Recent Posts in Presidential Essays

Rosemary Wyse, ACP President 2010-2013, at the 60th Anniversary Celebration.

Presidential Essay from Rosemary Wyse

By Rosemary Wyse

The highlight of my tenure as President was undoubtedly the 50th anniversary of the ACP in 2012, which we celebrated with a summer filled with joyful events. The physicist members plus the indefatigable staff - Jane Kelly, Paula Johnson and Patty Fox

Andrew Cohen, ACP President 2007-2010. Image from Fermilab.

Presidential Essay from Andy Cohen

By Andrew Cohen

I first came to the Physics Center as a student in the late 1980s. At the time I had not yet settled on physics as a career, and my knowledge of how physics as a profession operated was practically non-existent.

Andrei Ruckenstein at the 2012 celebration of Aspen Center for Physics' 50th Anniversary at the Wheeler Opera House

Presidential Essay from Andrei Ruckenstein

By Andrei Ruckenstein

I first visited the Aspen Center for Physics (ACP) in the summer of 1985, one year after I finished my PhD and joined the theory group at Bell Laboratories. That June I had the opportunity to spend one month with my now-good friends, Dieter Vollhardt and his post-doc supervisor, Peter Woelfle at the Max Plank Institute and the Technical University in Munich

Eric D'Hoker, Aspen Center for Physics President, 1998-2001

Presidential Essay from Eric D'Hoker

By Eric D’Hoker

My first contact with the Aspen Center for Physics dates back to 1982... Colleagues had coyly described a summer institute, high up in the Rocky Mountains. This sounded exactly like my kind of place to spend the summer.

Tom Appelquist, Aspen Center for Physics Presdient 1993-1996

Presidential Essay from Tom Appelquist

By Thomas Appelquist

During my first year as President (1993–1994), we decided to replace Hilbert Hall with a new building, and began a major development campaign for this purpose. We engaged the architectural firm of Harry Teague and Company which developed initial design ideas by the summer of 1994.

President Mike Turner at the Aspen Center for Physics 50th Anniversary

Presidential Essay from Mike Turner

By Michael S. Turner

My presidency was a transitional one, linking the “Founders' era” to the “Modern era.” I was the first “young Turk” President, by which I mean one whose roots didn't trace to the Center's Founders and one who railed against the old boys.

Mike Simmons, President of Aspen Center for Physics 1985-1988

Presidential Essay from Mike Simmons

By L. M. (Mike) Simmons, Jr.

In the 50s and 60s an important summer program in physics was the famous Boulder Summer Theoretical Physics Institute. Every graduate student studied the published lectures. As a postdoc I applied to Boulder for 1966.

Peter Kaus, portrait by Bernice Durand

Presidential Essay from Peter Kaus

By Peter Kaus

In 1956 I found myself in Princeton. I was simultaneously at RCA Laboratories, designing the deflection yoke for the first commercially successful (21 inch) color TV tube (my first salaried job) and at the Institute for Advanced Study as an (unpaid) scholar finishing my thesis work on self composite fermions (Solitons).

Photo of Elihu Abrahams

Presidential Essay from Elihu Abrahams

By Elihu Abrahams

In late summer of 1979, I was elected ACP President. It can be appreciated that by this time, the Center was a smoothly functioning institution under the firm guidance of Sally Hume Mencimer, its Administrative Vice President. Therefore, the position of President appeared to me to be not very burdensome

Paul Fishbane at the 50th Anniversary Celebration at Aspen Center for Physics.

Presidential Essay from Paul Fishbane

By Paul Fishbane

First things first: We can all be discretely proud, through our efforts to make it possible, of the scientific work that took place at the Center. I couldn't begin here to summarize the real work that took place while I partly watched from my administrator's perch

Loyal (Randy) Durand, President, 1972-1976

Presidential Essay from Randy Durand

By Loyal (Randy) Durand

I will start somewhat before the beginning of my term as President to make clear the rapid changes that were taking place in the Physics Center through the transition period, and their influence on the subsequent development of the Center.

George Stranahan

Presidential Essay from George Stranahan

By George Stranahan

In 1957 I theorized that if a guy with three kids going to graduate school in Pittsburgh on the GI Bill could rent a house plus jeep in Aspen for three summer months at $400, he’d be a damn fool for not getting outta town. Part of the theory was that, since paper and pencil […]