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  The Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) was established in 1950 through merging of the National Research Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica (established in 1928) and the Institute of Physics, National Academy of Peiping. Soon after the founding of the People's Republic of China it was known as the Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, then in October 1958 the present name was adopted.

  The Institute is a multidisciplinary institution engaged in research on basic and applied physics, concentrating mainly on condensed matter physics, optical physics, atomic and molecular physics, plasma physics and theoretical physics. There are three State Key Laboratories, which are the Surface Physics Lab. (set up with the Institute of Semiconductors of the Academy), Magnetism Lab. and Super- conductivity Lab. The R&D Department undertakes the development and application of research achievements and high technology.

  Many modern facilities, a good library, mechanical and cryogenic workshops as well as other services support the research activities. In affiliation with the Chinese Physical Society, the Institute administers the Secretarial and Journal Editorial Offices of the Society.

  At present there are 474 research and technical staff in the Institute including 85 research scientists, 108 associate research scientists and 95 senior engineers, among whom are 8 Members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and 52 doctoral tutors. There are 41 postdoctors, and 239 students working towards their M.S. or Ph. D. degrees. The institute has formed longterm and extensive cooperative relationships with institutions in more than 30 countries. The number of visiting scientists to or from foreign institutions totals more than 300 every year. More than 20 scientists currently hold various offices  orpositions in national or international academic organizations. The Institute has six foreign Honorary Research Fellows, and has founded the Research and Training Center of the Asian-African Association for Plasma Training.

  The Center for Condensed Matter Physics, CAS was set up in July 1996, based on the three State Key Labs, three Open Labs of the Academy (Lab. of Optical Physics, Beijing Lab. of Electron Microscopy and Beijing Lab. of Vacuum Physics), and certain other research groups of the Institute.

  Since 1950 the Institute has won more than 300 major scientific achievements, of which about 190 were made after 1978. The discovery of oxide superconductors at liquid nitrogen temperatures, and the development of Nd-Fe-B permanent magnetic alloys using low purity materials are particularly noteworthy.

  The Institute is now making new strides towards reform in an effort to become a major physics research center of international standing.

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