About us

About us

The Role that IUPAP Plays

The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) was established in 1922 in Brussels with 13 Member countries and the first General Assembly was held in 1923 in Paris.

The aims of the Union are:

  • to stimulate and promote international cooperation in physics;
  • to sponsor suitable international meetings and to assist organizing committees;
  • to foster the preparation and the publication of abstracts of papers and tables of physical constants;
  • to promote international agreements on other use of symbols, units, nomenclature and standards;
  • to foster free circulation of scientists; to encourage research and education.

The Union is governed by its General Assembly which meets every three years. The Council is its top executive body, supervising the activities of the nineteen specialized International Commissions and four Affiliated Commissions.

As one of the basic sciences, physics relates to all branches of natural science. Many of the most exciting developments take place in the border areas between different disciplines. To cover interdisciplinary activities IUPAP maintains close liaison with several of the other Unions. In some cases this collaboration is manifested in the form of associate members of IUPAP Commissions. The Union also participates in many of the ICSU Inter-Union Commissions and global projects.

The Union is composed of members representing identified physics communities. At present 59 members adhere to IUPAP.

Conferences and meetings of the International Commissions are mainly supported from funds derived from the members of IUPAP. These funds are also used to meet the administrative expenses of the Union.

Awards and Publications

IUPAP sponsors a number of awards for scientists.

IUPAP and its International Commissions issue the following publications:

  • IUPAP General Report: published after each General Assembly.
  • News Bulletin: published several times a year, contains Union news.
  • SUNAMCO Document: IUPAP’s authoritative guide to correct usage of symbols, units, and nomenclature.Translated into several languages.
  • Newsletter on Physics Education: the Bulletin of the International Commission on Physics Education. Lists books published by Commission on the Teaching of Physics.