LeRoy Apker Award
Awarded foroutstanding achievements in physics by undergraduate students
CountryUnited States
Presented byAmerican Physical Society
First awarded1978

The LeRoy Apker Award is a prize that has been awarded annually by the American Physical Society (APS) since 1978, named after the experimental physicist LeRoy Apker. The recipients are undergraduate students chosen for "outstanding achievements in physics" in order to "provide encouragement to young physicists who have demonstrated great potential for future scientific accomplishment." The Apker award is the highest honor awarded to undergraduate physicists in the United States. Generally, two prizes are awarded each year: one to a student Ph.D. granting institution and one to a student from a non-Ph.D. granting institution. Prior to 1995 the award was granted without institutional distinction, and a single honoree annually was common. The award consists of a $5,000 prize, allowance for traveling to the APS March Meeting to present the work, and a certificate.[1]


Year Recipient Institution at time of award Awarded for Ref.
1978 David E. Heckerman
1979 Louis A. Bloomfield
1980 Richard P. Binzel
1981 Mark B. Ritter
1982 Subir Sachdev
1983 Raymond E. Goldstein
1984 Tak Leuk Kwok
1985 Julia W.P. Hsu
1986 Terrence L. Hwa
1987 Gerard C.L. Wong
C. James Yeh
1988 Leo R. Radzihovsky
1989 Deborah L. Kuchnir
Steven H. Simon
1990 Charles J. Brabec
1991 Dean Lee
Stephen Quake
1992 Christopher Barnes
Justin Mortara
1993 David Kaiser
1994 Arthur Chu Harvard University "For his achievements as an undergraduate student at Harvard University, particularly his research on 'Laser Manipulation of Three Level System'."
Brandon C. Collings Hamilton College "For his achievements as an undergraduate student at Hamilton College, particularly his research on 'Avalanche Upconversion in LaF3:Tm3+'."
Steven S. Gubser Princeton University "For his achievements as an undergraduate student at Princeton University, particularly his research on 'Geodesic Distance in Two-Dimensional Quantum Gravity'."
1995 Benjamin F. Williams Middlebury College "For his achievements as an undergraduate student at Middlebury College, particularly his research on 'Identification and Study of Supernova Remnants in the Galaxy M31'."
Frederick B. Mancoff Stanford University "For his achievements as an undergraduate student at Stanford University, particularly his research on 'Two-Dimensional Electron Transport and Magnetoresistance Effects in a Random Magnetic Dipole Array'."
1996 Benjamin S. Williams Haverford College "For his achievements as an undergraduage student at Haverford College, particularly his research on 'Mixing of a Passive Scalar in Two-Dimensional Turbulence'."
Christopher Schaffer University of Florida "For his achievements as an undergraduate student at the University of Florida, particularly for his research on 'Programmable Shaping of Ultrabroad-bandwidth Pulses from a Ti:sapphire Laser'."
1997 Anna Lopatnikova Massachusetts Institute of Technology "Renormalization-Group Theory of Superfluidity and Phase Separation of Helium Mixtures Immersed in Aerogel."
Cameron Geddes Swarthmore College "Spheromak Equilibrium Studies on SSX."
1998 Brian Richard D'Urso
Gwendolyn Rae Bell Harvey Mudd College "For her achievements as an undergraduate student at Harvey Mudd College and particularly her research Mass of the Milky Way and Dwarf Spheroidal Stream Membership."
1999 Brian Gerke Williams College "For his achievements as an undergraduate student at Williams College and particularly his research entitled, Ultrafast Photoisomerization Dynamics: A Tight-binding Model Applied to Small Alkenes."
Govind Krishnaswami University of Rochester "For his achievements as an undergraduate student at the University of Rochester and particularly his research entitled, A Model of Interacting Partons for Hadronic Structure Functions." [2]
2000 Heather J. Lynch Princeton University "A Kondo Box: Coulomb Blockade and the Kondo Effect in Iron-doped Copper Nanoparticles."
Jacob Jonathan Krich Swarthmore College "Correlation Length and Chirality of Isotropic Short-Range Order in Nematic and Chiral Nematic Liquid Crystals."
Steven J. Oliver University of California, Berkeley "Laser Cooling to High Phase Space Densities."
2001 Kathryn Todd California Institute of Technology "Studies of Double-Layer Two-Dimensional Electron Gases."
Robert Wagner Illinois State University "Intense Laser Physics Theory."
