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From the Director

The James Franck Institute is the premier institute in the U.S. for interdisciplinary research at the intersection of physics, chemistry and materials science. The Institute is home to scientists from condensed matter physics, physical chemistry, synthetic materials chemistry, atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics, geophysics, and biophysics.  Most of the faculty in the Institute are also associated with the University of Chicago Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), supported by the National Science Foundation.

The James Franck Institute was established after World War II as the Institute for the Study of Metals, with the present name being adopted in 1967 to reflect the emerging wider range of research activities covering the full spectrum of solids, liquids, and gases. Today, high-profile experimental and theoretical research in the Institute covers the areas of nanoscience, phase transitions, far-from-equilibrium phenomena, granular materials, low-temperature transport phenomena and superconductivity, ultracold atomic matter, quantum information, electronic structure, hydrodynamics, active matter, biophysics, and networks.

The Institute provides a stimulating environment for scientists of different disciplines to interact and aid each other's research, and it facilitates pre- and postdoctoral researchers working jointly with mentors from different academic backgrounds. The intellectual environment in the Institute is further enriched by Senior Scientists, Senior Research Associates, Research Scientists and Visiting Scholars.  Active colloquium and seminar series, as well as a more informal weekly "baglunch", stimulate information exchange. Housed in the Gordon Center for Integrative Science building, the Institute provides office and state-of-the-art laboratory space and operates a number of specialized research facilities. These include a low-temperature (cryogenics) laboratory, materials preparation and spectroscopic facilities, scanning probe and electron microscopes, and extensive shop facilities.

In an age where much cutting-edge research lies at the boundaries between traditional disciplines, the James Franck Institute fosters creative interdisciplinary work at the forefront of science.

Aaron Dinner,


James Franck Institute • 929 E 57th Street • Chicago, IL 60637 • 773-702-7180
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