The Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics conducted research in theoretical and experimental solid state physics, material science, and theoretical and experimental optics. The main research topics were: theoretical and experimental solid state physics, investigation of complex fluids, neutron spectroscopy applied non-linear optics, and quantum optics and quantum information. The applied research in the institute was concerned with the research of new materials, the development of new methods for testing materials, production and application of new optical crystal and thin-film devices, and the development and application of lasers. The researchers of the institute participate in graduate and postgraduate education related to their scientific work, present seminars, and supervise many diplomas and doctoral thesis each year.

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The Wigner Research Centre for Physics was founded on 1 January 2012 by the merging of two former research institutes of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences: the Research Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics, and the Research Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics. In our Research Centre there are 40 research groups. Their research interests cover diverse topics ranging from particle physics to space physics, and from theoretical physics to applied research.