John T. Tate hall as seen from Northrop Mall

William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute

About FTPI

The William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute (FTPI) was established in 1987 as part of the School of Physics and Astronomy, with the explicit goal of conducting research in theoretical physics at a world-class level. The most important charge of FTPI is to produce sound, significant and exciting theoretical physics that will have an impact on the school, the College of Science and Engineering, the University and the broader physics community.

The Institute hosts a prominent visiting scholar program, workshops, seminars, and a highly regarded public lecture series. Through these outreach programs, the Institute serves to advance theoretical physics, further connections with other scientific research disciplines, industrial research initiatives, and academic sectors. In addition to its noteworthy contributions to academia, the Institute provides a forum in which prominent theorists from around the globe educate, collaborate, and collectively pursue novel solutions to fundamental questions in theoretical physics. The work of the Institute facilitates the mission of the University by enriching the people of the state, the nation, and the world through its Research, Teaching, and Outreach programs.

Upcoming Workshops

To learn more about our workshops and how to participate see our workshop webpage.
CETNA Group Photo


In Memoriam

With great almost unbearable sadness I have to inform you of a sudden death of Mikhail (Misha) Voloshin, one of great theorists of the golden age of HEP. He was born in 1953 in the Soviet Union. He appeared in the ITEP Theory Department very early in his career. His first student work (suggested to him by Okun and Kobzarev) was the false vacuum decay. He brilliantly solved this problem within a week, thus creating a beautiful theory of this phenomenon (independently and before Coleman). I vividly remember this fateful week and the excitement that followed. 

Misha's career started right around the time of the discovery of the J/psi in November 1974 (The November Revolution). He became one of QCD's leading practicioners. He was a standard bearer in this area till his last days. He was a resource for both experimentalists and theorists throughout the world. He combined extremely high standards and principles with passion to physics as an experiment-based science. He hated questionable arguments and unsubstantiated assumptions.

In fact Misha was a universalist who thoroughly knew not only HEP, but all basic aspects of physics, he felt physics laws with his heart. 

I and all my colleagues at FTPI will miss him. This is an understatement. Misha died on March 20, 2020 from heart failure. In fact, he was fighting lymphoma for some time.

-Misha Shifman

Misha Voloshin

FTPI has established a fellowship to celebrate the life and accomplishments of the late Professor Mikhail Voloshin by providing fellowships for exceptional graduate students working in the field of high energy physics. If you would like to help us to honor his memory by contributing to this fellowship please click on this link to our Foundation "Give" page


XMM Newton Space Telescope rendering

Excess X-rays from Neutron Stars Could Lead to Discovery of New Particle

January 15, 2021
After observing an excess of x-rays from neutron stars, a team of researchers found that the anomaly may have been caused by axions, hypothetical particles that could help scientists solve several
Boris Shklovskii

Boris Shklovskii Awarded 2019 APS Buckley Prize

June 2, 2019
FTPI Professor Boris Shklovskii was jointly awarded the 2019 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize with Elihu Abrahams and Alexei Efros by the American Physical Society
Shifman headshot photo

Misha Shifman elected to the National Academy of Sciences

May 1, 2019
FTPI Professor Misha Shifman was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in May 2019. Membership in the Academy is one of the highest honors given to an engineer or scientist.