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The national Institute for Nuclear Theory (INT) was established in 1990 by the US Department of Energy and is based at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.


The goals of the INT are:

  • To create a research environment where visiting scientists can focus their energies on key frontier areas of the field, including those crucial to the success of existing and future experimental facilities.

  • To encourage interdisciplinary research at the intersections of nuclear physics with related disciplines, such as particle physics, astrophysics, atomic physics, and condensed matter physics. The goals are to build greater appreciation, in the general physics community, for the tools of nuclear physics and the breadth of their possible applications, and to assure that new ideas generated in other fields are quickly assimilated and exploited by nuclear physics.

  • To recruit and nurture the best young researchers, thereby enhancing their professional prospects. The goal is to enlarge the pool of young nuclear physicists who can compete for positions in leading universities and government/industry laboratories.

  • To contribute to scientific education through graduate student research, INT summer schools, and cosponsorship of national schools and workshops.

  • To strengthen international cooperation in nuclear physics and physics generally, through cooperative programs and exchanges.


INT activities can be divided into three areas: programs, local research, and an annual series of schools and small workshops.

Programs: Each year the INT sponsors four programs focused on specific physics questions, and drawing visiting physicists from the US and abroad who are expert in the subject area. The proposals for such programs are made by members of the physics community and reviewed by the INT's National Advisory Committee, comprised of leading physicists. The four main programs attract approximately 350 visitors each year for an average stay of about one month.

Research: There is a local research effort led by four senior professors and five younger researchers at the junior faculty and postdoctoral levels. The research interests represented by this group are very broad and have important intellectual connections to most of the programs that the INT hosts.

Schools and Workshops: The INT sponsors an annual series of schools and smaller workshops, with many of the latter organized quickly in response to urgent developments in the field. The INT workshops, which typically run from two to five days, attract another 200 visitors each year.

An important focus of the INT are young researchers. The INT and the National Science Foundation co-sponsor the annual Summer School in Nuclear Physics, an annual school for advanced graduate students. The INT and the UW Department of Physics, co-host a very successful annual Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program that attracts 200 applications each year from undergraduates throughout the US.