October 6, 2010



The Landau- Spitzer Award



The American Physical Society (APS) and the European Physical Society (EPS), through their respective Plasma Physics Divisions, will give an award for outstanding contributions in plasma physics.

The award will be called:

The LEV D. LANDAU AND LYMAN SPITZER Jr. AWARD for Outstanding Contributions to Plasma Physics

The Award will be given to an individual or group of researchers not exceeding three, who has made outstanding theoretical, experimental or technical contribution(s) in plasma physics, and has advanced the collaboration and unity between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA). The award may be given to a team or collaboration of up to four persons if such a team consists of individuals from both the EU and the USA. The areas of plasma physics covered by the Award include, but are not limited to, fundamental plasma physics, fusion plasmas, astrophysical or space plasmas, low-temperature plasmas, or high-energy-density plasmas.


1)    The Award will be given in alternate years, chosen by a joint APS-EPS selection committee comprised of 6 members, 3 from each society. The membership of the selection committee to evaluate the nominations is proposed every two years by the Chairperson of the APS Division of Plasma Physics and the Chairperson of the Board of the EPS Plasma Physics Division, based on the guidance of their designated nominating committees or officer(s). The membership is subject to approval by the President-elect of the APS and the Executive Board of the EPS.

2)    At least every second time (i.e, every 4 years) the Award is given to an early career researcher. If it is awarded to a team in those years, not all the members need to be early career researchers. An early career researcher is defined as an individual in the first 10 years of a research career, e.g. at most 10 years following the award of a PhD.

3)    The Award cannot be awarded posthumously; no person may be awarded the Award more than once.

4)    The Award comprises of a diploma with a citation and a money award of US $ 4000.

5)    The Landau-Spitzer Award Fund will be created to which the APS and EPS Plasma Physics Divisions will contribute each with $2000 per award. The organizers of the conference where the award is presented will contribute the costs of the diploma, waive the registration fee for attending the conference, and pay the winners the cost of travel to the conference. The winner(s) and their spouse(s) will be given free banquet tickets.

6)    The nominations must comprise the name and address of both proposing and proposed individuals or teams, and a citation, which will be printed onto the diploma.

7)    The winner will be recommended by a vote of the joint Selection Committee. In case of a tie between two persons (or a teams), the Chair of the Selection Committee will continue to debate the supporting materials and repeat the vote until a winner emerges. The committee may decide not to recommend a winner for the Award in a particular year if the nominations do not meet the criteria established above.

8)    Personal application for the Award is not permitted; members of the Executive Committee (EXCOM) of the APS Division of Plasma Physics, or members of the Board of the EPS Plasma Physics Divisions cannot be nominated.

9)    The Award Committee Chair will be selected in bi-annual rotation between the APS and EPS members. The rotation sequence is to be decided at the first meeting by consensus or drawing lots. A Vice Chair is appointed from the opposite society by Chair of the selection committee based on consensus. The Vice Chair will become the Chair for the next round of nominations two years later. All other committee members must be replaced every two years.

10) The discussions and decisions on the nominations are strictly confidential. The Selection Committee members are not allowed to discuss any aspect of the nomination procedure with third parties.

11) Once the selection committee has decided on the candidate(s), it must submit the nomination for approval by the APS Executive Board and the EPS Board. Approval by both Boards is necessary for determining the award recipient(s). The winner(s) must also be approved by the Secretary of the EPS before the winner(s) becomes official.

12)  The winner of the Award will be made public by having the citation posted on the respective websites of both societies, and also printed, generally in the APS Bulletin and the Europhysics News. The winner(s) will be notified by the usual procedures in such events by both societies.

13)  If necessary, later modifications of the statutes can be executed by mutual agreement between the APS DPP EXCOM and the EPS PPD Board, followed by approval of both APS and EPS.

14) The winning person or team will be offered an invited talk at the forthcoming annual conference of APS-DPP (usually early November) or EPS-PPD (usually end of June,or first week of July), depending on the preference of the winner(s).