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Our Mission

Physics Forums aims to provide a community for students, scientists, educators or hobbyists to learn and discuss science as it is currently generally understood and practiced by the professional scientific community.

Our main focus is physics, but we also cater to other STEM fields including engineering, chemistry, biology, mathematics, etc.

STEM homework help for students is available, as well as academic and career guidance.

Medals and Awards

Physicsforums medals and gurus

Physics Forums awards various types of medals to members for showing ability or dedication in a given area. These different awards are described below.

There are several different medals or rankings a member can achieve while being an active part of Physics Forums. Each medal has different requirements that must be fulfilled. The different medals/"rankings" a member can have on PF are:

Normal Member: This is not very hard to achieve. It involves signing up for free. Do it today!

PF Contributor Medal: These members are also known as "Gold Members" due to their names being displayed in Gold in the forums. In order to obtain this medal a member must contribute a donation that goes towards running the site. If you enjoy PF and wish to contribute, you may do so by clicking the "Upgrade" button on the top of the page. Other benefits these members get (along with the medal and gold name) include:

No ads
Set invisible ability
Custom title
Ability to have a Signature
Profile photo
200pm limit
Ability to view who's online
User notes
Boolean searching

Homework Helper Medal: This is the first of the PF merit-awarded medals discussed here. As such it entails responsibility beyond that of the average poster. In order to be recognized as a Homework Helper a member must:

1) Give correct and reliable help to students in the homework help forums of the site.

2) Help in the homework forums regularly whenever they are able.

3) Be a regular and "established" member of PF. (By this I mean they must show that their contributions will most likely continue in the future. i.e. They are members who are not as likely to disappear on a whim and never help again.)

Members are nominated by current homework helpers and mentors. The medals are then awarded by the administrator, Greg Bernhardt. Due to the amount of effort homework helpers devote to keeping the homework sections of PF running smoothly and efficiently, they are listed under the "Staff" link at the top of any PF page along with Science Advisors, Mentors, and Administrators. Homework helpers also from time to time participate in policy/structure discussions.

Science Advisor Medal: The science advisor medal is a merit awarded medal as well. As such, it entails responsibility beyond that of the average poster. In order to be considered for a science advisor medal a member must:

1)Offer reliably correct explanations for scientific questions posed in the various forums of PF. Science Advisor medals are awarded to those members who have demonstrated an unmistakable expertise in a certain field of science discussed on PF.

2)Help other members understand their field of expertise a little better through their postings.

3) Be a regular and "established" member of PF. (Same meaning as above.)

Members are nominated by current science advisors and mentors. The medals are then awarded by the administrator, Greg Bernhardt. Due to the amount of effort science advisors devote to keeping high quality scientific discussions on PF, they are listed under the "Staff" link at the top of any PF page along with Homework Helpers, Mentors, and Administrators. Science Advisors also from time to time participate in policy/structure discussions.

Guru Plaque: Every year, around December, PF members (of any level) vote for members who have been nominated by mentors for excelling in different areas. The winner of the poll for each category receives the "Guru" plaque for that category. They will keep the plaque until next year when the voting begins again. Guru plaques are awarded every year in the following categories:

Other Sciences
Homework Helping
Community Spirit
Funniest Member

Mentor Rank: A PF mentor is a member who has been chosen by current mentors and administrators because of their demonstration of unparalleled commitment to PF, extensive scientific knowledge in a certain field, and perceived ability to be able to effectively moderate discussions on PF and run the day to day operations of the community. The mentors help maintain the high-quality scientific discussion that makes PF famous! Many of the mentors are professional scientists and graduate students. Mentors are distinguished by a green name in their posts on the forums and a "PF Mentor" label underneath their name. The Physics Forums mentors are listed under the "Staff" at the top of any PF page.

List of current mentors can be found here.

Retired Staff Medal
This medal simply denotes past service as a Mentor or Admin.

Administrator Rank: The administrator (Greg Bernhardt) keeps the site running by looking after the technical end of things. Greg also owns PhysicsForums.

Current Gurus




jim hardy

Other Sciences:

Guidance Counselor:
Dr. Courtney

Lord Jestocost

Homework Help:
Charles Link

Community Spirit:
Wrichik Basu

Best Humor:

Best Insight:
"“Classical Physics Is Wrong” Fallacy" by ZapperZ

Insight Writer:

Hall of Legends:

Guru Roll of Honour

This list recognises those users who have previously been voted Gurus. We congratulate them on their achievement and thank them for their contributions to the community.

