Physical Review

Last updated
Physical Review 
Discipline Physics
Edited by Michael Thoennessen (Editor in Chief)
Publication details
Publication history
1893–1913 Series I
1913–1970 Series II
1970–present Series III
1970–present Phys. Rev. A, B, C, D
1993–present Phys. Rev. E
1998–present Phys. Rev. AB
2005–present Phys. Rev. PER
2008–present Physics
2011–present Phys. Rev. X
2014–present Phys. Rev. Applied
2016–present Phys. Rev. Fluids
2017–present Phys. Rev. Materials
Standard abbreviations
Phys. Rev.

Physical Review is an American peer-reviewed scientific journal established in 1893 by Edward Nichols. It publishes original research as well as scientific and literature reviews on all aspects of physics. It is published by the American Physical Society (APS). The journal is in its third series, and is split in several sub-journals each covering a particular field of physics. It has a sister journal, Physical Review Letters , which publishes shorter articles of broader interest.

Peer review evaluation of work by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work

Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competences as the producers of the work (peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are used to maintain quality standards, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication. Peer review can be categorized by the type of activity and by the field or profession in which the activity occurs, e.g., medical peer review.

Scientific journal Periodical journal publishing scientific research

In academic publishing, a scientific journal is a periodical publication intended to further the progress of science, usually by reporting new research.

Edward Leamington Nichols American physicist

Edward Leamington Nichols was an American physicist.



Physical Review commenced publication in July 1893, organized by Cornell University professor Edward Nichols and helped by the new president of Cornell, J. Gould Schurman. The journal was managed and edited at Cornell in upstate New York from 1893 to 1913 by Nichols, Ernest Merritt, and Frederick Bedell. The 33 volumes published during this time constitute Physical Review Series I.

Cornell University Private Ivy League research university in Upstate New York

Cornell University is a private and statutory Ivy League research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell's founding principle, a popular 1868 Ezra Cornell quotation: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."

New York (state) State of the United States of America

New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.

Ernest Merritt American physicist

Ernest George Merritt was Dean of the Graduate School, Cornell University; Chair of the Physics Department.

The American Physical Society (APS), founded in 1899, took over its publication in 1913 and started Physical Review Series II. The journal remained at Cornell under editor-in-chief G. S. Fulcher from 1913 to 1926, before relocating to the location of editor John Torrence Tate, Sr. [note 1] at the University of Minnesota. In 1929, the APS started publishing Reviews of Modern Physics , a venue for longer review articles.

The American Physical Society (APS) is the world's second largest organization of physicists. The Society publishes more than a dozen scientific journals, including the prestigious Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, and organizes more than twenty science meetings each year. APS is a member society of the American Institute of Physics.

An editor-in-chief, also known as lead editor or chief editor, is a publication's editorial leader who has final responsibility for its operations and policies. The highest ranking editor of a publication may also be titled editor, managing editor, or executive editor, but where these titles are held while someone else is editor-in-chief, the editor-in-chief outranks the others.

University of Minnesota public research university in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses are approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) apart, and the St. Paul campus is actually in neighboring Falcon Heights. It is the oldest and largest campus within the University of Minnesota system and has the sixth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 50,943 students in 2018-19. The university is the flagship institution of the University of Minnesota system, and is organized into 19 colleges and schools, with sister campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester.

During the Great Depression, wealthy scientist Alfred Loomis anonymously paid the journal's fees for authors who could not afford them. [1]

Great Depression 20th-century worldwide economic depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.

Alfred Lee Loomis American businessman

Alfred Lee Loomis was an American attorney, investment banker, philanthropist, scientist, physicist, inventor of the LORAN Long Range Navigation System, and a lifelong patron of scientific research. He established the Loomis Laboratory in Tuxedo Park, New York, and his role in the development of radar and the atomic bomb contributed to the Allied victory in World War II. He invented the Aberdeen Chronograph for measuring muzzle velocities, contributed significantly to the development of a ground-controlled approach technology for aircraft, and participated in preliminary meetings of the Manhattan Project.

