2025 Physics and Astronomy Congress Lineup

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2025 Physics and Astronomy Congress Lineup

The 2025 Physics and Astronomy Congress will feature five plenary speakers.


Julianne Pollard-Larkin speaks at the 2022 Physics Congress. Photo by SPS.

1) Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an astrophysicist best known for discovering radio pulsars and a recipient of the 2018 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

2) Sarah Hörst, a Johns Hopkins University professor who studies the composition and formation of planetary atmospheres.

3) Donnell Walton, a director at Corning Incorporated who focuses on applied physics research.

4) Eric Cornell, a physics Nobel laureate and NIST researcher who studies Bose-Einstein condensates and ultracold atoms.

5) Julianne Pollard-Larkin, a medical physicist at the Maryland Anderson Cancer Center.

Local to Denver?

If you are a Sigma Pi Sigma member in the Denver area, we would love for you to join us for a special lunch with students and networking event at the 2025 Physics and Astronomy Congress. Watch your email for details.


Attendees gather around a student poster during the 2022 Physics Congress. Photo by SPS.

The congress will also feature an interactive plenary workshop led by Renee Horton, a physicist and Space Launch Systems quality engineer at NASA. There will be panels, breakout sessions, and workshops on a variety of topics, as well as poster sessions, art competitions, and a graduate school and career exhibition hall. 

The 2025 congress is supported on the ground by two local hosts, the SPS chapters at the University of Colorado Denver (UC Denver) and Colorado School of Mines. One evening the chapter at UC Denver will host High Energy Hot Chocolate and Game Night, which will feature hot chocolate, board games, and physics demonstrations. This event continues a tradition started at the 2019 congress by the Brown University SPS chapter.

Another tradition that carries on from the 2019 congress is the Chapter Showcase—an event that connects chapters from across the country. All chapters can opt in to have a table where they display photos, T-shirts, and demonstrations to share their chapter’s creativity and traditions with others. 

The 2025 congress is taking place over Halloween weekend, so we also have some special spooky physics in store!  


Students from Texas Lutheran University talk with Renee Horton (right) from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility over lunch at the 2022 Physics Congress. Photo by Northland University's SPS reporters.


Support the Physics and Astronomy Congress

Attending a conference can be life-changing, but it's expensive—often prohibitively expensive for students. With the help of generous donations by Sigma Pi Sigma members, SPS will be providing Physics and Astronomy Congress Travel Awards and Reporter Awards to chapters and individual attendees. To support this effort, please give to the AIP Foundation's Congress Centennial Endowment Fund at foundation.aip.org/student-programs.html


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