Institute of Physics


Institute of Physics
Institute of Physics
IOP Institute of Physics
Abbreviation IOP
Formation February 1874
Headquarters London
Region served United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland
Membership 40,000
President Sir Peter Knight
Website www.iop.org

The Institute of Physics (IOP) is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics.[1] It has a worldwide membership of around 40,000.

It is the main professional body for physicists in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, and grants the professional qualification of Chartered Physicist (CPhys), as well as Chartered Engineer (CEng) as a nominated body of the Engineering Council.[2] In addition to this, the IOP provides services to its members including careers advice and professional development. As a part of its mission, the IOP works to engage the public with physics and runs the physics.org website, an online guide to physics, and a blog. The IOP is prominent in its work in policy and advocacy, lobbying for stronger support for physics in education, research and industry in the UK. [3]

The IOP's publishing company, IOP Publishing, publishes more than 60 academic titles.[4]

The current chief executive of the IOP is Robert Kirby-Harris, and its current president is Sir Peter Knight.[5]

Contents

History

The Institute of Physics building in Portland Place, London

The present day Institute of Physics was formed in 1960 from the merger of the Physical Society of London, founded in 1874, and the Institute of Physics, founded in 1920.[6]

The Physical Society of London

The Physical Society was founded to provide a forum for the promotion and discussion of physical research. The Society was officially formed on 14 February 1874 with John Hall Gladstone as its first president.[7] From its beginning, the society held open meetings and demonstrations and published Proceedings of the Physical Society.[7] Its membership was broadly based, including eminent academics, schoolteachers and amateur scientists.[6]

The Institute of Physics and the Physical Society

In the early part of the 20th century, the profession of "physicist" emerged, partly as a result of the increased demand for scientists during World War I. In 1917, the Council of the Physical Society, along with the Faraday Society, the Optical Society, and the Roentgen Society, started to explore ways of improving the professional status of physicists.[6] To this end, in 1920, the Institute of Physics was created under special licence from the Board of Trade. Sir Richard Glazebrook was elected first President of the Institute.[8] As with the Physical Society, dissemination of knowledge was fundamental to the Institute, which began publication of the Journal of Scientific Instruments in 1922.[6] The annual Reports on Progress in Physics began in 1934[7] and is still published today.

In 1952, in line with its role in creating and promoting the profession of physicist, the Institute began the "Graduateship" course and examination, which ran until 1984 when the expansion of access to universities removed demand.[6]

Merger

In 1960, the Physical Society and the Institute of Physics merged to create a single organisation, the Institute of Physics and the Physical Society, which combined the learned society tradition of the Physical Society with the professional body tradition of the Institute of Physics.[9] Upon being granted a royal charter in 1970, the organization renamed itself to Institute of Physics.[10]

The modern Institute of Physics is based at 76 Portland Place in London, while its publishing company has its headquarters in Bristol. In addition to its traditional roles of publishing and disseminating knowledge, the Institute is prominent in its work in policy and advocacy, lobbying for stronger support for physics in education, research and industry in the UK.

Membership

There are three grades of membership: Associate Member (AMInstP), Member (MInstP) and Fellow (FInstP). Qualification for AMInstP is normally by completion of an undergraduate degree accredited by the Institute – this covers almost all UK physics degrees.[11] An AMInstP can become an MInstP by gaining professional experience as a physicist and an FInstP by making "an outstanding contribution to the profession". MInstP and FInstP are the two corporate grades of membership, granting the right to vote in Institute elections. There are also student and affiliate grades of membership for those currently studying physics degrees and those who do not have accredited degrees (or equivalent experience).[12] The Institute grants academic dress to the various grades of membership.[13] Those who have passed the Institute's graduateeship examination are entitled to a violet damask Oxford burgon-shaped hood. Corporate members are entitled to wear a hood of Toronto shape in violet damask, lined in violet and faced on the cowl with crimson silk.[13]

Qualifications

The IOP accredits undergraduate degrees (BSc/BA and MSci/MPhys) in Physics in British and Irish universities.[11] At post-16 level, the IOP developed the 'Advancing Physics' A-level course, in conjunction with the OCR examining board, which is accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Advancing Physics was sold to Oxford University Press in January 2011.[14] The IOP also developed the Integrated Sciences degree, which is run at four universities in England.[15]

Chartered Status

The Institute grants the professional title of Chartered Physicist (CPhys) as well as Chartered Engineer (CEng) as a nominated body of the Engineering Council. Until 1998 CPhys was granted automatically with MInstP, however since then it has become a separate qualification that is equal in stature to Chartered Engineer. In order to gain the CPhys qualification, a physicist must be appropriately qualified (an MSci or MPhys undergraduate master's degree is standard, although experience leading to an equivalent level can be counted), have had a minimum of two years of structured training and a minimum of two years responsible work experience, have demonstrated a commitment to continuing professional development, and have gained a number of competencies.