After Tate's death in 1950, the journals were managed on an interim basis still in Minnesota by E. L. Hill and J. William Buchta until Samuel Goudsmit and Simon Pasternack were appointed and the editorial office moved to Brookhaven National Laboratory on Eastern Long Island, New York. In July 1958, the sister journal Physical Review Letters was introduced to publish short articles of particularly broad interest, initially edited by George L. Trigg, who remained as editor until 1988.

Samuel Goudsmit Dutch physicist

Samuel Abraham Goudsmit was a Dutch-American physicist famous for jointly proposing the concept of electron spin with George Eugene Uhlenbeck in 1925.

Brookhaven National Laboratory United States Department of Energy national laboratory

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory located in Upton, New York, on Long Island, and was formally established in 1947 at the site of Camp Upton, a former U.S. Army base. Its name stems from its location within the Town of Brookhaven, approximately 60 miles east of New York City.

Long Island island in New York, United States of America

Long Island is a densely populated island off the East Coast of the United States, beginning at New York Harbor approximately 0.35 miles (0.56 km) from Manhattan Island and extending eastward into the Atlantic Ocean. The island comprises four counties in the U.S. state of New York. Kings and Queens Counties and Nassau County share the western third of the island, while Suffolk County occupies the eastern two-thirds. More than half of New York City's residents now live on Long Island, in Brooklyn and Queens. However, many people in the New York metropolitan area colloquially use the term Long Island to refer exclusively to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, which are mainly suburban in character, conversely employing the term the City to mean Manhattan alone.

In 1970, Physical Review split into sub-journals Physical Review A, B, C, and D. A fifth member of the family, Physical Review E, was introduced in 1993 to a large part to accommodate the huge amount of new research in nonlinear dynamics. Combined, these constitute Physical Review Series III.

The editorial office moved in 1980 to its present location across the expressway from Brookhaven National Laboratory. Goudsmit retired in 1974 and Pasternack in the mid-1970s. Past Editors in Chief include David Lazarus (1980–1990; University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign), Benjamin Bederson (1990–1996; New York University), Martin Blume (1996–2007; Brookhaven National Laboratory), and Gene Sprouse (2007–2015; SUNY Stony Brook). The current Editor in Chief is Michael Thoennessen, whose term began in September 2017. [2]

To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the journal, a memoir was published jointly by the APS and AIP. [3]

In 1998, the first issue of Physical Review Special Topics: Accelerators and Beams was published, and in 2005, Physical Review Special Topics: Physics Education Research was launched. In January 2016 the names of both journals were changed to remove "Special Topics". [4] Physical Review also started an online magazine, Physical Review Focus , in 1998 to explain and provide historical context for selected articles from Physical Review and Physical Review Letters. This was merged into Physics in 2011. The Special Topics journals are open access; Physics Education Research requires page charges from the authors, but Accelerators and Beams does not. Though not fully open access, Physical Review Letters also requires an author page charge, although this is voluntary. The other journals require such a charge only if manuscripts are not prepared in one of the preferred formats. [5] Authors can pay extra charges to make their papers open access. [6] Such papers are published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (CC-BY). [7] Physical Review Letters celebrated their 50th birthday in 2008. [8] The APS has a copyright policy to permit the author to reuse parts of the published article in a derivative or new work, including on Wikipedia. [9]

The APS has an online publication entitled Physics, [10] aiming to help physicists and physics students to learn about new developments outside of their own subfield. This now includes the general-interest articles that appeared as Physical Review Focus. It also publishes Physical Review X, [11] an online-only open access journal. It is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes, as timely as possible, original research papers from all areas of pure, applied, and interdisciplinary physics. In 2014 Physical Review Applied [12] began publishing research across all aspects of experimental and theoretical applications of physics, including their interactions with other sciences, engineering, and industry. In 2016 the APS launched Physical Review Fluids "to include additional areas of fluid dynamics research", [13] and in 2017 it launched Physical Review Materials "to fill a gap" in the coverage of materials research. [14]


