Comstock Prize in Physics
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Comstock Prize in Physics

The Comstock Prize in Physics is awarded by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences "for recent innovative discovery or investigation in electricity, magnetism, or radiant energy, broadly interpreted." [1]

Honorees must be residents of North America. Named after Cyrus B. Comstock, it has been awarded about every five years since 1913.

List of Comstock Prize winners

Year Recipient Citation
1913 Robert A. Millikan
1918 Samuel Jackson Barnett
1923 William Duane For his work on "relations of fundamental their bearings upon modern theories of the structure of matter and on the mechanism of radiation."
1928 Clinton J. Davisson In recognition of his experimental work demonstrating that under certain conditions, electrons behave as we would expect trains of waves to behave.
1933 Percy W. Bridgman For his investigations leading to increased understanding of the electrical constitution of matter.
1938 Ernest O. Lawrence
1943 Donald W. Kerst 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.
1948 Merle A.Tuve 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.
1953 William Shockley 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.
1958 Charles H. Townes
1963 C. S. Wu
1968 Leon N Cooper and J. Robert Schrieffer
1973 Robert H. Dicke
1978 Raymond Davis, Jr.
1983 Theodor W. Hänsch and Peter P. Sorokin
1988 Paul C. W. Chu and Maw-Kuen Wu For discovery of superconductivity in yttrium barium copper oxide and similar compounds above the boiling point of nitrogen -- a major scientific and technological breakthrough.
1993 Charles P. Slichter


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.
1993 E. L. Hahn (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.
1999 John Clarke 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.
2004 John N. Bahcall 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.
2009 Charles L. Bennett 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.
2014 Deborah S. Jin 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.
2019 Michal Lipson For her pioneering contributions to silicon photonics based on high confinement optical structures including the demonstration of electro-optic modulation in silicon, parametric oscillation, and extreme confinement of light in waveguides.

See also


  1. ^ "Comstock Prize in Physics". NAS. Retrieved 2017.

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