Department Of Physics
The Department came into existence with the establishment of Ahmadu Bello University in 1962. At its inception the Department was fortunate to inherit what used to be the Physics Department of the defunct Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria. Although the building was shared with the Department of Mathematics, the Physics Department was saved the initial teething problems which are peculiar with Departments in a new University. The building still serves as the main block of the Department to this day.
The need for expansion arose in l964 and was completed in November 1965. The building which is an annex to the south-western end of the main Departmental building is a two storey block. The B.Sc ., 200-L to 400-L teaching laboratories are located on the first floor while the ground floor houses the mechanical, electronics and carpenter’s workshops. The need for further expansion led to the acquisition of the buildings erected as temporary accommodation for the facilities of the Center for Energy Research and Training. The centre eventually moved to its permanent site. Situated close to the laboratory block, presently they house the new Advanced Geophysics laboratory and the Material Sciences laboratory. These class of laboratories are meant for postgraduate training and research purposes.
In recognition of the preeminent position which Ahmadu Bello University is occupying among the community of Nigerian Universities, and conscious of the role which the Department of Physics in such a University will be required to play, effort is being made to expand the existing infrastructures and research facilities in the Department.
Lectures commenced in the Department in October 1962 with a team of three expatriate lecturers under the headship of Professor N.J. Skinner, formerly on the staff of the Department of Physics at the University of Ibadan. The first Nigerian lecturer in the Department, Dr. T. O. Aro (now a Professor of Physics at the University of Ilorin) joined the Department in January 1965.
From these modest beginnings, the staff strength has grown in number and quality over the years (see Section 2.4). Of the present academic staff strength of fifteen, many had part or the whole of their Postgraduate training within the Department.
On the technical side, there has also been a marked increase in staff of both senior and junior cadre. Many of the staff have risen over the years from Junior to Senior staff
Research activities commenced quite early in the history of the Department, and have continued to be given a place of pride in the Departmental programme.
The earliest research was initiated in l964 in the areas of Ionospheric physics and Geomagnetism. Attention was later focused on the area of Applied Geophysics when in 1966, Miss Ajakaiye (now Professor D. E. Ajakaiye) completed the gravity survey of a granite outcrop near Ririwai. The Department has since then made significant contributions in this area of research and is widely recognized as a leading centre in Nigeria and Africa for research in Applied Geophysics.
In Nuclear Physics, the department hosted the new Centre for Energy Research and Training until it eventually moved to its permanent site in 1995. The collaboration which was developed then has continued to strengthen, and many of the staff of the centre still teach and supervise students in the department.
Staff members in the Department continue to make their individual and collective research effort. This effort is reflected by the number of publications that has emanated from the Department and the participation of staff members at seminars.
Students too are involved in research activities in the Department. Apart from the formal research work which leads to the submission of theses by Postgraduate students, it is a necessary requirement that final year undergraduate students submit a writeup of their projects. Thus, both staff and students are encouraged to develop active research interest in the Department.
Research activities are not confined to the Department only. Areas of research cooperation with Government agencies, other Universities and Institutions both within and outside the country are exploited and maintained.
The importance of workshop facilities to a Physics Department cannot be over-emphasized. These facilities were available in the Department almost from its inception. With the completion of the annex in 1965, the workshop facilities became adequate to support the department’s teaching and research activities. The Mechanical and Electronics workshops undertake the repair and servicing of teaching and research equipments; they also construct basic equipments. The carpentry workshop is an important appendage to the Department. It undertakes the construction and repair of cabinets, minor furniture and other items for laboratories, lecture rooms and offices. The department has also acquired sophisticated equipment including a Mossbauer spectrometer, multichannel analyzers, PDP-11; and a host of state of the art geophysical exploration equipment through the assistance of the International Science Program of the University of Uppsala, Sweden. Some of the units are presently at CERT.
Every aspect of the technical service is manned by highly trained senior technical staff members under the direction of a Chief Technologist.
To build a Department that will be the Center of excellence in Teaching and Research and provide Consultancy services in all fields of Physics and such areas of the economy where knowledge of Physics is relevant.
To be a leading Department of Physics producing highly qualified Physics graduates required for the advancement of Science and Technology in Nigeria and beyond and at the same time ensuring excellence in Physics education.
Registration of students offered provisional admission into the University is conducted in a central location and lasts one week. Registration process commences with an interview in the faculty of admission and only candidates who are cleared by the interviewing panel as indicated by a stamp and signature of the Dean of Students may then proceed with the next stage of the registration. At the venue of the central registration, each Faculty has a stand and the Dean of the Faculty and the Registration Officer from the Academic office will check and ensure that the student is on the admission list before issuing such a student with the University Registration Form to complete. The originals of the following documents are required and are also checked:
i Admission letter and interview clearance.
Academic certificates (SSC ‘O’ Level, ‘A’ level, UME Scores, etc) to confirm that the student fulfills the University, Faculty and Departmental entry requirements.
iii. Student names should correspond with the ones on the certificates.
iv. Local Government Area of origin declaration.
If satisfied with the qualifications and the credentials, the Dean and the Admission Officer will sign the Registration Form. The student then proceeds to the Student Affairs stand for hostel and room allocation or information on off-campus accommodation and payment of all fees. Payments will only be accepted from students on presentation of duly completed and signed registration forms and admission letters.
Registration of courses for First and Second Semesters is done at the beginning of the First Semester, usually within the first 1-2 weeks. Late registration is often not possible especially where large numbers of students have to be taught or where facilities are in short supply.
The Departmental Registration Officer advises students on registration requirements and procedure. Students register for all core courses and some electives.
M.Sc Applied Geophysics (Full-Time)
M.Sc Geophysics (Full-Time)
M.Sc Physics (Full-Time)
M.Sc Radiation Biophysics (Full-Time)
M.Sc Radiation Biophysics (Part-Time)
Ph.D Applied Geophy. (Full-Time)
Ph.D Physics (Full-Time)
Ph.D Radiation Biophysics (Full-Time)
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