Xiao-Gang Wen, a condensed matter theoretical physicist, has joined the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics as the new BMO Financial Group Isaac Newton Chair.   Yes, their Isaac Newton Chair has a corporate sponsor.

 Xiao-Gang Wen is moving from MIT to Perimeter Institute as the inaugural holder of the BMO Financial Group Isaac Newton Chair in Theoretical Physics. At MIT, he held the Cecil and Ida Green Professorship in Physics.  The position was funded by a CDN$4 million gift from the BMO Financial Group, matched by another CDN$4 million from Perimeter's existing endowment. 

Announced in November 2010, this investment was the largest single donation ever made by BMO Financial Groupto support theoretical science in Canada, and the largest corporate donation ever received by Perimeter.

 "This investment is a game-changer. Last fall, when we announced BMO's support in attracting even more of the best theoretical physicists to Canada, we were confident that this chair, in particular, would be a magnet for talent, " said Bill Downe, President and Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group.  

 The BMO Financial Group Isaac Newton Chair in Theoretical Physics is the first of five chairs planned by the Perimeter Institute, to be named after scientists whose insights defined modern physics and, apparently, with naming rights sold to the highest bidder. 

"We are thrilled that Xiao-Gang Wen is joining Perimeter as the first holder of the BMO Newton Chair," says Neil Turok, the Institute's Director. "Newton founded the laws of forces and motion, paving the way for all modern mechanical engineering. In the same spirit, Xiao-Gang Wen introduced the notion of topological order, which has already led to a deeper understanding of phenomena such as superconductivity and which holds the promise of an entirely new paradigm for describing and predicting the behaviour of quantum materials. Xiao-Gang's work is bold, interdisciplinary and far-reaching: exactly the kind of research to which Perimeter aspires."

 At Perimeter, Wen, and three postdoctoral researchers will form the core of a growing condensed matter group.