Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology (the KIPT, earlier referred to as Ukrainian Institute of Physics and Technology), being one of oldest and largest centers of physical science in Ukraine, was created in 1928 for the purpose of developing urgent lines of research (at that time - nuclear physics and solid-state physics). As soon as four years later, on October 10, 1932, an outstanding result was received by A.K.Val'ter, K.D.Sinel'nikov, A.I.Lejpunsky, G.D.Latyshev, namely, the nucleus of lithium atom was caused to undergo fission. In 1931 L.V.Shubnikov organized the first cryogenic laboratory in the USSR. For a short period many significant scientific results were received in this laboratory. Liquid hydrogen and helium were obtained here for the first time in the USSR. The first school of cryogenic physics in the country was born. Practically at the same time the talented physicist-theorist, future Nobel prize winner, L.D.Landau, who worked at the KIPT from 1932 to 1937, formed an internationally known school of theoretical physics. A guest session of the USSR Academy of Sciences, 1937, was here held, where Academician S.I.Vavilov told that the scientists of the Institute did more than a quarter of the whole physics in the USSR. N.Bohr, P.Dirac, R.Paierls and other famous foreign scientists visited the Institute. The known Soviet physicists I.V.Obreimov, I.V.Kurchatov, N.E.Alekseevsky, L.F.Vereshagin, E.M.Lifshits, I.M.Lifshits, A.A.Slutskin, V.E.Ivanov, B.I.Verkin, A.A.Galkin, I.Ya.Pomeranchuk, A.F.Prikhot'ko, A.Ya.Usikov, D.V.Volkov and others worked here.
In succeeding years in the KIPT the first radar installation was constructed. The institute has pioneered high vacuum engineering in the USSR, on the basis of which subsequently a new physico-technological direction - vacuum metallurgy - was advanced.
The distinctive properties of the Institute were always the combination of the fundamental approach to solving the problems with a practical orientation of work and a wide range of the studies done. The last circumstance has played an important role in formation of several large scientific institutions with the KIPT as the base: Institute of Low Temperature Physics and Engineering of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Institute of Radioelectronics of NAS of Ukraine, and others. On the initiative of the Institute the first in Ukraine physico-mechanical faculty at the Kharkov Polytechnical Institute and the physico-technical faculty at the Kharkov State University were created.
In post-war years the KIPT was one of the active participants working on the problem of use of atomic energy in the USSR. Systematic measurements of constants of neutron and other particle interactions with fissile and structural materials have been performed. These constants have been used in developments of nuclear reactors and weapons. Later the Institute was included in thermonuclear fusion investigations. In 60-70th many unique experimental installations, namely, a number of electron and ion accelerators, including the largest USSR electron linear accelerator, a family of thermonuclear installations "Uragan", were constructed. A number of new materials, significant technological processes and installations were introduced into industry, in particular: the process of manufacturing fuel elements for nuclear reactors; the manufacturing technology of high-temperature heaters; the technology of depositing heat-resistant, hard and superhard coatings on materials operating in aggressive environments; the technologies of hardening cutting tools and machine components; vacuum rolling mills and the process of hot rolling of multilayer materials in vacuum; ultrapure materials and alloys on their basis; superconductors; composite carbon - carbon materials; small-sized accelerators of charged particles, and so on.
From 1972 till the end 1991 the Institute executed functions of a main organization in the USSR in the field of radiation materials science and radiation technologies. In 1967 the Institute was decorated with the Order of Lenin and in 1978 - with the Order of October Revolution for great achievements in development of physical science and preparation of high-qualified personnel.
After disintegration of the USSR the Institute is actively comprised in the process of creation of research complex of Ukraine, as well as in shaping policy and corresponding institutes of Ukraine in the field of atomic industry, nuclear energy, in the determination of further fate of nuclear weapon of the Ukraine, in the development of material science, accelerator equipment and new sources of energy for demands of civil and defense branches.
By the decree of the President of Ukraine in 1993 the Institute was given the status of the first in Ukraine National Science Center (the NSC KIPT), and Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine confirmed "Program on atomic science and technique of the NSC KIPT". According to the Decree, in the NSC KIPT on the basis of scientific departments there were formed the Institute of Plasma Physics, the Institute of Solid-state Physics, Materials Science and Technologies, the Institute of Plasma Electronics and New Methods of Acceleration, the Institute of Theoretical Physics, the Institute of High-energy Physics and Nuclear Physics. Also there were created R&D Complex "Accelerator", the Technological Complex "Nuclear Fuel Cycle", Research-and-production Complex of Renewing Sources of Energy, Division of Nonproliferation and International Relations, as well as corporation "Pyatikhatki" for marketing purposes.
Significant part of research in the NSC KIPT is executed within the framework of international agreements, on contracts with foreign organizations and companies of the USA, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, Holland, Brazil, Poland, Korea, China, Japan. The Center sup-ports and develops relations with research institutes of Moscow, Sankt-Peterburg, Protvino, Novosibirsk (all - Russia), many international organizations and centers of science (IAEA, CERN, JLAB (USA), Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna), research centers of Uzbekistan and Kazachstan.
Many years the Center carries out cooperative researches on the development of stellarator concept and plasma physics. As a result, Ukraine has got an invitation to enter into "Implementing Agreement for Cooperation in Development of the Stellarator Concept" of International Energy Agency.
The NSC KIPT is a nuclear facility under IAEA safeguards. In the frames of nuclear weapons nonproliferation regime the Center carries out an international cooperation in the area of nuclear export control, particularly through scientific expertise fulfillment, and on nuclear materials accountancy, control and physical protection systems modernization.
The Center is enclosed in the Internet system through the own satellite channel. Presently, the NSC KIPT executes project of INTAS on data-ware for scientists of the north-east region of Ukraine from 5 scientific libraries of West Europe.
During last years more than 30 projects of the International Science Foundation of G.Soros were executed by the scientists of the Center. At the present time they are fulfilled 14 projects of the Science and Tech-nology Center of Ukraine. In the whole, more than 400 scientists carry out fundamental researches with support of various international foundations and organizations.
Nearly 300 Candidates and 80 Doctors of Sciences, 7 Members of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine work here. More than fifty persons are the winners of State and Nominal Prizes. From 1981 more than 60 monographs have been written by the scientists of the NSC KIPT.
By the Decree of the President of Ukraine in 1996 the NSC KIPT is turned over under the management of Ministry of Ukraine for Science and Technology.