The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP ) is an international
non-governmental organization A non-governmental organization, or simply an NGO, is an organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of ...
whose mission is to assist in the worldwide development of
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...

, to foster international cooperation in physics, and to help in the application of physics toward solving problems of concern to humanity. It was established in 1922 and the first General Assembly was held in 1923 in Paris. IUPAP carries out this mission by: sponsoring international meetings; fostering communications and publications; encouraging research and education; fostering the free circulation of scientists; promoting international agreements on the use of symbols, units, nomenclature and standards; and cooperating with other organizations on disciplinary and interdisciplinary problems. IUPAP is a member of the
International Council for Science The International Council for Science (ICSU, after its former name, International Council of Scientific Unions) was an international non-governmental organization An international non-governmental organization (INGO) is an organization which ...
. IUPAP is the lead organization promoting the adoption of the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development, a proposal to be considered by the 76th session of the
UN General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), serving as the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN. I ...


In 1919 was formed the International Research Council “largely through the representatives of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, and of the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society and the United Kingdom's national academy of sciences. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by Charles II of ...
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

, to coordinate international efforts in the different branches of sciences, under whose aegis international associations or unions in different branches of science could be formed". In accordance with this principle, the 1922 General Assembly of the IRC convened at
Brussels Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.) (french: link=no, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; nl, link=no, Brusse ...

and a number of physicists present decided that the formation of a Physics Union was imperative. Thirteen countries (
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Empire of Japan The was a historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of Japan, 1947 constitution and subsequent formation of modern Japan. It encomp ...

Empire of Japan
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
Union of South Africa The Union of South Africa ( nl, Unie van Zuid-Afrika; af, Unie van Suid-Afrika ) was the historical predecessor to the present-day South Africa, Republic of South Africa. It came into existence on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the British ...
) immediately announced their adherence to the new Union. An Executive committee was formed which undertook to prepare rules, regulations, and activities of the organization. The committee consisted of ten distinguished physicists:- , M. Brillouin, , M. Knudsen, M. Leblanc, , H. Nagaoka, E. Van Aubel, and H. Abraham. The committee had Bragg as President, Van Aubel as Vice-President, and Abraham as Secretary. This was the birth of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

Committees and governance

The Union is governed by its General Assembly, which meets every three years. The Council is its top executive body, supervising the activities of the nineteen specialized International Commissions and the four Affiliated Commissions – it typically meets once or twice per year. The Union is composed of Members representing identified physics communities. At present 60 Members adhere to IUPAP. The Members are represented by Liaison Committees. Members of the Council and Commissions are elected by the General Assembly, based on nominations received from Liaison Committees and existing Council and Commission members. The IUPAP specialised Commissions are: C1
Commission on Policy and Finance
Commission on Symbols, Units, Nomenclature, Atomic Masses & Fundamental Constants
Commission on Statistical Physics
Commission on Astroparticle Physics
The commission was previously known as the Commission on Cosmic Rays. C5
Commission on Low Temperature Physics
Commission on Biological Physics
Commission on Semiconductors
Commission on Magnetism
Commission on the Structure and Dynamics of Condensed Matter
Commission on Particles and Fields
Commission on Nuclear Physics
Commission on Physics for Development
Commission on Physics Education
Commission on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Commission on Plasma Physics
Commission on Laser Physics and Photonics
Commission on Mathematical Physics
Commission on Astrophysics
Commission on Computational Physics
The Affiliated Commissions are: AC.1.
International Commission for Optics The International Commission for Optics (ICO) was created in 1947 with the objective to contribute, on an international basis, to the progress and dissemination of the science of optics and photonics and their applications. It emphasises the unit ...
International Commission on General Relativity and Gravitation
International Commission for AcousticsThe purpose of the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA) is to promote international development and collaboration in all fields of acoustics including research, development, education, and standardisation. The ICA is a Scientific Associate o ...
International Commission on Medical Physics
In addition IUPAP has established a number of Working Groups to provide an overview of important areas of international collaboration in physics.

Sponsored conferences

Each year, IUPAP endorses approximately 30 international conferences and awards grants to the majority of them. Applications for sponsorship can be made via the IUPAP website. Sponsored conferences fall into four categories: General Conferences - Type A These provide a broad overview of an entire field (typically the field of interest to a Commission), and normally occur at two- or three-year intervals, as advances in the field warrant. Attendance in the range of 750-1000 would be anticipated. Topical Conferences - Type B These concentrate on broad sub-fields (e.g. nuclear spectroscopy, nuclear reaction mechanisms, heavy ion physics, are possible sub-fields in the field of Nuclear Physics). They would normally be scheduled in the years between the corresponding Type A General conferences. Attendance in the range of 300-600 would be anticipated. Special Conferences - Type C These concentrate on much more specialised topics than in the case of Type B Conferences (e.g. angular correlations, lifetime measurements, neutron resonance studies in the field of Nuclear Physics). Attendance in the range of 50-200 would be anticipated. Workshops in Developing Countries - Type D These concentrate on meeting the needs of a developing region. Unlike the Type A, B and C conferences, they do not need to be truly international, but should involve neighbouring countries, and they should address the needs of the region. One Type D conference will be approved each year. All applications for Type-D Conferences must be submitted to the Commission on Physics for Development (C13).

Sponsored awards

IUPAP commissions sponsor various awards for scientists. These include: * The IUPAP Young Scientist Prize, approved and adopted at the 2005 General Assembly for all commissions. * The SUNAMCO Medal, given by the Commission on Symbols, Units, Nomenclature, Atomic Masses and Fundamental Constants (C2) * The
Boltzmann Medal The Boltzmann Medal (or Boltzmann Award) is a prize awarded to physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, area of interest. ...
, awarded by the Commission on Statistical Physics (C3) * The Fritz London Award, given by the Commission on Low Temperature Physics (C5) * The Young Author Best Paper Award, established by the Commission on Semiconductors (C8) and sponsored by the semiconductor industries of USA, Japan and Europe * ICM Award in Magnetism, established by the Commission on Magnetism (C9) * The ICPE Medal, sponsored by the Commission on Physics Education (C14) * Penning Award Excellence in Low-Temperature Plasma Physics, established by the Commission on Plasma Physics (C16) * ICO Prize, awarded by the Affiliated Commission for Optics (AC1) * ICO Galileo Galilei Award, awarded by the Affiliated Commission for Optics (AC1)

Sponsored symposiums

Symposium on Laser Physics Symposium on Laser Physics is an academic conference in the field of Laser Physics. SLP has been organized, once every four years since 1971. History The first Symposium on Laser Physics took place from August 29 to September 5, 1971, on the camp ...

Member States of IUPAP

IUPAP was founded by 13 states:- Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Empire of Japan, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and Union of South Africa in 1922. Since then many new members have joined the union.Today the IUPAP consists of 56 member states. Below is the list of Member States of IUPAP:-

List of IUPAP Presidents

The IUPAP President is the head of the Executive Council. IUPAP Presidents are elected by the General Assembly. During the election of the Executive Council, the future President is also elected to the post of President-Designate. Thus in every Executive Council the current President-Designate will succeed the incumbent President. Below is the list of IUPAP Presidents since its inception in 1922.

See also

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC ) is an international federation of National Adhering Organizations that represents chemists in individual countries. It is a member of the International Science Council (ISC). IUPAC ...


External links

International Union of Pure and Applied Physics

IUPAP 'Red Book'
{{Authority control Members of the International Council for Science International scientific organizations International organisations based in Switzerland Physics organizations International learned societies Standards organisations in Singapore Scientific organizations established in 1922 Members of the International Science Council