Advancing Basic Science for Humanity
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics China
The Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics China at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing (KITPC) is a platform for the sharing of knowledge at the frontiers of physics. Founded in 2006 and in operation since May 2007, the Institute has quickly established itself as a center for world-class interdisciplinary work.
KITPC was established to fill the need in China for a center that attracts world-class physicists and spurs the progress of China’s own research. Modeled after the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, KITPC hosts major programs organized by international groups of scientists. Typically, close to 100 researchers are invited to three-month events, with about one-third from overseas and two-thirds from China. About 30 of these scientists are present at any given time, joined by about 50 graduate students. This creates what KITPC considers a “critical mass” for sharing ideas and pushing knowledge forward. The Institute strongly encourages long stays by visiting scientists as well as participation by young scientists and postdoctoral fellows.
KITPC is led Dr. Yue-Liang Wu of the Institute of Theoretical Physics (ITP) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Chairing its international advisory board is Dr. David A. Gross, head of the KITP at UC Santa Barbara and a Nobel Laureate in physics.
In its first year, KITPC held programs in the quantum phases of matter and in string theory and cosmology, organized by scientists from Harvard University, MIT, University of Maryland, Cornell University, Stanford University, ITP-CAS and the University of Hong Kong. These are being followed by programs on topics such as the physics of information systems, nanoscale phenomena at the interface of complex fluids, the function and dynamics of biomolecules, physics beyond the standard model, and the problem of connecting advanced physical theory with experiment and observation.
The Institute also holds “mini-programs” of three to six weeks as well as summer schools, short workshops and conferences for both scientists and students. It invites globally recognized scientists to teach courses to students and young researchers on topics currently under-represented in Chinese research.
In all its activities, KITPC has two goals in view. One is to stimulate new thinking and new avenues for scientific research worldwide. The other is to promote basic research and interdisciplinary collaboration in China, with the particular aim of bridging the realms of theory and experiment.