National and regional branches

The IOP operates 13 national and regional branches in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The subsidiary IOP Publishing has offices in the USA, China, Japan and Russia.

Governance

An elected Council[16] governs and controls the affairs of the Institute. The Council meets four times a year and has up to 25 members of whom 16 are elected by members of the Institute.

Presidents of the Institute of Physics

The President of the Institute is the head of the Council of the Institute. The President is now elected by the membership of the Institute and serves a term of two years. The current President is Sir Peter Knight. The history of the Institute, from its founding as the Physical Society of London through to today's Institute has meant that the name of the post held has varied.[7]

Presidents of the Physical Society of London

Presidents of the Physical Society

Presidents of the Institute of Physics

Presidents of the Institute of Physics and the Physical Society

Presidents of the Institute of Physics

Awards

The Institute of Physics bestows several awards to recognise and reward outstanding achievements in physics, in research, teaching, outreach work and industry. The awards are presented at a high-profile ceremony held annually in central London. The awards include:[17]

  • The Isaac Newton Medal, an international prize, awarded for outstanding contributions to physics.
  • Moseley Medal and Prize (formerly the Boys Medal and Prize), for distinguished research in experimental physics, which recognises physicists early in their careers.
  • Bragg Medal and Prize, for significant contributions to physics education.
  • Appleton Medal and Prize (formerly the Chree Medal and Prize), for distinguished research in environmental, earth or atmospheric physics.
  • Gabor Medal and Prize (formerly the Duddell Medal and Prize), for distinguished work in the application of physics in an industrial, commercial or business context, including work that has enhanced the economic or social well being of the UK or Ireland.
  • Dirac Medal and Prize, for outstanding contributions to theoretical physics.
  • Faraday Medal and Prize (formerly the Guthrie Medal and Prize), for an internationally outstanding body of work in experimental physics.
  • Glazebrook Medal and Prize, for outstanding contributions to physics organizations or the application of physics.
  • Kelvin Medal and Prize, for contributions to the public understanding of science.
  • Maxwell Medal and Prize, for outstanding contributions to theoretical physics, mathematical or computational physics which recognises physicists early in their careers.
  • Mott Medal and Prize, for distinguished research in condensed matter physics or material physics.
  • Paterson Medal and Prize, for outstanding contributions by a physicist early in their career to the application of physics and its commercial exploitation.
  • Rutherford Medal and Prize, for distinguished research in nuclear physics or nuclear technology.
  • Young Medal and Prize, for distinguished research in the field of optics, including work related to physics outside the visible region.
  • Business and Innovation Medal and Prize, for outstanding contributions to the organisation or application of physics in an industrial or commercial context.
  • Chadwick Medal and Prize, for distinguished research in particle physics.
  • Hoyle Medal and Prize, for distinguished research in astrophysics, gravitational physics or cosmology
  • Franklin Medal and Prize, for distinguished research in physics applied to the life sciences.
  • Joule Medal and Prize, for distinguished research in applied physics.
  • Payne-Gaposchkin Medal and Prize, for distinguished research in plasma, solar or space physics.
  • Rayleigh Medal and Prize, for distinguished research in theoretical, mathematical or computational physics.
  • Tabor Medal and Prize, for distinguished research in surface or nanoscale physics.
  • Thomson Medal and Prize, for distinguished research in atomic or molecular physics.

IOP Publishing

IOP Publishing is a wholly owned subsidiary of the IOP with offices in Bristol, Philadelphia, Tokyo, Beijing and Washington DC. It won the Queen's Award for Export Achievement in 1990, 1995 and 2000 and publishes a large number of journals, websites and magazines, including:

IOP Publishing also operates specialist 'community websites':

  • medicalphysicsweb.org - A website for the medical physics community.
  • eprintweb.org - An e-print front end to the arXiv.org service.
  • compoundsemiconductor.net - Contains news, articles from Compound Semiconductors and a Buyer's Guide. A resource for the compound semiconductor community.
  • nanotechweb.org - Provides news, resources and events listings for nanotechnology community.
  • cerncourier.com - Computer Newsletter section, Buyer’s Guide and the Jobs Watch directory.
  • fibers.org - news, analysis, buyers guide and recruitment service for optical networking community.
  • environmentalresearchweb.org - A source of information on issues from global warming to waste management and renewable energy sources.

PhysicsWorld

Physics World is the membership magazine of the Institute of Physics. It was launched in 1988 by IOP Publishing Ltd and has established itself as one of the world's leading physics magazines. It, and its associated website, PhysicsWorld.com (formerly PhysicsWeb.org), provides news and information relating to the study and application of physics. The most significant content of the magazine is news, employment, and upcoming-events-related information. Several of these services were originally part of a web site called The Internet Pilot to Physics or 'TIPTOP'.

See also

References

External links


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