International Year of Physics


Emblem of the International Year of PhysicsThe World Year of Physics (WYP 2005) was a worldwide celebration of physics and its importance in our everyday lives. Physics not only plays an important role in the development of science and technology, but also has a tremendous impact on our society. WYP aimed to raise the worldwide awareness of physics and physical science.


The year 2005 was chosen as the World Year of Physics because it marked the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s “miraculous year” in which he published three important papers describing ideas that have since influenced all of modern physics. This year provided the opportunity to celebrate Einstein, his great ideas, and his influence on life in the 21st century.


WYP 2005 was an international endeavour. The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics declared the year 2005 as the World Year of Physics. With this declaration, people all over the world joined in the celebration of physics and its importance in our everyday lives.


The 32nd General Conference of UNESCO adopted a resolution to support the initiative of the World Year of Physics. Not much later, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 2005 as International Year of Physics. It was decided though to keep the original name.


Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visiting the Foucault Pendulum in Groningen 2005The Year started with the Physics for Tomorrow Conference at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. This conference was attended by more than 1.000 participants, including eight Nobel Prize winners.


In addition to larger scale national projects, local WYP events were organized by a diverse group of people. Individuals, science museums, physics departments, labs, community groups, teachers, and others also planned events in their communities.


At the end of 2005 thousands of activities had been organized in more than 80 countries. In the Netherlands one of many events was the visit by the Queen and the prime minister to the Foucault Pendulum in the Martini Church in Groningen.





The World Year of Physics website.

All the International Years proclaimed by the General Assembly.



Stamp catalogue


Slovakia                      16 May 2005

Tunisia                        15 October 2005









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last revised: 1 July 2009