One of the oldest Colleges in the Country and also one of the oldest Physics departments, our alumni have invariably taken up leadership positions in society. Alumni from the department of Physics have made their mark and are still doing it in many parts of the world. Dr.K.S. Krishnan, Sir CV Raman’s co-worker and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s Advisor has Dr.KS Krishnan Marg named after him, in New Delhi. Dr.Raja Ramanna, Dr.Homi Bhabha’s favourite protégé, and one of the acknowledged fathers of the Nuclear movement in India. In fact, in recognition of his contribution to the Indian Nuclear programme, maybe the most prestigious establishment of the DAE, at Indore, the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology had been named in his memory.
Prof.ECG Sudarshan, missed out on getting the Nobel six times and twice his original efforts were not acknowledged for the award given to a similar work. Prof. R. Srinivasan, ECG’s classmate at MCC, an eminent experimentalist and earlier IIT faculty, is currently developing experiments for the physics laboratory at the Indian academy of Sciences. Prof. G. Venkataraman, the founding Director of the IGCAR at Kalpakam. Prof. P.M. Mathews, the author of maybe the best written and long standing Indian textbook on quantum mechanics. An unflagging scientist who has changed fields and made a mark in every domain he entered. Recently, the theoretical physics department at the University of Madras, which he had founded and established, celebrated his 80 birthday and continuing service to science. Prof.G. Rajasekaran, recipient of many awards and acknowledged as the seniormost active particle physicist of our nation, is the Advisor, India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) and Adjunct Professor, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai. Prof.M. Lakshmanan, a Ph.D. student Prof. P.M.Mathews and an acknowledged expert in nonlinear system analysis. . . and many experts in the multi-various fields of Physics in esteemed Institutions and Universities in India and around the world. . . as also the list of luminaries who had set forth from our department, fill most of the world with their presence and achievements.
The department’s alumni have successfully manned the bureaucracy, with luminaries like T.N. Seshan, M.M.Rajendran, S.Narayan, amongst many others.
The Physics alumni society, started in 2010, has served the twin purposes of arranging a social platform for the alumni to plan an annual get together on campus and through the executive committee to plan for various programmes that would network established alumni for the benefit of the department and its regularly qualifying students. The current President of the committee is Dr.P. Samuel Asirvatham, associate professor on the faculty.
Presently, with quite a few PhD qualified, the faculty is manned by a rich mix of experience and youth. From Electronics, to Microprocessors, to Embedded systems, to IBM PC based instrumentation, Ultrasonics, Laser physics, Spectroscopy, Materials Science- Thin Films, Crystal growth & Ceramics, Crystallography, Molecular modeling, High energy Physics and theoretical Nuclear Physics, the pool of resourceful faculty covers a large range of Physics with their specialisations. Dr.S.I.A. Philominraj, a nuclear physicist by training, currently heads the department. The U.G. & M.Sc. and M.Phil. programmes are very much in demand and send forth well trained students who diversify to the fields of higher learning or vocation of their choice.
The department is recognized for the Ph.D. programme, with the University of Madras. Ten students have qualified for their PhD from the department and four more are pursuing their research to qualify.
The department has a large collection of good textbooks that serves the needs of all the students and has well equipped laboratory facilities. Courses in “Materials Science”, “Electronic Instrumentation and Measurement techniques” and “Biophysics” are offered for the B.Sc. students. The department is long known for its “Electronics” specialization and optional papers in Electronics are given for the M.Sc. class. A singularly special course on “Nuclear Reactor Physics” and “Materials Science” are some of the optionals for the M.Sc. students. In the M.Phil. course, the students may choose from special optional papers on “Nuclear & Radiation Physics”, “Crystal Physics & Characterization”, “Materials Science” and “Embedded Systems & Computer networking”. The curricula for all the courses are regularly monitored and kept abreast of the developments that are taking place.Basic courses in computer training and personality development are given to all U.G. students.
The “Physics Society”, provides the students with an association to develop their extra-curricular and co-curricular activities and also provides the environment for all the students to get together harmoniously.“ SPECTRA”, an inter-collegiate competitive event that is organized annually by the “Physics Society”, is very popular and has a wide participation from the City’s colleges.