2002 Jason Alicea University of Florida "Resistance of multilayers with long length scale interfacial roughness."
S. Charles Doret Williams College "A Precise Measurement of the Stark Shift in the 6P1/2 �> 7S1/2 378 nm Transition in Atomic Thallium."
2003 Nathaniel Stern Harvey Mudd College "Exchange Anisotropy and Giant Magnetoresistance in Thin Film Spin Valves Containing Ultra-thin IrMn Antiferromagnetic Layers."
Peter Onyisi University of Chicago "Looking for New Invisible Particles."
2004 Jonathan Heckman Princeton University "Large R-charged Sectors of the Ads/CFT Correspondence."
Nathan Oken Hodas Williams College "Oligo-RNA Optimal Binding Calculation." [3]
2005 David W. Miller University of Chicago "Search for high energy axions with the CAST calorimeter." [4]
Matthew Paoletti Bucknell University "Experimental Studies of the Effects of Chaotic Mixing on an Advection-Reaction-Diffusion System."
Nathaniel Craig Harvard University "Tunable Nonlocal Spin Control in a Coupled Quantum Dot System."
2006 Huanqian Loh Massachusetts Institute of Technology "Applications of Correlated Photon Pairs: Sub-Shot Noise Interferometry and Entanglement."
Hugh Churchill Oberlin College "Low-temperature infrared spectroscopy of H2 in solid C60."
Stephanie Moyerman Harvey Mudd College "Magnetic Structure Variations in Spin Valves with Pico-Scale Antiferromagnetic Layers." [5]
2007 Bryce Gadway Colgate University "Creation and Measurement of a Single-Proton Two-Qubit State to Test a Bell-Kochen-Specker Inequality." [6]
Matthew Becker University of Michigan "The Velocity Structure of MAXBCG Galaxy Clusters from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey."
2008 Byron C. Drury Haverford College "Factoring Quantum Logic Gates with Cartan Involutions." [7]
Sujit S. Datta University of Pennsylvania "Surface Potentials and Layer Charge Distributions in Few-Layer Graphene Films."
2009 Bilin Zhuang Wellesley College "Thermodynamics of Ising Systems of the Triangular Kagome Lattice and Small-Model Approximations to Geometrically Frustrated Systems"
Kathryn Greenberg Mount Holyoke College "Thermal Coupling and Lensing in Arrays of Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers" [8]
2010 Chia Wei Hsu Wesleyan University "Self-Assembly of DNA-Linked Nanoparticles."
Christopher Chudzicki Williams College "Parallel Entanglement Distribution on Hypercube Networks." [9]
2011 Bethany Jochim Augustana College "Strong-field dissociation dynamics of NO2+: A multiphoton electronic or vibrational excitation." [10]
Djordje Radicevic Princeton University "Holography from Renormalization Group Flows."
2012 Theodore Yoder Franklin & Marshall College "The Standard Model Extension and its Application to Hydrogen."
Yuliya Dovzhenko Princeton University "Coherent Control of a Semiconductor Charge Qubit." [11]
2013 Guy Geyer Marcus Wesleyan University "Rotational Dynamics of Anisotropic Particles in Turbulence: Measurements of Lagrangian Vorticity and the Effects of Alignment with the Velocity Gradient."
Hao Shi Rochester Institute of Technology "Torsional Optomechanics: A Dialogue Between Spinning Photons and Twisting Oscillators." [12]
2014 Kevin Seltzer Loyola University Maryland "Finite Temperature Casimir Effect for Charged Scalars in a Magnetic Field" [13]
Michael Veit University of Minnesota "Transport Measurements of the Cuprate Superconductor HgBa2Cu4+δ" [14]
2015 Adam Sean Jermyn California Institute of Technology "For original contributions to understanding how the atmospheres of pulsar companions are heated and for elucidating the observational consequences." [15]
Benjamin Lee Augenbraun Williams College "For high-precision measurement of the DC Stark shift in the two-step 5P1/2 —> 6S1/2—> 6P1/2 transition in atomic indium." [16]
2016 Nick Rivera Massachusetts Institute of Technology "For important advances in the field of photonics and exceptional leadership of the Society of Physics Students."
