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The J.D.Jackson Award Fund awaits your donation June 9, 2008

Posted by dorigo in news, science.
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An esteemed colleague in CDF, Rick Field -who once was a former student not only of J.D.Jackson, but also, quite notably, of R.P.Feynman, with whom he developed the Feynman-Field model of hadron production- sent to the CDF executive board a message which I am happy to paste here, given my interest in and support of science education. The bottomline is: if you are sitting on a pile of grands wondering how best to invest them for the progress of science, think about donating some to the J.D. Jackson fund!

Dear Colleagues,

Several of J. D. Jackson’s former graduate students (Chris Quigg, Bob Cahn, Gordy Kane, and myself) are attempting to create the John David Jackson Award to celebrate and encourage exemplary contributions to graduate education. The Jackson Medalist might be recognized for a graduate textbook that has achieved mythic status, for a legendary courseor collection of courses, for influential collections of summer school lectures or pedagogical review articles that have had great impact on a broad audience, or for an effective mentorship of a long line of
students. The Jackson Medalist is asked to prepare an Address to be given at an AAPT Meeting. A $10,000 monetary award, the Jackson Medal, an Award Certificate, and travel expenses to the meeting are presented to the recipient.

The AAPT is now beginning a quiet first phase of fund-raising to build toward the roughly $200K endowment needed to sustain the award, with a goal of presenting the first award at their summer meeting in 2009. If you would like to join in supporting the cause by making a tax-deductible contribution, large or small, to the endowment, you can do so by sending a check (made out to AAPT) to

Dr. Charles Holbrow
Executive Officer
American Association of Physics Teachers
One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740-3845

with “J. D. Jackson fund” noted on the check and on a covering note bearing your contact information. You will receive an acknowledgment of your contribution, along with a big thank you for helping to acknowledge the mark Jackson has left on generations of physics students and for honoring our colleagues who set their own standards of excellence in graduate education. Thanks for your help!

Rick Field

I can only add my own two pence. I found J.D. Jackson’s book “Classical Electrodynamics” a real tough nut ! However, I think my ignorance of the basics is beside the point. This is about recognizing education, not recognizing Jackson! So please reach for your wallet and unfork a few Franklins…



1. carlbrannen - June 9, 2008

JD Jackson is tough only because of the mathematics. I went to grad school in physics after grad school in mathematics and it was a lot easier for me, I think. On the other hand, I didn’t have any under grad classes in E&M but that is not so much of a big deal; a grad class teaches in a year what is covered in the undergrad class in a quarter or a semester.

2. dorigo - June 10, 2008

Hi Carl,

I find the book tough not just because of the math, but because of the level of detail on the matter it deals with. More information than most of us need to continue our studies.


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