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Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics

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Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics  (University of California-Santa Barbara)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara is a Physics Frontiers Center (PFC) supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Physics Frontiers Centers foster major advances at the intellectual frontiers of physics by providing university-based resources not usually available to individual investigators or small groups.

The general purpose of the Institute is to contribute to the progress of theoretical physics, especially in areas overlapping  traditional subfields, in ways which are not easily realized in existing institutions. KITP programs encompass particle and nuclear physics, astrophysics and cosmology, condensed-matter physics, atomic and molecular physics, and emerging interdisciplinary fields such as biophysics, neurophysics and mathematical physics, addressing questions that lie at the very frontiers of fundamental knowledge.

Education & Outreach

As our understanding of the universe continues to grow, basic science continues to have the capacity to transform our lives. The KITP recognizes the importance and value in sharing new ideas and the excitement of discovery with the wider community through a variety of programming.

Physics for the Inquiring Mind, a very popular series of 3-4 public lectures each year, has featured, among others, Stephen Hawking, and Murray Gellmann. The KITP's Art, Image, and Science initiative helps non-scientists and scientists alike to explore and benefit from the vibrant relationships between art and science under the guidance of an artist-in-residence using exhibitions, collaborations and public talks. The Writer-in-Residence program helps science writers, editors and journalists - through stays at the KITP for up to five months - improve their ability to communicate important and complex science messages to the general public. The KITP hosts an exciting, one-day Teachers’ Conference each year in conjunction with a program that introduces high school science teachers to the latest discoveries and ideas. Attendance is very competitive. Approximately 120 teachers participate each year from all over the country, and limited financial aid is available.

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