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Physical Review

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Physical Review
Edited byRandall Kamien
Publication details
History1893–1913 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
2019–present Phys. Rev. Research
2020–present PRX Quantum
American Physical Society (United States)
Standard abbreviations
ISO 4Phys. Rev.
ISSN0031-899X (print)
1536-6065 (web)
OCLC no.01715212

Physical Review is a 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.


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.

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. In 1932, the newly formed American Institute of Physics took over publication of Physical Review.[1]

During the Great Depression, wealthy scientist Alfred Loomis anonymously paid the journal's fees for authors who could not afford them.[2]

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.

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.[3]

To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the journal, a memoir was published jointly by the APS and AIP.[4]

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".[5] 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.[6] Since 2011, authors can pay an article processing charge to make their papers open access.[7] Such papers are published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (CC-BY).[8] Physical Review Letters celebrated their 50th birthday in 2008.[9] 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.[10]

The APS has an online publication entitled Physics,[11] 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. A short-lived journal, also called Physics, was published by Pergamon Press and Physics Publishing Co. from 1964 through 1968, with the goal of printing "a selection of papers which are worth the attention of all physicists."[12] The four volumes of this journal were eventually made freely available online by the APS under the alternative title Physics Physique Физика, reflecting how the title was originally printed on the journal covers and how it was sometimes referred to in the years since.[13][14][15]

It also publishes Physical Review X,[16] 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[17] 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",[18] and in 2017 it launched Physical Review Materials "to fill a gap" in the coverage of materials research.[19] In 2019 Physical Review Research was launched to provide a broad fully open-access journal at about the same selectivity level as the older AE journals. In 2020, PRX Quantum was launched to provide a home for and connection between the numerous research communities that make up quantum information science and technology, spanning from pure science to engineering to computer science and beyond.[20] In 2023 PRX Life was launched to advance research from the interdisciplinary communities at the interface of the physical and life sciences.[21]


Journal ISO 4 abbreviation Editor(s) Impact factor (2022) Published Scope ISSN Website
Physical Review Letters Phys. Rev. Lett. Hugues Chaté
Robert Garisto
Samindranath Mitra
8.6 1958–present The full range of applied, fundamental, and interdisciplinary physics research topics ISSN 0031-9007 (print)
ISSN 1079-7114 (web)
Physical Review X Phys. Rev. X Denis Bartolo
Ling Miao
12.5 2011–present PRX covers the full spectrum of subject areas in physics and pays particular attention to innovative interdisciplinary research of wide impact ISSN 2160-3308 (web) https://journals.aps.org/prx
PRX Energy PRX Energy David Scanlon

Jacilynn (Brant) Otero

Margaret Hudson

2021– present PRX Energy is a highly selective, open access journal featuring energy science and technology research with an emphasis on outstanding and lasting impact. ISSN 2768-5608 (web) https://journals.aps.org/prxenergy/
PRX Quantum PRX Quantum Stephen Bartlett
Katiuscia N. Cassemiro
9.7 2020–present PRX Quantum publishes research in quantum information science and technology, spanning from pure science to engineering to computer science and beyond. ISSN 2691-3399 (web) https://journals.aps.org/prxquantum
PRX Life PRX Life Margaret Gardel
Serena Bradde
2022–present PRX Life will publish outstanding research at all scales of biological organization, including a focus on quantitative biological research. (web) https://journals.aps.org/prxlife
Reviews of Modern Physics Rev. Mod. Phys. Randall Kamien
Debbie Brodbar
44.1 1929–present The full range of applied, fundamental, and interdisciplinary physics research topics ISSN 0034-6861 (print)
ISSN 1539-0756 (web)
Physical Review A[note 2] Phys. Rev. A Jan Michael Rost
Thomas Pattard
2.9 1970–present Atomic, molecular, and optical physics, foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum information ISSN 1050-2947 (print)
ISSN 1094-1622 (web)
Physical Review B[note 2] Phys. Rev. B Stephen Nagler
Anthony M. Begley
3.7 1970–present The full range of condensed matter, materials physics, and related subfields ISSN 1098-0121 (print)
ISSN 1550-235X (web)
Physical Review C Phys. Rev. C Joseph I. Kapusta
Christopher Wesselborg
3.1 1970–present Experimental and theoretical results in all aspects of nuclear physics ISSN 0556-2813 (print)
ISSN 1089-490X (web)
Physical Review D Phys. Rev. D Mirjam Cvetič
Urs M. Heller
5.0 1970–present Experimental and theoretical results in all aspects of particle physics, field theory, gravitation, and cosmology ISSN 1550-7998 (print)
ISSN 1550-2368 (web)
Physical Review E Phys. Rev. E Uwe C. Täuber
Dirk Jan Bukman
2.4 1993–present Statistical, nonlinear, biological and soft matter physics ISSN 1539-3755 (print)
ISSN 1550-2376 (web)
Physical Review Research Phys. Rev. Res. Nicola Spaldin
Raissa D’Souza
Juan-José Liétor-Santos
4.2 2019–present All research topics of interest to the physics community ISSN 2643-1564 (web) https://journals.aps.org/prresearch
Physical Review Accelerators and Beams Phys. Rev. Accel. Beams Frank Zimmermann
Debbie Brodbar
1.7 1998–present All topics in accelerator science, applications, and technology ISSN 2469-9888 (web) https://journals.aps.org/prab
Physical Review Applied Phys. Rev. Appl. Stephen R. Forrest
Matthew Eager
4.6 2014–present All aspects of experimental and theoretical applications of physics ISSN 2331-7019 (web) https://journals.aps.org/prapplied
Physical Review Fluids Phys. Rev. Fluids Eric Lauga
Beverley McKeon
Bradley Rubin
2.7 2016–present All aspects of fluid dynamics research ISSN 2469-990X (web) https://journals.aps.org/prfluids
Physical Review Materials Phys. Rev. Mater. Chris Leighton
Athanasios Chantis
3.4 2017–present Wide range of topics on materials research ISSN 2475-9953 (web) https://journals.aps.org/prmaterials
Physical Review Physics Education Research Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. Charles Henderson
Debbie Brodbar
3.1 2005–present Experimental and theoretical physics education research ISSN 2469-9896 (web) https://journals.aps.org/prper
Physics Physics Matteo Rini 2008–present All of Physics ISSN 1943-2879 (web) https://physics.aps.org
Physical Review, Series I Phys. Rev. 1893–1912 All of Physics https://journals.aps.org/archive
Physical Review, Series II[note 2] Phys. Rev. 1913–1969 All of Physics https://journals.aps.org/archive
Physics Physique Физика[note 3] Philip Warren Anderson
B. T. Matthias
1964–1968 https://journals.aps.org/ppf

