William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute

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The William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute is a research institute in the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering. FTPI was largely the work of physics Professor Emeritus, Stephen Gasiorowicz and University alumnus and Twin-Cities real-estate developer William I. Fine.[1] The Institute officially came into existence in January 1987.[2] FTPI faculty consists of seven permanent members: Alex Kamenev, Keith Olive, Mikhail Shifman, Boris Shklovskii, Arkady Vainshtein, Mikhail Voloshin, and Andrey V. Chubukov as well as postdoctoral and graduate students.[3]

The William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute has on Oversight Committee consisting of 8 members.[4] The Oversight Committee is essentially a board of directors that make decisions concerning the staffing and budgeting of the Institute.[5]


The Misel Family Lecture Series

The Irving and Edythe Misel Family Lecture Series, hosted by FTPI, invites physicists from around the world to the University of Minnesota to discuss physics with the general public. It is funded by a generous gift from the Edythe and Irving Misel family. The list of the Misel Lecturers to date is: 2006: Frank Wilczek (2004 Nobel Prize in Physics), 2007: Leo Kadanoff (1980 Wolf Prize), 2008: Jim Peebles (1982 Heineman Prize), 2009: Helen Quinn (2000 Dirac Medal), 2010: N. David Mermin (2010 Majorana Prize), 2011: Roger Blandford (1998 Heineman Prize), 2012: John Ellis (2005 Dirac Medal), 2013: Eric Cornell (2001 Nobel Prize in Physics), 2014: Andrei Linde (2012 Fundamental Physics Prize), 2015: Joseph Polchinski (2008 Dirac Medal and 2017 Fundamental Physics Prize), 2016: John Preskill (member of the National Academy of Science): 2017: Wendy Freedman (2016 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics).[6]

Visitor Program

FTPI has a worldwide reach. The Institute has hosted over 800 individual researchers, from institutions in more than 18 different countries, for working visits of one day to six months.[7]


FTPI hosts up to three workshops per year for physicists from around the world.[8] This includes the 2013 CAQCD meeting which was special because it was the tenth meeting in the series. The proceedings of the previous conferences – they are held biannually – reveal the developments of QCD and related theories from the early 1990s.[9] As well as a workshop in October 2000 celebrating 30 years of supersymmetry.[10]


Current and former faculty members of FTPI have been honored with a number of prizes and awards. Keith Olive is a current Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Physics[11] and was awarded the 2018 Hans Bethe Prize. [12] Former faculty, Leonid Glazman was a McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair.[13] Boris Shklovskii is the recipient of the 1986 Landau Award [14] Arkady Vainshtein and Mikhail Shifman were awarded the 2016 Dirac Medal and Prize. [15]

Three faculty members have been awarded the Sakurai Prize: Arkady Vainshtein (1999), Mikhail Shifman (1999), and Mikhail Voloshin (2001).[16] Arkady Vainshtein (2005) and Mikhail Shifman (2013) received the Pomeranchuk Prize.[17] Mikhail Shifman was honored with the Lilienfeld Prize (2006),[18] and elected as Laureate of Les Chaires Internacionales de Recherche Blaise Pascal(2007)[19] Former member Anatoly Larkin was awarded the Fritz London Memorial Prize in Low Temperature Physics (1990),[20] the Hewlett Packard Europhysics Prize (1993),[21] the Lars Onsager Prize in Theoretical Statistical Physics (2002)[22] as well as the Bardeen Prize for Superconductivity (2004).[23]


The William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute is financed from a combination of private and University funds.[24] In the world of fundamental-science research institutes, FTPI is, for its part, something of an oddity. While most such organizations are large, National Science Foundation-funded enterprises, Minnesota's FTPI was created in large part out of the generosity of a single private donor, and it is dedicated to the research efforts of its members.[25]

The United States Department of Energy ER40823 grant is mutually submitted between the Department of Physics at the University of Minnesota and FTPI. This grant is entitled "Experimental and Theoretical High Energy Physics" and helps to support faculty and postdoctoral salaries.[26]


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