The history of the Physical Sciences Division at the University of Chicago is arguably the richest of any such division in any university in this country. The scientists of the Physical Sciences Division have not merely advanced their fields—in many cases, they have defined new ones. That tradition of discovery continues to the present day. Witness the many Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry and Fields Medals awarded to our faculty, staff, and alumni.
The division includes the Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geophysical Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. The history of each department is intertwined inextricably with the history of science.
Research at Chicago was interdisciplinary before the word interdisciplinary was coined. Today, the Enrico Fermi Institute, the James Franck Institute, the Computation Institute, the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, and the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics bring scientists from different fields together to unlock the secrets of nature. Many of our scientists have joint appointments at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory. The University of Chicago has a management role in both labs, as well as Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico. A number of our researchers also have joint affiliations with other Chicago based research institutions such as the Toyota Technological Institute of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Field Museum, to name a few.
To the alumni of the physical sciences: I am proud, as I hope you are, to be associated with the division. And I am proud of you.
To our graduate students: you are joining an amazing group. We will support you to the best of our ability.
And to our friends and visitors: welcome. I invite you to visit us in Hyde Park.
With warm regards,
Edward (Rocky) Kolb
Dean of the Physical Sciences