Chaikin is a Silver Professor of Physics at New York University and co-founder of the Center for Soft Matter Research. He received his bachelor’s degree from Caltech in 1966 and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. He previously held professorships at UCLA, the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University, where he is the Henry DeWolf Smyth Professor of Physics Emeritus. Chaikin has served as a consultant to Exxon Research, the NEC Research, Solvay and MARS. He is the recipient of the 2018 APS Buckley Condensed Matter Prize. His research focuses on many-body problems, the Kondo effect, superconductors, density waves, organic conductors, quantum Hall, colloids, diblock copolymers, self-assembly, artificial self-replication, active matter, and topological defects.