JILA was founded in 1962 as a joint institute of CU Boulder and the Natinal Institute for Standards and Technology. JILA is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains on the CU-Boulder campus in the Duane Physics complex.
JILA's faculty includes two Nobel laureates, Eric Cornell and John Hall, as well as two John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellows, Margaret Murnane and Ana Maria Rey. JILA's CU members hold faculty appointments in the Departments of Physics; Astrophysical and Planetary Science, Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology as well as in the School of Engineering. NIST’s Quantum Physics Division members hold adjoint faculty appointments at CU in the same departments.
Each year, JILA scientists publish more than 200 original research papers in national and international scientific journals and conference proceedings. Creative collaborations among the JILA Fellows, their groups, CU professors, and NIST staff members play a key role in generating the pioneering research JILA is known for around the world. Major initiatives, such as NSF’s Physics Frontier Center, make major contributions to JILA’s cutting edge research programs.
The wide-ranging interests of our scientists have made JILA one of the nation's leading research institutes in the physical sciences. Our scientists explore some of today's most challenging and fundamental scientific questions about quantum physics, the design of precision optical and X-ray lasers, the fundamental principles underlying the interaction of light and matter, and processes that have governed the evolution of the Universe for nearly 14 billion years. Research topics range from the small, frigid world governed by the laws of quantum mechanics through the physics of biological and chemical systems to the processes that shape the stars and galaxies. JILA science encompasses eight broad categories: Astrophysics, Atomic & Molecular physics, Biophysics, Chemical physics, Laser Physics, Nanoscience, Precision Measurement, and Quantum Information.