AAPT 2019 Millikan Medal Awarded

Greenslade to Receive 2019 Millikan Medal


College Park, MD, March 15, 2019—AAPT has announced that Tom Greenslade will receive the Robert A. Millikan Medal during the 2019 Summer Meeting in Provo, Utah. This award recognizes educators who have made notable and intellectually creative contributions to the teaching of physics.

Greenslade is a Professor Emeritus of Physics at Kenyon College. In nominating him for this honor his colleagues noted that he has been making "Notable and intellectually creative contributions to the teaching of physics for more than 50 years. Many of these contributions have been in the form of articles published in The Physics Teacher (TPT). His total number of papers in TPT (the earliest in 1969, the most recent in 2019) far exceeds that for any other author. In addition, he has made many hundreds of oral presentations at physics meetings and in other professional settings on a wide variety of topics related to physics teaching. He is a widely recognized expert on the history of physics, especially early teaching apparatus, and shares his vast knowledge and expertise with the broader physics education community in numerous ways."

Regarding his receipt of the Millikan Medal, Greenslade said, "I am pleased to follow in the footsteps of my graduate school advisor Peter Lindenfeld (1989) and my long-time Kenyon College colleague Franklin Miller, Jr. (1970).

He received his A.B. in 1959 in physics from Amherst College and his doctorate in experimental low temperature physics from Rutgers University in 1965. From 1964 to 2005 he was a member of the Kenyon College physics faculty. When he retired, Kenyon awarded him a D.Sc. A member of the American Association of Physics Teachers since 1959, Greenslade was recognized with the association's Distinguished Service Citation and in 1987. He was listed as one of the 75 most influential physicists and physics teachers by the American Association of Physics Teachers. He won first prize in the Association's Apparatus Competition in 2007. In 2014 AAPT recognized his life-time of contributions by making him a Fellow of the American Association of Physics Teachers. He is also a fellow the American Physical Society.

Greenslade has been generous in sharing his vast knowledge and expertise with the broader physics community in a variety of other ways. He maintains a website, “Instruments for Natural Philosophy” that includes some 1850 pictures of early physics apparatus along with descriptions and references, and he answers many queries from historians and collectors. His collection of about 775 pieces of physics teaching apparatus from the 1850-1950 era is housed in a wing of his 1857 house in Gambier. Visitors range from children to professors of physics; make an appointment and visit. His large collection of old, primarily 19th century, textbooks and early equipment catalogs preserve original descriptions of historically important laboratory and demonstration apparatus,

About the Award
The Robert A. Millikan Medal recognizes those who have made notable and intellectually creative contributions to the teaching of physics. The recipient delivers an address at an AAPT Summer Meeting and receives a monetary award, the Millikan Medal, an Award Certificate, and travel expenses to the meeting.

Previous Awardees

2019, Kyle Forinash, Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN.

2017, Ken Heller, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

2016, Stephen Pompea, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ

2015, Robert A. Morse, St. Albans School, Washington, DC

2014, Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

2013, Harvey Gould, Clark University, Worcester, MA

2012, Philip Sadler, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA

Additional winners

About AAPT
AAPT is an international organization for physics educators, physicists, and industrial scientists—with members worldwide. Dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching, AAPT provides awards, publications, and programs that encourage teaching practical application of physics principles, support continuing professional development, and reward excellence in physics education. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

For more information: Contact David Wolfe, Director of Communications, dwolfe@aapt.org, (301)209-3322, (301)209-0845 (Fax)