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From the Director

Welcome to the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics. True to the groundbreaking discoveries that have marked theoretical physics at Caltech, the Burke Institute will strengthen Caltech’s leading role in humanity’s quest to discover fundamental laws of nature and to explain natural phenomena at all scales—from subatomic, atomic, and molecular scales to the scales of celestial objects and the universe itself.

As a permanent and endowed center, the Burke Institute provides Caltech’s faculty with the resources to pursue theoretical physics research with intellectual freedom. It is a scientific oasis built not by walls but by powerful ideas, where faculty members, postdoctoral and graduate fellows, and visiting scholars can exchange ideas and collaborate to open new avenues of inquiry and to expand the frontiers of human knowledge.

We are grateful to the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and the many other friends of Caltech who made the Burke Institute possible, and we take great pride in honoring the visionary leadership of Caltech Life Trustee Walter Burke, who said:

“During my tenure as a trustee of Caltech, I spent considerable time working with the chairs and faculty of the PMA division and attended a variety of meetings. The back and forth among PMA faculty is amazing to watch: there is a great interchange of minds. With this background, I am especially honored to have my name on this institute.”


Hirosi Ooguri

Director of the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Fred Kavli Professor of Theoretical Physics and Mathematics