Pioneers in Physics Her-story

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Photos of the Month - March 2017

We are celebrating Women’s History Month with a set of photographs from our archives of women who impacted their unique subfields of the physical sciences.

Included in this new set of Photos of the Month are experimental physicist and “First Lady of Physics” Chien-Shiung Wu, who was the President of the American Physical Society (APS) in 1975 and an advocate for equal pay and gender equity in higher education. Elsa Garmire, 1993 President and Fellow of The Optical Society (OSA), was inspired to become a research scientist in the 6th grade after reading a career pamphlet in which, “the research tech wore a skirt and the research scientist wore pants… I wanted the top position in the field, which was the research scientist”. Dorothy Hoffman, 1974 AVS President and expert in thin film technology, was the first woman president of a technical society in the United States.

Be sure to browse our photographs of women in science and if you are interested in learning more about women in physics, see our newly redesigned Teaching Guides on Women and Minorities!

Chien-Shiung Wu assembling an electro-static generator at the Smith College Physics Laboratory in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

Shirley Ann Jackson (left) possibly at a tour with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Ronald E. Mickens Collection

Portrait of Elsa Garmire, President of The Optical Society of America (OSA) 1993.

Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Gallery of Member Society Presidents

Vera Rubin measuring spectra at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism.

Date: circa 1970

Credit: AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Rubin Collection

Dorothy Hoffman, Gert Erlich, and Charles Duke at the 26th Annual AVS Symposium in New York City. Hoffman awarded Erlich the Welch medal.

Date: October 1979

Credit: American Vacuum Society (AVS), courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

Rosalyn S. Yalow accepting the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine presented by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Date: December 10, 1977

Credit: Photo courtesy of Ben Yalow, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives