists and historians. Previously published work, excerpts, or entries with multiple authors are not accepted.
On behalf of FHPP, I congratulate the four Award Winners, and I warmly thank all other participants too for submitting essays. In a few weeks, we will announce our 2024 Essay Contest, on this webpage.
Alberto Martinez, Chair of APS FHPP