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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics was founded in 1999, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Its mission is to create and sustain a world-leading centre for foundational theoretical physics
research, training, and educational outreach, fostering scientific excellence and stimulating
breakthroughs.
Perimeter is rapidly emerging as one of the world’s leading centres of theoretical physics. It is
now home to more than 150 researchers, ranging from Masters students to eminent senior
scientists such as Distinguished Research Chair Stephen Hawking. Perimeter houses the world’s
largest group of independent postdoctoral researchers in theoretical physics and receives well
over 600 applications per year for the ten or so postdoctoral fellowships awarded at the Institute
annually. Over 1,000 researchers from around the world visit Perimeter each year, making the
Institute a global hub for the interchange of ideas.
Why theoretical physics? Because it is a cornerstone of modern quantitative science, on which
so much else rests. The goal of the field is to understand how the universe works at the most
fundamental level. Theoretical physics continues to spin off key ideas to fields ranging from
astrophysics to chemistry, from engineering to computer science. And it seeds innovation:
theoretical ideas have time and again inspired the development of new technologies, and thereby
created new industries. One breakthrough in theoretical physics can literally change the world.
Perimeter is not just about research. Brilliant young people are the lifeblood of science, and
so the Institute has developed innovative and highly sought-after scientific training programs,
including the Perimeter Scholars International program. Since sharing the excitement and wonder
of science feeds the soil in which new talent can grow, the Institute also conducts extensive,
award-winning outreach to students, teachers, and the general public.