|Department of Physics|
The Physics Department started in 1969. Dr. S. N. Behera joined the department as special officer and subsequently as the Head of Department. Before joining here, he did his Ph. D. from IIT Kanpur and post doctoral research at Simon Fraser University, Canada. He was joined little later by Dr. K. Patnaik, Dr.(Mrs.) M. Satapathy, Dr. L. Satapathy and Sri A. K. Rath. Both the Satapathies did their Ph. Ds at Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Calcutta and had their postdoctoral research done in Canada and Germany. There was only one special paper at the PG level, comprising of 200 marks- Solid State Theory-100 marks and Quantum Field Theory with Particle Physics-100 marks, as per the expertise of the teachers.
Prof. P. K. Misra joined as the first professor and Head of Department of Physics in 1974. Prof. Misra had his Ph. D. from Tufts University, USA and postdoctoral research at the University of Texas, Austin, USA. Being young and dynamic, he was determined to lead the department forward as a Center of Solid State Physics.
During 1974-75, the pioneering four had left the department. Two (SNB and LS) of them joined the Institute of Physics and two other (KP and MS) Utkal University, both at Bhubaneswar. Mr. Rath joined the IAS.
From the session 1975-76, the special paper offered at the PG level was Solid State Physics- Theory-100 marks and Experiment-100 marks. Four new faculty, Mr. Debaraj Sahu, Mr. Sudhakar Misra, Dr. S. P. Mohanty,(Solid State Physics) Dr. N. C. Mohapatra(Solid State Physics) joined the department within a couple of years. Dr. Mohapatra had his M. S. and Ph. D. from State University of New York, Albany. Debaraj Sahu went on leave to do Ph. D. in USA in1978. In the early part of 1979, three other faculty joined the department. They were Dr. N. C. Das (Solid State Physics), Dr. S. Kumar(Particle Physics) and Dr. A. Patel(Experimental Physics). Thus the department had acquired its full strength. The period beginning from 1975 through 1984 had witnessed tremendous growth both in teaching and research. The teachers of the department worked from 9AM to 10PM, so did the research scholars and a few teacher fellows. Publications were made in the leading journals of the world. Dr. Satish Kumar went to Tokyo University and Dr. A. K. Patel to Stevens Institute of Technology, USA for postdoctoral research. The department produced some remarkable students who joined research institutions, senior banking services, and university faculty. A majority of the students joined teaching in Government, semi-government and private services. A number of students went abroad for pursuing career in research.
A new phase began in 1984. The eighties witnessed the migration of Prof. P. K. Misra, Debaraj Sahu and Dr. Akhil Patel to USA. Dr. Kumar left for Shillong. Dr. G. S. Tripathi, Dr. T. Sahu, Dr. R. Sahu and Dr. S. N. Jena joined as lecturers. Dr. G. S. Tripathi went to USA and Dr. T. Sahu to Belgium for postdoctoral research. The Information Technology (IT) era was approaching. Many students after completing their Master’s in Physics studied computer application courses. A few of them are now occupying senior positions in Computer Science departments and IT centers in the country and abroad.
The nineties witnessed further consolidation in teaching and research. A new special paper, Materials Science, was started as per requirements of UGC, emphasizing the applied aspects of Condensed Matter Physics. Many students who passed out with this special paper later joined IIT’s and other National Laboratories for research. A few of them went abroad. Many students joined as faculty in the newly established engineering colleges. Two new faculty joined. They were Dr. Chapala Das and Dr. Snigdha Mishra. Two senior faculty, Prof. N. C. Das and Prof. S. P. Mohanty, retired. The department gratefully remembers their services. Dr. G. S. Tripathi availed the Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship to do research in the Mathematics Department of Imperial College, London. Dr. R. Sahu availed DAAD fellowship in Germany.
The department entered the twenty first century with confidence and promise. One of the finest teachers, Prof. N. C. Mohapatra retired in 2003. His contribution to the department was enormous. He was an outstanding teacher and a dedicated researcher. After Prof. Misra’s departure, it was Prof. N. C. Mohapatra who gave the department its strength. A new professor, Prof. R. C. Nayak joined the department from Government service. During this period, a number of papers were published in reputed international journals, specifically by Prof. R. Sahu, Prof. G. S. Tripathi and Prof. S. N. Jena. Several candidates got their Ph. Ds from the department. The department received assistance under FIST programme of DST, Govt. of India.
Prof. N. C. Mohapatra, Prof. G. S. Tripathi, and Prof R. Sahu received the Samanta Chandra Sekhar award for 1996, 2005 and 2010 respectively. Prof. G. S. Tripathi visited University of Missouri, Columbia, USA as a visiting professor in 2004 and as a Visiting Researcher to the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany in 2009. Research collaborations were made with these universities.
In summary the department made outstanding contributions to research in Condensed Matter Physics specially, and ,to some extent, in Theoretical Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics. The hallmark of the department is sincere teaching and outstanding research. The department has availed funds from different all-India agencies for research.
The department offers M. Phil course with specializations in Solid state, Nuclear and Particle physics. It regularly conducts seminars. It has organized 5 National Seminars in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2009. It hosted the annual Condensed Matter Days symposium in 2005. It organized the OPS meetings twice in 1978 and 1998.It organized a Winter school in Disordered systems in Collaboration with TIFR, Mumbai in 1977 and a Summer School in collaboration with the Institute of physics, Bhubaneswar in 1999. Both the schools hosted outstanding physicists of the country. It was an associate member of the Theoretical Physics Seminar Circuit(TPSC).
Many of its students went abroad for higher studies. A few of them also settled there. A few of them are also faculty in leading national level institutes and laboratories. It is a vibrant place for study and research and it is hoped that it would maintain the same tempo in coming years.