The Institute of Experimental Physics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (IEP SAS) in Košice was established by the SAS Presidium on January 1st, 1969. The Institute, which has since grown considerably, was originally a branch office of the Institute of Physics, SAS, Bratislava. The latter was created in Košice in 1964 with a focus on physical sciences in the fields of cosmic radiation, ferromagnetism and high energy physics. Prof. Juraj Dubinský became the first director of the Institute and held this office until 1979. Between 1980-1985 the Institute was headed by Prof. Vladimír Hajko, from 1986 to 1990 by Dr. Michal Seman and from 1991 to 2007 by Dr. Peter Kopčanský. Since 2007 the director has been Dr. Karol Flachbart.
The present research activities of the Institute cover basic research in several fields of modern physics (condensed matter, subnuclear physics, space physics and biophysics), as well as in selected fields of chemical sciences, biological sciences and nanotechnology. The current organization of the Institute presents 7 research departments and 3 laboratories:
- Department of Space Physics
- Department of Subnuclear Physics
- Department of Magnetism
- Department of Low Temperature Physics
- Department of Metal Physics
- Department of Biophysics
- Department of Theoretical Physics
- Laboratory of Experimental Chemical Physics
- Laboratory of Materials Physics
- Laboratory of Nanomaterials and Applied Magnetism
Currently the Institute employs about 130 people, more than half being research scientists, and about 15 post-graduate students. Its main premises are located at 47 Watsonova Street, Košice. The Department of Low Temperature Physics operates in the premises at 9 Park Angelinum and shares research laboratories with the Institute of Physics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of P. J. Šafárik (FNS UPJS). The Departments of Biophysics and Space Physics are located separately in the reconstructed premises at 2-6 Bulharská Street, where the Operational Workshops of the Institute are also located.
The accreditation of the SAS Institutes ranks the IEP among the top workplaces within SAS. The Institute enjoys a highly respectable position at both the national and international level, and has a well established experimental infrastructure. Several of the experimental devices constructed at the Institute are unique. The Institute is, for example, one of the few physics workplaces with a very low temperature capability (a thousandth of a degree above absolute zero, –273.15 ˚C), thus allowing the study of materials under extreme conditions. A wide range of applications of modern physics for condensed systems are under investigation including high-temperature superconductivity, magnetic fluids, amorphous metal systems, micro- and nanocrystalline materials. Scientific equipment developed at the Institute has been successfully deployed on orbital satellites and have been invaluable tools in contributing to our knowledge of the physical properties of interplanetary space. Furthermore, the Institute has a keen interest on solving the fine structure of matter, with our investigators utilizing the giant particle accelerators in centres such as FERMILAB in Batavia, USA or CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition, we have research programs based on solving the problems of contemporary biophysics and chemical physics.
During forty years of its existence IEP SAS has developed fruitful foreign cooperation with working contacts in all of the developed countries of the world. Within Slovakia, members of the institute intensively collaborate with Šafárik University and the Technical University in Košice, as well as with several institutes of both Sections I (Physical, Space, Earth, and Engineering Sciences) and II (Life, Chemical, Medical, and Environmental Sciences) of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.