Journal ISO 4 abbreviationEditor(s) Impact factor (2016)PublishedScopeISSNWebsite
Physical Review, Series IPhys. Rev.1893–1912All of Physics All volumes
Physical Review, Series II [note 2] Phys. Rev.1913–1969All of Physics Archive of All volumes
Physical Review Letters Phys. Rev. Lett. Hugues Chate
Reinhardt B. Schuhmann
Robert Garisto
Sami Mitra
8.4621958–presentImportant fundamental research in all fields of physics ISSN   0031-9007 (print)
ISSN   1079-7114 (web)
Physical Review A [note 2] Phys. Rev. A Gordon W. F. Drake
Thomas Pattard
2.9251970–present Atomic, molecular, and optical physics and quantum information ISSN   1050-2947 (print)
ISSN   1094-1622 (web)
Physical Review B [note 2] Phys. Rev. B Laurens W. Molenkamp
Anthony M. Begley
3.8361970–present Condensed matter and materials physics ISSN   1098-0121 (print)
ISSN   1550-235X (web)
Physical Review CPhys. Rev. C Benjamin F. Gibson
Christopher Wesselborg
3.8201970–present Nuclear physics ISSN   0556-2813 (print)
ISSN   1089-490X (web)
Physical Review DPhys. Rev. D Erick J. Weinberg
Urs Heller
4.5061970–present Particles, fields, gravitation, and cosmology ISSN   1550-7998 (print)
ISSN   1550-2368 (web)
Physical Review E Phys. Rev. E Eli Ben-Naim
Dirk Jan Bukman
2.3661993–present Statistical, nonlinear, biological and soft matter physics ISSN   1539-3755 (print)
ISSN   1550-2376 (web)
Physical Review X Phys. Rev. X Cristina Marchetti
Jean-Michel Raimond
Ling Miao
12.7892011–present"Broad subject coverage encouraging communication across related fields" ISSN   2160-3308 (web) All volumes
Physical Review Accelerators and BeamsPhys. Rev. Accel. Beams Frank Zimmermann 1.4441998–present Particle accelerators and beams ISSN   2469-9888 (web) All volumes
Physical Review Physics Education ResearchPhys. Rev. Phys. Ed. Res.Charles Henderson2.0832005–present Physics education research ISSN   2469-9896 (web) All volumes
Physics PhysicsJessica Thomas2008–presentAll of Physics ISSN   1943-2879 (web) All volumes
Physical Review Applied Phys. Rev. Appl.Stephan Forrest

Julie Kim-Zajonz

4.8082014–present"All aspects of experimental and theoretical applications of physics" ISSN   2331-7019 (web) All volumes
Physical Review FluidsPhys. Rev. Fluids John Kim
L. Gary Leal
2.0212016–present"Innovative research that will significantly advance the fundamental understanding of fluid dynamics" ISSN   2469-990X (web) All volumes
Physical Review MaterialsPhys. Rev. Mater. Chris Leighton 2017–present"high-quality original research in materials" ISSN   2475-9953 (web) All volumes


  1. Not to be confused with his son, the number theorist John Torrence Tate Jr.
  2. 1 2 3 Volumes 133-140 of the Series II in years 1964 and 1965 were split into issues A and B. Later they were unified into a single series again. [15] They are different from Phys. Rev. A and B of the third series. For example "Phys. Rev. 133 A1 (1964)" is an article of Ser. II, while "Phys. Rev. A 1 1 (1970) is of Phys. Rev. A.

Related Research Articles

Physical Review Letters (PRL), established in 1958, is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal that is published 52 times per year by the American Physical Society. As also confirmed by various measurement standards, which include the Journal Citation Reports impact factor and the journal h-index proposed by Google Scholar, many physicists and other scientists consider Physical Review Letters to be one of the most prestigious journals in the field of physics.

