HKUST Centre for Fundamental Physics
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Message from Director
Fundamental physics addresses some key questions of Nature: What are we made of? What are the fundamental forces and matter in Nature? What is the origin of our Universe? These questions which range from subatomic to cosmological scales are intimately connected. Although key problems in fundamental physics are few, they are some of the most challenging ones in science. Advance towards their comprehension and solution requires big teams of experimentalists to extract important data, whose implications lead theorists to explore new possibilities and to make predictions for experimentalists to test.

With an edge in terms of manpower and infrastructure in specific areas, we believe that it will lead to the success of running the Fundamental Physics project. This project comprises regular faculty members and a team of fellows and postgraduate students, whose research spans a wide range of frontier research topics in fundamental physics (which broadly includes particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology), unmatched by any university in the region. The HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) provides a home for interdisciplinary, cross-institutional international collaboration. Moreover, the Lo Ka Chung Building can provide office space for running academic activities of the project. Infrastructure of this kind that fosters collaboration among participating institutions cannot be found elsewhere in Hong Kong.

It has become clear that many key issues in fundamental physics are deeply intertwined. In the long term, the project provides a platform for Hong Kong to contribute significantly to these global endeavors. The project plans to build on these existing strengths to develop a comprehensive program in fundamental physics. To make substantial contributions requires a confluence of expertise in a variety of fields, both in theory and experiment. This project will enable us to make new breakthroughs and set the stage for growing into a sustainable operation such as a partner State-Key-Lab. We shall develop fundamental physics research, both theoretical and experimental, and lead Hong Kong in participating in these global endeavors.

George F SMOOT
IAS Professor-at-Large and Professor Emeritus in Physics