Prizes & Awards

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 September 15, 2023 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:
Vice Chair: Shane Hutson
Vanderbilt University

Past Recipients

  • 2023: Prof. Peter Hirschfeld, University of Florida
  • 2022: Prof. Neil Sullivan, University of Florida
  • 2021: Dr. Latifa  Elouadrhiri, Jefferson Lab
  • 2020: Prof. S. Joseph Poon, University of Virginia
  • 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 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.