The physics and astronomy department is the result of a restructuring of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto in 2010, which joined the Astronomy group to the Physics Department, which until then belonged to the Department of Applied Mathematics. The origins of the Physics Department go back to the foundation of the University of Porto back in 1911, where the Physics Laboratory of the Faculty of Sciences was born.
In the late 60’s, under the leadership of professor Moreira Araújo, there was a significant increase of the overall activity of the department, which included the enrollment of several professors and students in international doctorate programs, that later reflected in a renovation the physics bachelor’s program. Later, some essential infrastructures were built in order to conduct experimental research, and there was also a significant enhancement of some support services like workshops and library.
As of 2011, the Physics and Astronomy Department has committed itself to promoting, in collaboration with research units , research and development of all areas of Physics, Astronomy and Engineering Physics, with a special focus towards the following sub-areas:
- Theoretical high energy physics, gravitation and cosmology;
- Planetary systems, stellar astrophysics, galaxies and cosmology;
- Condensed matter physics, materials physics and statistical physics;
- Optics, optoelectronics and lasers, fiber optic sensors;
- Nanotechnology and advanced materials.