Stephanie Gorczyca University of San Diego "For investigation into the effect of crowding on dynamics of DNA using single-molecule tracking techniques." [17]
2017 Angela F. Harper Wake Forest University "for significant contributions to printed electronics research and outstanding leadership of the Society of Physics Students and Society of Women in STEM fields." [18]
Calvin Leung Harvey Mudd College "for development and experimental implementation of astronomical random number generators for loophole-free tests of Bell’s inequality and other applications in quantum fundamentals, astrophysics, and tests of general relativity."
2018 Eric S. Cooper Pomona College "For outstanding contributions towards understanding the adaptive significance of ballistichory by modeling and comparing the flight of seeds dispersed by Acanthaceae fruits."
Nicholas E. Sherman University of California, Davis "For outstanding undergraduate research in theoretical condensed matter and mathematical physics dealing with the subjects of quantum entanglement in mixed states, NMR in highly frustrated magnets and anyon dispersion in perturbed Toric Code models." [19]
2019 Katelyn Cook Houghton College "For experimental contributions toward the measurement of low-energy nuclear cross sections using inertial confinement fusion." [20]
Tali Khain University of Michigan "For original contributions to understanding the outer solar system, including characterizing the dynamical properties of hundreds of new objects in the Kuiper Belt; establishing the orbital stability of a new dwarf planet; and investigating the effects of a hypothesized distant new planet." [21]
2020 EliseAnne C Koskelo Pomona College "For the development and experimental validation of an analytic model that exploits noise in CCD-based thermoreflectance imaging systems to maximize the thermal resolution of the technique via the stochastic resonance effect." [22]
Nicholas Poniatowski University of Maryland, College Park "For original contributions to understanding the outer solar system, including characterizing the dynamical properties of hundreds of new objects in the Kuiper Belt; establishing the orbital stability of a new dwarf planet; and investigating the effects of a hypothesized distant new planet." [23]

See also


  1. ^ "LeRoy Apker Award". American Physical Society. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Physics Student Named One of Nation's Top Researchers". https. Retrieved 2020-02-12.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Third Williams student in recent years wins Apker award in physics". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  4. ^ "Alumnus Miller receives Apker Award". chronicle.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  5. ^ "Moyerman wins 2006 APS Apker Award". www.ncnr.nist.gov. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  6. ^ "Alumnus wins prestigious physics award for research at Colgate | Colgate University". www.colgate.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  7. ^ "Byron Drury '08 Wins American Physical Society's LeRoy Apker Award". www.haverford.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  8. ^ "MHC's Greenberg '09 Wins Major Physics Award". Mount Holyoke College. 2009-10-05. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  9. ^ "Chris Chudzicki '10 Awarded Leroy Apker Award for Undergraduate Work in Physics". Office of Communications. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  10. ^ "Sept. 29, 2011 | News Releases | News and Communications Services | Kansas State University". www.k-state.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  11. ^ "Congratulations to Yuliya Dovzhenko for winning the 2012 LeRoy Apker Award | Department of Physics". phy.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  12. ^ "Grad wins top award from American Physical Society". RIT. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  13. ^ "Kevin Seltzer wins APS LeRoy Apker Award". Society of Physics Students. 2015-09-09. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  14. ^ "General News - Physics at Minnesota". www.physics.umn.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  15. ^ "Recent Alumnus Adam Jermyn wins 2015 LeRoy Apker Award". pma.divisions.caltech.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  16. ^ "Williams College Alumnus Benjamin Augenbraun Awarded Leroy Apker Award for Undergraduate Work in Physics". williams.edu. Retrieved 2021-01-30.
  17. ^ Gomez, Cassandra (2016-10-26). "Stephanie Gorczyca '16 Wins APS Apker Award". University of San Diego - College of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2020-02-12.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "Angela Harper (Clancy group REU) wins the 2017 LeRoy Apker award from APS | Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering". www.cheme.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  19. ^ "Physics Congratulates LeRoy Apker Awardee | UC Berkeley Physics". physics.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  20. ^ Staff reports. "Houghton alum wins prestigious physics award". The Wellsville Daily Reporter. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  21. ^ "2019 U-M Physics Graduate Wins American Physical Society LeRoy Apker Award | U-M LSA Physics". lsa.umich.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  22. ^ "2020 LeRoy Apker Award Recipient". Retrieved 2021-08-05.
  23. ^ "2020 LeRoy Apker Award Recipient". Retrieved 2021-08-05.