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Physical Review Letters (PRL), established in 1958, is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal that is published 52 times per year by the American Physical Society. As also confirmed by various measurement standards, which include the Journal Citation Reports impact factor and the journal h-index proposed by Google Scholar, many physicists and other scientists consider Physical Review Letters to be one of the most prestigious journals in the field of physics.[1][2][3]

PRL is published as a print journal, and is in electronic format, online and CD-ROM. Its focus is rapid dissemination of significant, or notable, results of fundamental research on all topics related to all fields of physics. This is accomplished by rapid publication of short reports, called "Letters". Papers are published and available electronically one article at a time. When published in such a manner, the paper is available to be cited by other work. The Lead Editor is Hugues Chaté. The Managing Editor is Reinhardt B. Schuhmann.[1][4]

Scope and organizational format

Physical Review Letters is an internationally read physics journal with a diverse readership. Advances in physics, as well as cross disciplinary developments, are disseminated weekly, via this publication. Topics covered by this journal are also the explicit titles for each section of the journal. Sections are delineated (in the table of contents) as follows:[1][5][6]

General Physics: Statistical and Quantum mechanics, Quantum information, etc.
Gravitation and astrophysics
Elementary particles and fields
Nuclear physics
Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
Nonlinear dynamics, Fluid dynamics, Classical optics, etc.
Plasma and beam physics
Condensed matter: Structure, etc.
Condensed Matter: Semiconductor-Electronic properties, etc.
Polymer, Soft matter, Biological, and Interdisciplinary physics

Worthy of note is a section at the front of the table of contents which consists of articles that are highlighted for their particular importance and interest. This section contains articles suggested by the editors of the journal or which have been covered by the site "Physics" (formerly Physical Review Focus).[5][6]
Historical overview

On May 20, 1899, 36 physicists gathered to establish the American Physical Society at Columbia University, in the City of New York. These 36 decided that the mission of the APS would be "to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics". In the beginning the dissemination of physics knowledge took place only through quarterly scientific meetings. In 1913, the APS took over the operation of Physical Review, already in existence since 1893. Hence, journal publication also became an important goal, second only to its original mission. During the late 1950s, the then editor Sam Goudsmit collected, organized and published Letters to the Editor of Physical Review into a new standalone journal. This established the Physical Review Letters, Volume 1, Issue 1 was published on July 1, 1958 (see archives link). As the years passed the research fields in physics multiplied, and so did the number of submissions. Consequently, Physical Review was divided into five separate sections after December 1969 into Physical Review A, B, C, D and E, which are distinct from Physical Review Letters.[7][8]
Abstracting, indexing, and impact factor

Physical Review Letters is rated an impact factor of 8.385 for 2019, and it is indexed in the following bibliographic databases:[1]

Chemical Abstracts
Computer & Control Abstracts
Current Physics Index
Electrical & Electronics Index
Energy Research Abstracts
International Aerospace Abstracts
Mathematical Reviews
Metals Abstracts
Nuclear Science Abstracts
Physics Abstracts
World Aluminum Abstracts

See also

First observation of gravitational waves
1964 PRL symmetry breaking papers
American Journal of Physics
Annales Henri Poincaré
CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics


"About Physical Review Letters". American Physical Society. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
Bollen, J.; Rodriguez, M. A.; Van de Sompel, H. (2006). "Journal Status". Scientometrics. 69 (3): 669–87. arXiv:cs/0601030. doi:10.1007/s11192-006-0176-z. "The Prestigious Journal category reveals a collection of highly esteemed Physics journals: Journal of Applied Physics, Physical Review E, Physical Review Letters, and the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials to name a few."
"English - Google Scholar Metrics". Google Scholar. 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2015. According to Google Scholar, PRL is the journal with the 9th journal h-index among all scientific journals
"Physical Review Letters Staff". American Physical Society. 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
"Table of Contents". Physical Review Letters. 102 (17). 1 May 2009.
"Table of Contents". Physical Review Letters. 105 (1). 2 July 2010.
"Society History". American Physical Society. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
"Table of Contents". Physical Review Letters. 1 (1). 1 July 1958. Retrieved 2010-07-09.

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