The Kirensky Institute of Physics of SB RAS was founded on the ground of the Decision of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR dated the 12th of October 1956, on the initiative of Leonid Vasilyevich Kirensky, who had headed the newly organized Institute, consisted that time of three laboratories:
- The Laboratory of Physics of Magnetic Phenomena headed by Leonid Vasilyevich Kirensky
- The Laboratory of Biophysics headed by Ivan Aleksandrovich Terskov
- The Laboratory of Spectroscopy headed by Anatoly Vasilyevich Korshunov
In 1959 the Laboratory of Crystallophysics was organized and headed by Kirill Sergeevich Aleksandrov. These laboratories had founded the basis for further formation of directions of the Institute scientific activity.
The Institute was leaded by Corresponding Member of the AS USSR I.A. Terskov (1969 – 1983), Full Member of AS USSR/RAS K.S. Aleksandrov (1983 – 2003). Since 2003 to 2011 it was led by Full Member of RAS V.Ph. Shabanov.
Now the Institute has been led Doctor of Phys. and Math. Sciences Nikita V. Volkov
At present the Institute is a structural unit of the Russian Academy of Sciences; it is directly subordinate to the Presidium of the Siberian Branch of RAS. Scientific and methodical guidance is exercised by the Division of General Physics and Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Currently, the Institute of Physics comprises 16 scientific laboratories. The Institute staff consists of 339 persons; 137 researchers are among them, including 2 Full Members of RAS, 1 Corresponding Member of RAS, 30 Doctors and 86 Candidates of Sciences, 32 young scientists and specialists, 47 post-graduate students. For the last five years 10 monographs, 737 papers in reviewed journals have been published; 45 Patents of the Russian Federation have been taken out.