David Lee (physicist) physicist and Nobel Prize winner from the United States

David Morris Lee is an American physicist who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics with Robert C. Richardson and Douglas Osheroff "for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3."

Reviews of Modern Physics is a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Physical Society. It was established in 1929 and the current editor-in-chief is Michael Thoennessen. The journal publishes review articles, usually by established researchers, on all aspects of physics and related fields. The reviews are usually accessible to non-specialists and serve as introductory material to graduate students, which survey recent work, discuss key problems to be solved and provide perspectives toward the end. RMP is arguably one of the most, if not the most, prestigious, authoritative and highly impacting journals in the field of physics. Its most recent impact factor for 2016 is 36.917 with a 5-year impact factor of 45.547.

Kurt Wiesenfeld is an American physicist working primarily on non-linear dynamics. His works primarily concern stochastic resonance, spontaneous synchronization of coupled oscillators, and non-linear laser dynamics. Since 1987, he has been professor of physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

<i>Physical Review B</i> journal

Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal, published by the American Physical Society (APS). The Editor of PRB is Laurens W. Molenkamp. It is part of the Physical Review family of journals. The current Editor in Chief is Michael Thoennessen. PRB currently publishes over 4500 papers a year, making it one of the largest physics journals in the world. According to the Journal Citation Reports, PRB's most recent impact factors have been 3.736 for 2014, 3.718 for 2015 and 3.836 for 2016.

Walter Selke is a German retired professor for Theoretical Physics at the RWTH Aachen.

Daniel Amihud Lidar is the holder of the Viterbi Professorship of Engineering at the University of Southern California, where he is a Professor of Electrical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy. He is the Director and co-founder of the USC Center for Quantum Information Science & Technology (CQIST) as well as Scientific Director of the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computation Center, notable for his research on control of quantum systems and quantum information processing.

Shlomo Havlin Israeli physicist

Shlomo Havlin is a Professor in the Department of Physics at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel. He served as President of the Israel Physical Society (1996–1999), Dean of Faculty of Exact Sciences (1999–2001), Chairman, Department of Physics (1984–1988).

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Tung-Mow Yan is a Taiwanese-born American physicist, who has specialized in theoretical particle physics; primarily in the structure of elementary particles, the standard model, and quantum chromodynamics. He is professor emeritus at Cornell University.

Physical Review Applied is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal, published by the American Physical Society (APS). The journal is edited by Stephen R. Forrest and it published 430 papers in 2017 on the subject of applied physics. It is part of the Physical Review family of journals.

Ann Heinson is an American high-energy particle physicist known for her work on single top quark physics. She established and lead the DØ Single Top Group which first published experimental observations of the top quark, and in 1997 she co-authored a paper which laid the foundations for further investigation into the top quark.

Dr. Judy Franz is an American physicist, educator and the former Executive Officer of the American Physical Society. She received her B.A in physics in 1959 from Cornell University and pursued graduate studies in physics at the University of Illinois where she earned a master's degree in 1961 and a Ph.D. in 1965. Shortly after earning her Ph.D., she worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the IBM research laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland from 1965 to 1967, before returning to America to serve as a physics professor at Indiana University for 18 years. After her time at Indiana University, Franz spent 5 years on the faculty of West Virginia University and three years on the faculty of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In 1994, she took a five-year leave of absence from her faculty position to assume her position as executive officer of the American Physical Society (APS).

David Joseph Singh is a theoretical physicist who is a curators' professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. He was previously a corporate fellow at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Elihu Abrahams was a theoretical physicist, specializing in condensed matter physics.

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K. Birgitta Whaley is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of California Berkeley and a senior faculty scientist in the Division of Chemical Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. At UC Berkeley, Whaley is the Director of the Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center, a member of the executive board for the Center for Quantum Coherent Science, and a member of the Kavli Energy Nanosciences Institute. At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Whaley is a member of the Quantum Algorithms Team for Chemical Sciences in the research area of resource-efficient algorithms.

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