The Department of Physics is situated between the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department and the Chemistry Department in the School of Natural Sciences. The department offers exciting study programs which greatly enhance the future prospects of graduates. At undergraduate level, the programmes of the department offer specialization in the traditional areas of Solid State Physics, Nuclear Physics, Theoretical Physics and Electronics. New offerings are now available in the fields of Energy and the Environment, Computational Physics and Applied Optics.
In order to pursue studies in the Department of Physics, a student should ideally opt for the Physical Sciences stream during the streaming exercise in the second semester of first year. However, students from the Life Sciences stream are also accepted.
To provide teaching, research, consultancy and community service in various Physics disciplines offered by the Department of Physics.
To be a provider of high class academic and professional physicists in the country and the world at large.
To produce physics graduates who can play key roles in both the public and private sectors of the Zambian economy.
The Department of Physics at the University of Zambia offers both Pure and Applied Physics. Studying physics has a practical value as it aims at developing critical thinking and acquiring tools to address scientific and technological problems encountered in industry or in fundamental research. One important goal of the Bachelor of Science in Physics Programme is to train students to develop the necessary academic framework as well as a thorough practical understanding in physics and related fields. This goal is achieved through teaching and research involving active student participation. The delivery of the course material is designed to ensure students develop creative thinking and the power of imagination to enable them work in research, academia and industry for broader application. Common benefits of a Physics degree include:
- Problem-solving: students develop a pragmatic and analytical approach to problem-solving and are thus equipped with ability to solve diverse problems,
- Reasoning: students can construct logical arguments, apply analytical skills and grasp complex problems,
- Numeracy: students gain skills in using mathematics to find solutions to scientific problems, create mathematical models and interpret and present information graphically,
- Practical skills: students plan, execute and report experiments, using technical equipment and paying attention to detail. They also acquire the ability to analyze complex data sets,
- Communication: students can convey complex ideas and use technical language correctly,
- Information and communication technology (ICT): students acquire computer expertise, including familiarity with current scientific and specialist software packages and more so can develop computer programming skills.
Studying physics therefore, helps students to develop a range of skills that can be applied in many areas, including both scientific and non-technical fields.
The Department of Physics offers four different B.Sc. degree programmes. These are the Physics single-subject major programme and three Physics double-major programmes where core physics courses are taken in combination with courses from either Mathematics or Chemistry or Geology.
Other new exciting programmes to be introduced soon are Medical Physics, Materials Science, Biophysics, and double major programmes such as Physics/ Computer Sciences and Physics/ Environmental Geography
The Department of Physics offers a Masters course with research activities in Condensed Matter Physics, Instrumentation, Nuclear Physics, Theoretical Physics, Computational Physics, as well as Solar Energy and its Applications. Students can in addition pursue special programmes in collaboration with foreign partner universities. Follow-up Ph.D. programmes on the above-mentioned are also available.
- Energy and Environmental Research Group
- Solar Energy Centre
- Nuclear Physics Research Group
- Astrophysics and Space Science Research Group
- Theoretical Physics Research Group