The Department offers B.Sc (Physics), M.Sc (Physics) courses and Ph.D. programme.
The Physics department was started in the year 1946, offering B.Sc. Degree course in Physics. Prof. S. Narayanamoorthy was the first Head of the Department, succeeded by Prof. K.Lakshminarayanan, Prof. J.Kalyanaraman, Prof. R.Raghavan, Prof. G.Suryanarayanan, Prof. A.Ramachandran and Dr. N.S.Venkatasubramanian. Dr. V.Murugan is presently the Head of the Department.
M.Sc. Degree course was started in the year 1981. The department was recognized for conducting Ph.D. programme in the year 2003. At present, the department offers the following courses: 1. B.Sc. degree with a sanctioned strength of 50 students. 2. M.Sc. degree with a sanctioned strength of 10 students. 3. Ph.D. Degree.
Of the 9 staff members, 7 have got Ph.D. degree. The remaining two are also currently undergoing part-time Ph.D. programme. Four members of the staff viz. Dr. K.Sethusankar, Dr. S.Jayakumar, Dr. J.Segar and Dr. K.Elankumaran are recognized to supervise Ph.D. students. So far, two students have completed Ph.D. degree from this department. There are two full-time and seven part-time students, currently undergoing Ph.D. programme in the department.
Teachers of this department are very resourceful and accomplished in different areas of Physics. The Department has diverse areas of research, which includes quantum groups, X-ray crystallography, spectroscopy, cosmology, nuclear physics, non-destructive testing, magnetism, non-linear ultrasonics, superconductivity and solid state nuclear magnetic resonance. The total number of papers (referred papers) published by all the staff members (which, of course, includes their research work in other institutes as well) is more than 100 in national and international journals with good citation indices.
Dr. J.Segar is a reviewer for Mathematical Reviews published by American Mathematical Society. He is also a co-investigator in a project funded by the Board of Research in Nuclear Science, Department of Atomic Energy. He is collaborating with Prof. T.R.Govindarajan of Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Madras, Prof. R.Chakraborti of University of Madras and Dr. N.Aizawa, Department of Mathematics, Osaka Prefecture University, Japan. He was a visiting fellow in the Osaka Prefecture University, Japan in the year 2008. Dr. K.Ilangovan has published two text books. Dr. K.Elankumaran is 2011 – visiting fellow in Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Research.
The department has one UG lab, one PG lab and a computer lab with 12 computer systems.
The department has a long tradition of producing bright students. Dr. M.Seetharaman, a gold medallist, former Head of the Department of Theoretical Physics, University of Madras is one of the distinguished alumni of this department. Dr. Rajaram Nithyananda of Raman Research Institute (Retd,) and former Director of National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, TIFR, a distinguished theoretical astrophysicist is also an alumnus of this department. The list of the distinguished alumni of this department includes Dr. K.Srinivasa Rao of Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Dr. K.Markandeyalu, Head of the Department of Physics, IIT, Madras and Dr. Pattabiraman, Department of Physics, IIT, Madras to name a few.
Of our students in the recent past, Dr. Ulagendran, the first student to get Ph.D. degree from this department, is now working as a Post-doctoral fellow in the University of Alabama, Canada. Mr. Ganguly and Mr. Madukar, who got their M.Sc. degrees from this department, are now doing their Ph.D. courses in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Raman Research Institute, Bangalore respectively. Mr. Ajith Padmanabhan, another M.Sc. student from our college is now doing Ph.D. in Bernstein Institute of Computational Neuroscience, Freighburg, Germany. Dr. P.C.Bhardwaj, a University gold medallist (B.Sc.) from our college got his Ph.D. degree from the Michigan State University, USA. Subsequently he is doing Post-doctoral research in the Calton University, Canada. A good number of students of this department get selected for jobs in campus interviews conducted by IT and other companies, every year.
The department has always tried to be innovative in framing UG and PG curricula under autonomy. The department has introduced a number of features in the curricula which are unique among the autonomous colleges in the city.
The department has got two endowments. Under Prof. K.Lakshminarayanan Endowment, an eminent scientist is invited every year to deliver a lecture on a topic of current interest. Prof. K.L. Endowment lectures are being conducted for the past 21 years. The list of speakers includes Dr. P.M.Mathews, Dr. M.D.Srinivas, both from the Department of Theoretical Physics, University of Madras, Dr. G.Bhaskaran from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, Dr. K.S.Viswanathan from the Department of Physics, Simon Fraser University, Canada and Dr. E.S.Rajagopal from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, to mention a few.
In the recent past (2006), the department conducted two seminars: one on ‘Three dimensional structure determination of molecules using X-ray crystallographic techniques’ and the other on ‘Recent advances in materials’.
As an outreach program, the department conducted a two-day exhibition, ‘Enrich 2006’, as part of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of this institution, concentrating on experimental demonstration of laws of Physics, exclusively for school children. More than 500 students from various schools attended the exhibition.
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