The professional society for physics students & their mentors The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association explicitly designed for students. Membership, through collegiate chapters, is open to anyone interested in physics. The only requirement for membership is that you be interested in physics. Besides physics majors, our members include majors in chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, medicine, and other fields.Within SPS is housed Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, which elects members on the basis of outstanding academic achievement. This unique two-in-one society operates within the American Institute of Physics, an umbrella organization for ten other professional science societies.
Purpose and Mission The SPS exists to help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community. Course work develops only one range of skills. Other skills needed to flourish professionally include effective communication and personal interactions, leadership experience, establishing a personal network of contacts, presenting scholarly work in professional meetings and journals, and outreach services to the campus and local communities.Locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, the SPS offers the opportunity for these important enrichments to the student’s experience.
History The Society of Physics Students was formed in 1968 with a constitution that combined its two “parent” organizations, The AIP Student Sections and the Sigma Pi Sigma honor society. SPS now has over 700 chapters on campuses across the country. About 5,000 students take part in chapter activities each year, making SPS the fourth largest physics society in the country. The associated honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma, now exists in about 450 of those chapters with over 75,000 inductees throughout its history.
The Ouachita chapter of SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma is a joint chapter with Henderson State University, also in Arkadelphia. For additional information about SPS or Sigma Pi Sigma, please visit http://www.spsnational.org/.
Kevin Cornelius is the current OBU faculty advisor for SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma.