About Sigma Pi Sigma

From the Sigma Pi Sigma website: "Sigma Pi Sigma exists to honor outstanding scholarship in physics; to encourage interest in physics among students at all levels; to promote an attitude of service of its members towards their fellow students, colleagues, and the public; to provide a fellowship of persons who have excelled in physics. Sigma Pi Sigma’s mission is not completed in the induction ceremony with the recognition of academic accomplishment. In the four dimensions of Honor, Encouragement, Service, and Fellowship, the mission of Sigma Pi Sigma takes a longer view."

Sigma Pi Sigma at Georgia State

Students at Georgia State who have achieved a high level of scholarship in physics will receive an invitation to join Sigma Pi Sigma, usually at the end of their junior year. An induction ceremony is held every April. Our SPS chapter advisor, Dr. Misty Bentz, is also our Sigma Pi Sigma advisor.


The beginning of Sigma Pi Sigma ( ΣΠΣ) dates to 1920 when several physics students and faculty at Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, became convinced that there should be an organization which would serve as a means of recognition for superior scholarship in physics. They believed that such an association would bring those interested in physics into a closer association, would encourage them in their scientific work, and would bring about a closer cooperation between instructor and student.

Formal action was taken on December 11, 1921, when five students and four faculty members, meeting in the home of the head of the Davidson College physics department, formed a group which they named Sigma Pi Sigma. This organization functioned satisfactorily as a local honor society for several years. Then its members began to realize that the benefits they were deriving from the local organization might well be shared by others.

In 1925 it was decided that Sigma Pi Sigma should become a national organization and expansion started with a second chapter at Duke University and a third one the next year at Pennsylvania State University. In 1928 the first national convention of the society was held at Davidson with five chapters participating. The organization expanded to 19 chapters in 1930 and 39 chapters by 1941. A burst of expansion followed World War II with the chapter roll growing to 78 in 1950 and 100 in 1959. In 1968 Sigma Pi Sigma was formally united with the American Institute of Physics Student Sections as an honor society within the framework of the Society of Physics Students. Within the next year the number of chapters had reached 220. Sigma Pi Sigma has become truly national in scope with 362 chapters at present, located in 46 states plus D.C. The total membership of Sigma Pi Sigma now numbers about 56,000, of whom about 2500 are active members and the remainder classified as alumni members.