In May 1931, five scientific societies embracing different sets of disciplines banded together to create the American Institute of Physics. This year,augmented in the interim by five other societies, AIP is celebrating three-quarters of a century of service and achievement.

As we prepared for the celebration, it was somewhat strange to read of the AIP founders’ worries about the inordinate growth and fragmentation of physics. Those early concerns pale in comparison to the scale of similar challenges today—the knowledge explosion we are now witnessing, the globalization of research and development, and the new fields that are emerging even as other fields come together in unexpected ways.

In 1931, excitement stirred the air with an enormous flow of discoveries, from the submicroscopic world of quantum mechanics to the newly envisioned expansion of the universe. Today is no less exciting, with an exhilarating range of physical and conceptual ideas, frameworks, and tools...

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