Considered one of the world's most eminent theoretical physicists, Frank Wilczek received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004. He is known, among other things, for the discovery of asymptotic freedom, the development of quantum chromodynamics, the invention of axions, and the discovery and exploitation of new forms of quantum statistics (anyons). He defined—in work with David Gross—the properties of color gluons, which hold atomic nuclei together, research done when only 21 years old and a graduate student at Princeton University.
After teaching at Princeton from 1974 until 1981, he became the Chancellor Robert Huttenback Professor of Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, a post he held from 1981–88. He was also the first permanent member of the National Science Foundation's Institute for Theoretical Physics. In the fall of 2000, he moved from the Institute for Advanced Study, where he was the J.R. Oppenheimer Professor, to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics. Since 2002, he has been an Adjunct Professor in the Centro de Estudios Científicos of Valdivia, Chile.
Among his memberships are the National Academy of Sciences, the Netherlands Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; he is also a Trustee of the University of Chicago.
Dr. Wilczek has received UNESCO's Dirac Medal, the American Physical Society's Sakurai Prize, the Michelson Prize from Case Western University, the Lorentz Medal of the Netherlands Academy for his contributions to the development of theoretical physics, and the 2005 King Faisal Prize. Professor Wilczek also has been a Sloan Foundation Fellow (1975–77) and a MacArthur Foundation Fellow (1982–87).
Wilczek received his BS degree from the University of Chicago and his PhD from Princeton University.