Highlights of the 75-Year History of Journal of Applied Physics
Journal of Applied Physics began publication in July 1931 as the journal Physics, "a journal of general and applied physics.” One possibly apocryphal reason for its founding was that, at that time, Physical Review appeared to focus on the "new” field of quantum mechanics, and there may have been pressure to form a new journal less dominated by the new field. The original publisher of Physics was the American Physical Society (APS), but in 1932 the American Institute of Physics (AIP, also founded in 1931) became the journal’s publisher; however, APS maintained editorial supervision at the time and was joined in this role in 1933 by The Society of Rheology.
The first Editor was Professor John T. Tate at the University of Minnesota, and the first volume contained six issues covering the second half of 1931 with a total of 422 pages; the first full publication year of the journal (1932) contained 809 pages. The journal’s name was changed from Physics to Journal of Applied Physics in 1937, and AIP assumed editorial control of the journal at that time. Professor Elmer Hutchisson became Editor that same year, working from the University of Pittsburgh and later from the Case Institute of Technology. Professor Robert Sproull (Cornell University) was the Editor from 1954 through 1957, followed by Dr. James Krumhansi (National Carbon Research Laboratory) from 1957 to 1960.
Dr. James Crawford, Jr. at Oak Ridge National Laboratory took over as Editor from 1960 through 1964. During his tenure, the journal in 1962 first published papers from the annual Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, which has since remained a regular feature in the journal. A special issue on the physics of crystals was also published in 1962, and the first special issue on high polymer physics in 1963. Applied Physics Letters, originally Letters to the Editor in Journal of Applied Physics, became an independent journal in September 1962, following the lead of Physical Review and Physical Review Letters. Dr. Crawford was joint Editor of both Journal of Applied Physics and Applied Physics Letters.
With the appointment of Dr. Frank Myers as Editor in 1965, the editorial office of Journal of Applied Physics moved to Argonne National Laboratory, where it has remained since. At Argonne, Dr. F. F. Riecke and Dr. Lester Guttman were appointed as Associate Editors. Dr. Riecke was briefly Editor in 1970 until his sudden death; in that year, Dr. Gilbert Perlow took over as Editor with Dr. Guttman and Dr. David Hess as Associate Editors.
In 1974, the editorial functions of Journal of Applied Physics and Applied Physics Letters separated, with Dr. Guttman as the Editor of Journal of Applied Physics and Dr. Perlow as the Editor of Applied Physics Letters. The two journals remained in the same set of offices, however, maintaining close operational and scientific ties. That year, and until 1983, the Associate Editor under Dr. Guttman was Dr. David Hess. He was replaced by Dr. Robert E. Holland in 1984. Dr. Steven J. Rothman joined as Associate Editor in 1988, and Dr. John Mundy in 1989.
In 1990, Steven Rothman became Editor; Dr. Guttman took the title of Consulting Editor, and Dr. Robert Birtcher joined as Associate Editor. Dr. Gian P. Felcher joined as Associate Editor in 1992, and both Dr. Simon Phillpot and Dr. Roy Benedek joined in 1994. In that year, Lester Guttman retired, ending his 30-year connection with the journal; in the following year, Robert Holland resigned as Associate Editor. Dr. Mitio Inokuti became an Associate Editor in 1997, and John Mundy resigned in 1999. Dr. P. James Viccaro from the University of Chicago took over as Editor in 2001, with Steven Rothman becoming Consulting Editor. Dr. Marcos Grimsditch was appointed Associate Editor in 2004.
The journal has been at Argonne National Laboratory for 41 years during which time, many relevant milestones have been reached:
- In 1966 the journal published 5,015 pages, or over five times that of the first full year, and, in 1979, the journal first published over ten times the first full year’s page count with 8,266 pages.
- Applied Physics Reviews were begun in 1980 as part of Journal of Applied Physics, first under the editorship of Gil Perlow, then under Dr. John Poate and now under Dr. Poate and Dr. Bill Appleton.
- In 1984, the usual one volume per year changed to two volumes, each with 12 issues.
- The first computerized editorial database was installed at the Argonne editorial office in 1991.
- Online publication of the journal began in 1997 and article-at-a-time online publication was initiated in January 2005.
- Online submission and review of manuscripts was launched in September 2005.
- A total of 20,170 text pages were published in 2005, nearly 25 times the number of pages published in the journal’s first full year.
Browsing the first volumes of the journal leaves the distinct impression that it served a broad spectrum of areas with no particular emphasis or focus. While the journal still serves a very broad-base community in applied science, over the years it has established itself as the pre-eminent journal of record in areas such as applied semiconductor physics, plasma processing, ferroelectrics, applied magnetism, to name a few. It is our firm commitment to continue this role as a vital archival resource in these and new applied areas such as those involving nanoscience, thin-films and organic-based systems, as well as applied areas overlapping the biological sciences. Of course, the overall success of Journal of Applied Physics is due to the interest and efforts of members of the applied physics community, whom we thank for their support of the journal, providing guidance on our Editorial Board, submitting their best work to the journal, and the thorough, fair, and prompt refereeing of manuscripts. We also thank editorial office and production staff for their ongoing efforts and dedication.
P. James Viccaro, Editor
Steven J. Rothman, Consulting Editor