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Not to be confused with his son, the number theorist John Torrence Tate Jr.
  2. ^ a b c 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.[22] 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.
  3. ^ Perhaps most noteworthy for publishing Bell's theorem in 1964.


  1. ^ Assmus, Alexi (1997). "Book Reviews: A Memoir on The Physical Review: A History of the First Hundred Years. Paul Hartman". Isis. 88 (2): 355–355. doi:10.1086/383738. ISSN 0021-1753.
  2. ^ Conant, Jennet (2002). Tuxedo Park. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-684-87287-2.
  3. ^ Voss, David (June 2017). "Michael Thoennessen Appointed New APS Editor in Chief". American Physical Society.
  4. ^ Hartman, Paul (1994). A Memoir on The Physical Review: A History of the First Hundred Years. New York: American Physical Society & American Institute of Physics. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-56396-282-0.
  5. ^ [1] Renaming the APS Special Topics Series, American Physical Society, December 31, 2015
  6. ^ "Submission guidelines". March 2008.
  7. ^ [2] APS Open Access announcement, American Physical Society, 15 February 2011
  8. ^ [3] Details of Creative Commons license
  9. ^ "Physical Review Letters Celebrates 50 Years". American Physical Society. 2014-02-13.
  10. ^ Gene D. Sprouse (1 October 2008). "APS now leaves copyright with authors for derivative works". American Physical Society.
  11. ^ "Physics". American Physical Society.
  12. ^ Anderson, P. W.; Matthias, B. T. (1964-07-01). "Editorial foreword". Physics Physique Fizika. 1 (1): i. doi:10.1103/PhysicsPhysiqueFizika.1.i. ISSN 0554-128X.
  13. ^ Wick, David (1995), "Bell's Theorem", The Infamous Boundary, Springer New York, pp. 92–100, doi:10.1007/978-1-4612-4030-3_11, ISBN 978-0-387-94726-6
  14. ^ Physics. Physique. Fizika. OCLC. 1964. OCLC 1370169.
  15. ^ Kaiser, David (2014-11-14). "Opinion | Is Quantum Entanglement Real?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  16. ^ "Physical Review X". American Physical Society.
  17. ^ "Physical Review Applied". American Physical Society.
  18. ^ "Physical Review Fluids". American Physical Society.
  19. ^ "Physical Review Materials". American Physical Society.
  20. ^ "PRX Quantum". American Physical Society.
  21. ^ "PRX Life". American Physical Society.
  22. ^ The Physical Review. Second Series. A. American Physical Society. 1964. The Physical Review. Second Series. B. National Institute of Informatics. 1964. Retrieved 2016-12-28.

External links[edit]

Index of freely available volumes

The term of copyright on volumes published before 1928 has expired. These volumes are available online for free in their entirety:

Physical Review Series I (1893–1912)
Physical Review Series II (1913-1927)