Prize Lectures

The Yale Physics Department sponsors Prize Lectures in Physics with the aim of bringing distinguished scientists to Yale that they may present results of forefront, groundbreaking research where they have played significant roles, and to interact with our faculty, research staff, and students.  These are each an annual or bi-annual lecture series of general interest to the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics.  The series is aimed at graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, research staff and faculty.

Leigh Page Prize Lectures

The Leigh Page Prize Lecture series are given each year by a distinguished physicist in honor of Leigh Page who received his PhD in Physics from Yale in 1913. He was later acting Chair and Director of the Sloane Physics Laboratory. Professor Page devoted his time to teaching (mostly graduate classes), research, and writing several textbooks. Since 1967, several speakers in the Leigh Page Prize Lecture series have later received Nobel Prizes and other and notable awards. In connection with the lecture series, a prize is offered to first year graduate students in recognition of their fine academic record and for the promise of important contributions to the field of physics. This year’s winners.

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2019: Raymond E. Goldstein

2018: Nergis Mavalvala

2016: John Preskill

Hanan Rosenthal Memorial Lecture

The Hanan Rosenthal Memorial Lecture was established in honor of physicist Hanan Rosenthal, a brilliant graduate student at Columbia University and instructor at Yale. This annual lecture in atomic physics started in 1973, Rosenthal’s field, is given by a distinguished leader in the field. Originally, the lecture series alternated between Columbia and Yale, which were both significant in Hanan Rosenthal’s career; in recent years, the lecture has been held only at Yale University.

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2019: Immanuel Bloch

2018: Alain Aspect

Miller-Breit Memorial Lecture 

The Miller-Breit Memorial Lecture was established in honor of John Milton Miller (B.A. 1904, M.A. 1907, Ph.D. 1915) in order to bring a distinguished lecturer in physics to Yale each year. Annual lectures were started in 1966 and held until 1992 and then several lectures were done 2005-2007 and 2012.

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2012: Eugenio Coccia

2007: Robert H. Socolow

2006: Steven Block

Vernon W. Hughes Lecture

The Vernon W. Hughes Lecture was established in honor of Vernon W. Hughes, Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale University and Elementary Particle Physicist to be used to fund the the lectorship with a portion used to support the facilites within which the lecturship and other activities of the department take place. Hughes was on the Yale faculty from 1954 until his retirement in 1991. He was Sterling Professor, the highest honor that Yale can bestow.

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2018: Elena Aprile

2016: Giorgio Gratta

2014: Immanuel Bloch

Howard L. Schultz, Sr. Prize Lecture

The Howard L. Schultz, Sr. Prize Lecture is given each year by a distinguished physicist in honor of Howard L. Schultz, Sr. who received his PhD in Physics from Yale in 1937, where he was an instructor from 1938 until 1940. Professor Schultz joined the Yale physics faculty in 1945, and immediately began work in building atom‐smashing devices. Between 1961 and 1976 he was director of the Electron Linear Accelerator laboratory. Earlier, in 1951, he headed a project that expanded the Yale linear accelerator to a 15‐section, 6.5 million‐electron‐volt machine. Upon his death in 1977, a prize was started and awarded to seniors majoring in physics in recognition of their fine academic record and for the promise of important contributions to the field of physics. This lecture is usually held in the Spring term and speakers are suggested and invited by the Yale Society of Physics Students (SPS).

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2019: F. Duncan Haldane

2018: Nema Arkani-Hamed

Beatrice Tinsley Prize Lecture

The Beatrice Tinsley Prize Lecture is given each year by a distinguished physicist in honor of Beatrice Muriel Hill Tinsley, the first female professor of astronomy at Yale, where she worked from 1974 until her death in 1981. Her work on disk galaxies has proven foundational in the decades following her passing. In 2016, the Yale Society of Physics Students inaugurated the Beatrice Tinsley Prize Lecture, which saw the invitation of Asimina Arvanitaki. This prize was started to honor Tinsley’s myriad contributions and to encourage collaboration and contact between distinguished physicists and the Yale undergraduate physics community. The speaker is jointly invited and hosted by the Society of Physics Students, Women in Physics, and undergraduate students from Astronomy.

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2020: Donna Strickland

2019: Wolfgang Ketterle

2018: Asimina Arvanitaki