First AAPT_ALPhA Awards



College Park, Maryland, March 3, 2017. The AAPT/ALPhA Award recognizes outstanding work in the development of an advanced laboratory apparatus/experiment by an undergraduate physics student at his/her home institution within the United States. National recognition of these projects will encourage their proliferation and help build the next generation of experimental physicists and educators. The award is only conferred if the work by the student or students is of exceptional quality, worthy of a national award comparable to the honor received by undergraduate students for research through the American Physical Society's Apker Award.

The AAPT/ALPhA Award Committee has announced the first recipients of the award: Brandon Thacker, California State University, Chico (2015), and Ryan Scott, Rochester Institute of Technology (2016).

Ryan Scott, under the guidance of faculty supervisors Edwin E. Hach, III and Stefan Preble, is recognized for his project on the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect. Ryan developed this advanced laboratory experiment at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Brandon Thacker, under the guidance of faculty supervisor Dr. Eric Ayars, is recognized for his project on the mechanical chaotic oscillator. Brandon developed this advanced laboratory experiment at California State University, Chico. This project was selected for the 2015 AAPT-ALPhA Award.

As an AAPT-ALPhA awardee, each student will receive a plaque, travel expenses to the American Association of Physics Teachers Summer Meeting in 2017, and a cash honorarium of $4,000. Each student also gave a half hour invited talk at that meeting. The faculty supervisors will receive a citation and travel expenses to the same AAPT meeting.

This award was established in 2014 via an idea presented by TeachSpin to AAPT and ALPhA and will be generously funded by TeachSpin for five years.

About AAPT
The AAPT is the premier national organization and authority on physics and physical science education with members worldwide. Our mission is to advance the greater good through physics education. We provide our members with many opportunities for professional development, communication, and student enrichment. We serve the larger community through a variety of programs and publications. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

About ALPhA
The Advanced Laboratory Physics Association (ALPhA), founded in 2007, is an association of college and university faculty and staff dedicated to advanced experimental physics instruction. ALPhA is independent and separate from the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), the American Physical Society (APS), and the Optical Society of America (OSA), but works with these and other organizations to advance instruction.

About TeachSpin
TeachSpin is dedicated to creating rugged, reliable, and affordable hands-on instruments that any physicist, no matter what his or her area of expertise, can incorporate into an advanced laboratory program. In addition to designing instruments, they work to develop exciting collaborations that enable TeachSpin to offer a broader range of experiments.

For more information: Contact David Wolfe, Director of Communications,, (301) 209-3322, (301) 209-0845 (Fax)