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July 15, 2008


Honor Recognizes ‘Extraordinary Accomplishments in Communicating the Excitement of Physics to the General Public’

NEW YORK, July 15, 2008 – Dr. Michio Kaku, Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at The City College of New York (CCNY), will receive the 2008 Klopsteg Memorial Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).  The Award, which recognizes extraordinary accomplishments in communicating the excitement of physics to the general public, will be presented to Professor Kaku July 21 at AAPT’s summer meeting in Edmonton, Alberta.  Professor Kaku will deliver an acceptance lecture titled “Physics of the Impossible,” based on his eponymous book published earlier this year.

“Professor Michio Kaku has brought exciting physics ideas to readers worldwide through his popular and highly readable books, TV appearances and radio series,” said Dr. Harvey S. Leff, Professor Emeritus of Physics, California State Polytechnic University, and AAPT Awards Chair. 

Professor Kaku has been a member of the CCNY Physics Department for more than 35 years and also teaches at the CUNY Graduate Center.  In addition, he has been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., as well as at New York University. 

He is a popular science author whose most recent book, “Physics of the Impossible [Doubleday, 2008],” was on “The New York Times” best seller list for five weeks.  His other books for consumer audiences include “Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century [Oxford University Press, 1999]” and “Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the Tenth Dimension [Oxford University Press, 1994].”

Professor Kaku has also written several PhD-level textbooks and has had more than 70 articles published in physics journals.  He is the co-creator of string field theory, a branch of string theory, and continues Einstein’s search to unite the four fundamental forces of the universe into one unified “theory of everything.”

His knowledge and accessible approach to explaining complex physics topics from a layperson’s point of view have made Professor Kaku a popular figure in mainstream media.  Earlier this year, he hosted the BBC series “Time,” the BBC documentary “Visions of the Future” and the Discover Channel series “2057.”  He also appeared in several episodes of the History Channel’s “Universe” series.  Other television appearances include “Good Morning America,” “Larry King Live,” “60 Minutes,” “Nightline” and “20/20.”  In addition, he hosts two syndicated radio programs, “Explorations in Science” and “Science Fantastic.”

Professor Kaku holds a B.S. from Harvard University and received his Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

About the Klopsteg Memorial Award

The Klopsteg Memorial Award is given annually to a notable physicist in memory of Paul Klopsteg, a past president of AAPT.  Past recipients include: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, New York (2007); Lisa Randall, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. (2006), and Wendy Freedman, Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, Calif., (2005).  More information about the award is available at www.aapt.org/Grants/klopsteg.cfm.

About AAPT

AAPT is the leading organization for physics educators – with more than 10,000 members worldwide.  AAPT is the leading organization for physics teachers and physics education and provides services that help enhance teaching skills and publishes scholarly journals documenting best teaching practices.  APPT is committed to providing the most current resources and up-to-date research needed to enhance a physics educator's professional development. The results are not only a deeper appreciation of the teaching profession, but most importantly, more enthusiastic involvement from their students.  AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Md.

About The City College of New York

For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 14,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.  For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.

AAPT Contact:

Linda Ware Dylla, AAPT Communications, 301-209-3306, ldylla@aapt.org