Brief History of the Department
Prof. H.B. Dunicliffe was appointed Professor and Head of the combined Department of Physics and Chemistry in 1908 and Dr. Wali Mohammad, a student of Sir J.J. Thomson (Cambridge), was appointed as Assistant Professor of Physics in the same year (1908), and teaching of Physics for B.Sc. degree started in the combined Department of the MAO College.
Separate departments of Physics and Chemistry came into existence in 1912.
The British Parliament passed the Aligarh Muslim University Act and the University was born in 1920. Fifteen separate departments were established under the Statute 19(1) of the AMU Act.
The first student was awarded M.Sc. in Physics in year 1923.
The separate building of the Department of Physics was ready for occupation in 1932. The period 1929-34, when Sir Roos Masood (Sir Sayedís grandson) was the Vice-Chancellor, was a period of great development of the whole University and specially the Department of Physics. The laboratories with finest instruments were established and outstanding physicists were offered appointment in the department. The notable amongst them were Prof. Rudolf Samuel (on Albert Einsteinís recommendations) and Dr. R.K. Asundi who established a first rate research laboratory in experimental spectroscopy. This research laboratory was considered the best in the country.
The first Ph.D. degree was awarded in Physics to Dr. M. Zakiuddin in 1934.
Prof. Babar Mirza was appointed the first Dean of the Faculty of Science in 1944.
Dr. Zakir Husain, the Vice-Chancellor of AMU (1948-56) invited an acclaimed physicist, Dr. P.S. Gill as Professor and Head, Department of Physics in 1949. He worked for the improvement of teaching and research for about 14 years at AMU. During this time, a research laboratory was also established as Gulmarg under the joint auspices of AMU and the University of Jammu and Kashmir.
The syllabi of the department were modernized and teaching in the new discipline of Nuclear Physics and Microwave Spectroscopy started. Research in Nuclear, Cosmic Ray Physics and Spectroscopy started in a big way. During 1950-64, 121 research papers were published in reputed Journals and 27 research scholars were awarded Ph.D. degree. As a result of the research contribution of high quality several eminent physicists visited the department (e.g. Dr. L.F.Curtiss from the U.S. National Bureau of Standards (1951) and Dr. Pomerantz of the Bartol foundation of the Franklin Institute at Swarthmore, Pennzylvania, USA. It was during this period that the department became famous for the Naqvi-Mitra Potential (Joint paper of Prof. J.H. Naqvi and Prof. A.N. Mitra) and the fabrication of Geiger-Muller counters.
Chairman of the Department
Prof. WASI HAIDER
Member of Board of Studies
Thrust Area of Research