2003: marcus
2004: ZapperZ
2005: marlon
2006: pervect
2007: George Jones
2008: mgb_phys
2009: DrChinese
2010: DrChinese
2011: Fredrik
2012: Dalespam
2013: PeterDonis
2014: vanhees71
2015: bhobba
2016: vanhees71
2017: Orodruin
2018: Demystifier

Astronomy & Cosmology
2003: schwarzchildradius
2004: Chronos
2005: SpaceTiger
2006: hellfire
2007: marcus
2008: marcus
2009: marcus
2010: marcus
2011: marcus
2012: bcrowell
2013: marcus
2014: marcus
2015: Chronos
2016: Andy Resnick
2017: davenn
2018: kimbyd

2003: Mathman
2004: Matt Grime
2005: Matt Grime
2006: mathwonk
2007: Matt Grime
2008: mathwonk
2009: Dick
2010: mathwonk
2011: mathwonk
2012: AlephZero
2013: HallsOfIvy
2014: Stephen Tashi
2015: mathwonk
2016: micromass
2017: lavinia, FactChecker
2018: FactChecker

2004: Clausius
2005: Astronuc
2006: FredGarvin
2007: FredGarvin
2008: FredGarvin
2009: Mgb_phys
2010: vk6kro
2011: AlephZero
2012: jim hardy
2013: AlephZero
2014: jim hardy
2015: sophiecentaur
2016: jim hardy
2017: sophiecentaur
2018: jim hardy

Other Sciences1
2003: FZ+
2006: Bystander
2007: Chemisttree
2008: Andre
2009: Borek
2010: Andy Resnick
2011: Andy Resnick
2012: Chemisttree
2013: Ygggdrasil
2014: davenn
2015: Ygggdrasil
2016: Bystander
2017: Ygggdrasil
2018: BillTre

Homework Helper
2005: Tide
2006: OlderDan
2007: Dick
2008: tiny-tim, Dick
2009: tiny-tim
2010: tiny-tim, Mark44
2011: I Like Serena, tiny-tim
2012: ehild, Dick
2013: Simon Bridge, haruspex
2014: ehild, haruspex
2015: SteamKing, BvU
2016: haruspex, Simon Bridge
2017: BvU, TSny
2018: haruspex, Charles Link, PeroK

Guidance Counselor Award
2015: Vanadium 50
2016: ZapperZ
2017: Vanadium 50
2018: Dr. Courtney

Community Spirit
2003: drag
2004: Gokul43201
2005: Math is Hard
2006: Astronuc
2007: Gokul43201
2008: Redbelly98
2009: Lisab
2010: Lisab
2011: Gad
2012: Pengwuino
2013: WannabeNewton
2014: dlgoff
2015: Borg
2016: OmCheeto
2017: Borg
2018: Wrichik Basu

2009: Twofish-Quant
2010: Char. Limit
2011: A. Neumaier
2012: mfb
2013: R136a1
2014: BvU
2015: blue_leaf77
2017: scottdave
2018: Lord Jestocost

Best Humor2
2003: Mr. Robin Parsons
2004: Tribdog
2005: Danger
2006: Pengwuino & Cyrusabdollahi (Joint)
2007: Wolram
2008: Borek
2009: DaveC426913
2010: Danger
2011: Pengwuino
2012: OmCheeto
2013: Enigman
2014: OmCheeto
2015: davenn
2016: OmCheeto
2017: DennisN
2018: Drakkith

Best Insight Article
2015: won by bapowell 2016: Misconceptions about Virtual Particles (by Arnold Neumaier)
2017: What is a Tensor? (by fresh_42)
2018: “Classical Physics Is Wrong” Fallacy (by ZapperZ)

Insights Writer
2015: mfb
2016: micromass
2017: mfb
2018: fresh_42

Hall of Legends3
2015: marcus
2016: mfb
2017: vanhees71
2018: Orodruin

Previous award categories:

Nuclear Engineering
2012: tsutsuji

2004: chem_tr
2005: GCT

2004: Moonbear
2005: DocToxyn

2004: graphic7
2005: franznietzsche
2007: -Job-

2003: Boulderhead
2004: Les Sleeth
2005: Les Sleeth

Crackpot of the Year6
2003: LogicalAthiest

Best Thread of the Year6
2003: Astronomy

(1) Formerly 'Biology & Chemistry', now includes all other sciences.
(2) Formerly 'Funniest Member'.
(3) A vote among all winners of the previous year, as they are not eligible in other categories
(4) Combined to 'Other Sciences' afterwards
(5) Phased out after 2005.
(6) Phased out after 2003.