The standard model of particle physics has been astoundingly successful in predicting and interpreting the results of atomic and sub-atomic experiments. However when it comes to atomic nuclei -- which make up more than 99% of the mass of visible matter -- we don't yet know how to solve the equations of the standard model to obtain predictions. Nonetheless, substantial progress towards this goal has been made in the past two decades. I will discuss some developments in nuclear many-body theory which, coupled with nuclear potentials derived from chiral effective field theory, place first-principles calculations of nuclear physics within reach. I will also describe some applications to searches for physics beyond the standard model.