Led by Professor Jacob Jones in NC State’s Department of Materials Science Engineering, a proposed Center for the Atomic Structure of Matter is a partnership that encompasses a collaborative network of over 40 scientists at universities and national laboratories within the United States and abroad. The research goal of the Center is to enable a new, transformative understanding of the atomic structure of matter in three dimensions at sub-nanometer length scales. Understanding the atomic structure of matter holds the keys to understanding what happened in the past (e.g., geological clues, man-made environmental disasters) and learning how we can improve our future (e.g., locking trace toxic elements in soil particles to prevent incorporation into water streams). The proposed Center leverages a multidisciplinary cluster of faculty and infrastructure related to atomic-level materials characterization, modeling, statistics, and science outreach and education that is unique to NC State. Through the Center, NC State will become recognized as the leading institution in the U.S. for integrating microscopy, crystallography, spectroscopy, computational materials science, and statistical and applied mathematical sciences toward understanding the atomic structure of matter.