The School of Physics which was originally started in 1976 as a unit of the Autonomous Post-graduate Centre of the University of Madras at Tiruchirappalli (the present Khajamalai Campus) with Prof. P. K. Ponnuswamy (the former Vice-Chancellor of University of Madras and Madurai-Kamaraj University) as the first Head became the Department of Physics of Bharathidasan University in 1982. Since its inception, the Department has shown strong commitment towards research and teaching. In a short span of time, the Department established itself as centres of excellence for research in the areas of Nonlinear Dynamics, Biophysics and Crystallography. In recognition of the excellent contributions made to the field of Nonlinear Dynamics at the international level and in recognition of the S. S. Bhatnagar’s prize (the nation’s highest science prize) awarded to Prof. M. Lakshmanan (the former Head and at present Professor of Eminence in the School of Physics) for his excellent contribution to the field, the university created the Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics in the year 1990. Since then, the centre has been liberally supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) towards the development of infrastructure, manpower, library and computational facilities and today the centre is recognized as one of the top-ranking centres of excellence in Nonlinear Dynamics at the National and International levels.
In the course of time, with the appointment of new faculty members, research in other areas such as Thin Films, Crystal Growth, Nonlinear Optical Materials and Photonics, High Pressure Studies, Nanomaterials were started and important contributions have been made. In the year 2005, the Department of Physics was renamed as the School of Physics. In order to highlight research in high pressure studies and nanotechnology, in the year 2008 the university created research centres in the above topics in the School of Physics. The School has very good infrastructure in terms of library, computational and laboratory facilities for conducting high quality research and hence it has been the destination for many talented students for doctoral and post-doctoral studies.
Having attained very good international reputation and recognition in research with a motivation to train young post-graduate students towards research in frontier topics a two year M. Sc. programme in Physics was started in the year 1993 – 1994. Later in the year 2006 – 2007, M. Sc. Medical Physics (Two Year Programme) and M. Sc. Physics – Five year integrated programmes were started. From the academic year 2009 – 2010, M.Phil., Physics (One year Programme) was reintroduced. All the above programmes are attractive among the students and they have been conducted successfully.