Header Comstock Prize in Physics

Header Comstock Prize in Physics

About the Comstock Prize in Physics

Awarded to recognize a North American resident for a recent innovative discovery or investigation in electricity, magnetism, or radiant energy. The recipient is awarded a $25,000 prize and $25,000 is provided to an institution of the recipient's choice. Established through the Cyrus B. Comstock Fund. 

Most Recent Recipient

Deborah S. Jin, a physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, professor adjunct in the department of physics at the University of Colorado, and a fellow of the JILA, recieved the 2014 Comstock Prize in Physics. Jin was honored for landmark experiments that demonstrated quantum degeneracy and the formation of a molecular Bose-Einstein condensate in fermionic atomic gases cooled to less than 100 billionths of a degree above zero using magnetic traps and lasers. 


Deborah S. Jin (2014)
For demonstrating quantum degeneracy and the formation of a molecular Bose‐Einstein condensate in ultra‐cold fermionic atomic gases, and for pioneering work in polar molecular quantum chemistry.

Charles L. Bennett (2009)
For his mapping of the cosmic microwave background and determining the universe's age, mass-energy content, geometry, expansion rate, and reionization epoch with unprecedented precision.

John N. Bahcall (2004)
For his many contributions to astrophysics, especially his definitive work on solar models and his crucial role in identifying and resolving the solar neutrino problem.

John Clarke (1999)
For his major contributions to the development of superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDS) and their use for scientific measurements, especially involving electricity, magnetism, and electromagnetic waves.

E. L. Hahn (1993, shared)
For his revolutionary discoveries in magnetic resonance and coherent optics, in particular for the Hahn Spin Echo, the Hartman-Hahn Cross-polarization, and self-induced transparency.

Charles P. Slichter (1993, shared)
For his seminal contributions to the development and application of magnetic resonance in condensed matter, including the first experimental proof of pairing correlations in superconductors and fundamental studies in surface science and catalysis.

Paul C. W. Chu and Maw-Kuen Wu (1988)
For discovery of superconductivity in yttrium barium copper oxide and similar compounds above the boiling point of nitrogen -- a major scientific and technological breakthrough.

Theodor W. Hansch and Peter P. Sorokin (1983)

Raymond Davis, Jr. (1978)

Robert H. Dicke (1973)

Leon N Cooper and J. Robert Schrieffer (1968)

C. S. Wu (1963)

Charles H. Townes (1958)

William Shockley (1953)
For his pioneering investigations and exposition of electric and magnetic properties of solid materials; in particular for his researches in the conduction of electricity by electrons and holes in semiconductors.

Merle A. Tuve (1948)
For his pioneering work on the upper atmosphere and his development of the electrical pulse method of study; for his pioneering work in nuclear physics utilizing the electrostatic generator; and for his development of the proximity fuse.

Donald W. Kerst (1943)
For his pioneer work in connection with the development of the betatron and the results which he obtained with this new and powerful scientific tool.

Ernest O. Lawrence (1938)

Percy W. Bridgman (1933)
For his investigations leading to increased understanding of the electrical constitution of matter.

Clinton J. Davisson (1928)
In recognition of his experimental work demonstrating that under certain conditions, electrons behave as we would expect trains of waves to behave.

William Duane (1923)

Samuel J. Barnett (1918)

Robert A. Millikan (1913)


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