The Center for Fundamental Physics at Low Energy (CFP for short) is a long-term initiative of the Northwestern Department of Physics and Astronomy. The faculty members, graduate students and undergraduates associated with the CFP, along with CFP fellows, specialize in small-scale, low-energy experiments to investigate the particles, interactions, and symmetries of the universe - to test and help develop our most fundamental theoretical descriptions. A weekly CFP colloquium features the most exciting international developments in relevant atomic, molecular, and optical physics, along with related developments in high energy physics, astrophysics, and new detector technologies. Associates of the CFP, researchers from Northwestern and neighboring institutions who broaden the CFP community by their participation in the CFP colloquium, help select colloquium topics and speakers. The CFP also encourages interdisciplinary activities that reflect upon, illuminate and reveal the assumptions, implications and methods of fundamental physics.

Northwestern University is an eager and ideal host for this unique center of excellence. As part of its active engagement in increasing the stature and visibility of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and in improving the intellectual opportunities for its students and faculty, Northwestern launched the CFP with new faculty lines for a founding director and core research group leaders. The university provided freshly renovated, adjacent laboratories in the Mudd building, and a suite of offices in the heart of the Department of Physics and Astronomy (see facilities). The university is also committed to providing the crucial support services that CFP researchers (and many others at the university) need to fabricate intricate apparatus for cutting-edge laboratory measurements. Included are maintaining a well-equipped and staffed professional machine shop, a student machine shop within which students are mentored as they safely use up-to-date machine tools, an electronics design shop whose engineer is able to design electronics for precise measurements, and pursuing a sustainable and affordable source of liquid helium.

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