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The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

About Physics Forums

Physics Forums Values and Mission

PF values quality
• Topics based on science published in real scientific journals or textbooks
• Proper English grammar and correct spelling
PF values civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience and diplomacy while debating
PF values productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Honest recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and cooperative problem solving


Our goal is to provide a community for people (whether students, professional scientists, or hobbyists) to learn and discuss science as it is currently generally understood and practiced by the professional scientific community. As our name suggests, our main focus is on physics, but we also have forums for most other academic areas including engineering, chemistry, biology, social sciences, etc. Physics help along with math help and other sciences is available for students.

Summary
Owner Greg Bernhardt started Physics Forums as a high school extra credit project for a physics class in 2001. Since then it has developed with the help of dozens of mentors and advisors to become the #1 community for science and math discussion.

Stats
Owner: Greg Bernhardt
Founded: 2001
Organization: Bernhardt Media LLC.
Revenue: Adsense, Gold Memberships
Software: Xenforo

Demographics:
PF average 100,000+ visitors, 100+ new members and 1000+ posts per day.

80% search engines, 10% referral sites, 10% direct traffic

80% of our visitors are from North America. 10% Europe, 5% asia and 5% other.

65% use Chrome. 20% use FireFox. 10% IE, 5% Opera/Safari

90% on high speed internet, 10% dialup

85% on Windows, 10% Mac, 5% Linux

History of the forums
The Beginning (Spring 2001)
It comes to many peoples surprise to find I am actually not very good at math and physics. PF started in spring of 2001. I was taking Physics II in high school my senior year. The semester was ending and I found myself getting a "D" in the class. I badly needed at least a "C" to minimize impact on my overall GPA.

Through the year I gained mass interest in the Internet, web designing and community building. My interest in physics was also sparked by popular physics books by Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, Stephen Hawking's and Paul Davies.

So I thought of proposing the idea of creating a useful physics community on the web as an extra credit project to my physics teacher. The teacher bought it and away I went. In the end it took me just a month to get enough done and promote it for the thing to look half way decent. I found a "C" on my report card end of semester :)

Early Years (2001-2003)
PF started out on the ASP driven software of Snitz. I believe we also started on the web host "DreamHost". Unfortunately two years later in 2003 we grew too big and too fast. We ended up having to ditch the software and the host. This resulted in starting completely from scratch. The database had about 200,000 posts in it. It still hurts to lose all that data to this day. But it has proven to be a turning point marker for PF's history. We moved to a dedicated server and professional software to last us for many years. During this time I also admit hiring some non qualified staff members. Once we got Integral, Tom Mattson and chroot, things started to change.

The Middle Ages (2003-2005)
Before the "beginning from scratch", PF was becoming quite popular, but our forum management and organization was severely lacking. Over the next couple of years PF would prove itself a giant in the science web community. Early 2004 we even hosted Michio Kaku's official forums.

In these years PF would:
1. Develop an organized forum structure
2. Start creating a strict but fair policy
3. Hire competent staff with similar visions
4. Start member award days
5. Install LaTeX for equations
6. Start the Homework Helper and Science Advisor programs

The "Golden" Years (2005-Present)
Physics Forums is now finally working like a well oiled high performance machine. The standard has been set. We're pretty much coasting now that we have a complete system in place that has proven to be successful. Crackpots and spam are almost non-existent. Along with what seemed like a new design a year, we found one that works and will stick with for a long time now.

A few highlights of these past couple years include:
1. Partnership with Scientific American
2. Partnership with PhD Comics
3. PF Library

Refine and Reform (2006-2014)
Over the next 8 years Physics Forums would solidify itself as the dominant resource and destination for science discussion. PF would continue to refine it's policies to encourage a healthy and productive environment. Features like chat were added to provide a respite from forum life. Partnerships with educator.com and phys.org would be established. PF would go through three style changes. Each a little more modern, clear and readable.

Modernization (2014-Present)
The decision to move from vBulletin to Xenforo was made. A new style and new features gave us the jump into the modern web. Physics Forums Insights was opened. PF Insights is a science and math variety blog written by experts in our community. More on this era in a bit. A resource section which includes videos and a moderated link directory were added in 2016.

Bigger and better things planned for the future!!

List of mentors
Let's use this section to list Mentors. Oldest to Newest. (Bold means they are still on staff)

1. Monique (Niqqie,theOwl)
2. JordanW
3. Silverquest
4. Phobos
5. Grady
6. dav2008
7. MacCoder
8. joaoninhio
9. Beatle42
10. SCOTT2004
11. Sting1983 (Sting)
12. Stephen
13. Integral
14. Zero
15. Kerrie (skorpiano)
16. BryanGmyrek
15. Tom Mattson (Tom)
16. Janus
17. ahrkron
18. damgo (alis)
19. selfAdjoint
20. chroot
21. Hurkyl
22. Russ Watters
23. Engima
24. Another God
25. HallsofIvy
26. Ivan Seeking
27. dduardo
28. Doc Al
29. Iansmith
30. hypnagogue
31. Evo
32. Gokul43201
33. ZapperZ
34. loseyourname
35. Moonbear
36. SpaceTiger
37. Berkeman
38. jtbell
39. vanesch
40. Pervect
41. Math is Hard
42. Astronuc
43. cristo
44. George Jones
45. Hootenanny
46. Kurdt
47. Redbelly98
48. Vanadium_50
49. D H
50. Borek
51. bcrowell
52. Mark44
53. Ryan_m_b
54. micromass
55. vela
56. lisab
57. cepheid
58. Dalespam
59. Fredrik
60. SammyS
61. mfb
62. Office_Shredder
63. gneill
64. SteamKing
65. Drakkith
66. Chestermiller
67. Nugatory
68. PeterDonis
69. Orodruin
70. NascentOxygen
71. jedishrfu 72. DrClaude 73. Stevedaryl