The Physics Department was founded in 1981. Inheritor of academics activities of Universidad de Chile and Universidad Técnica del Estado, the Department was growing and spreading its activities until to reach nowadays interesting levels of scientific productivity as well as national and international networking. Also, it offers two master programs. Thus, we can state that this Physics Department plays the main role in the development of the discipline in Temuco as well in the south of Chile.
In this almost forty years of history, the Physics Department has experienced remarkable notable changes. Beside the natural renovation of the academic staff, the department has encouraged the specialization of its members supporting the formation on masters and doctorates programs. It is also remarkable the formation and growth of productive research groups as well as the creation of postgraduate programs.
Since 2006 the Physics Department is distributed in a two-floor building which was erected with supports from the Chilean government. However, this building was extended in 2011, setting up new offices for academics and research laboratories on a third floor.
Regarding teaching physics, the Physics Department offers Physical Engineering as an undergraduate career. This program also offers the opportunuty to get a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Physics. Additionally, two postgraduate programs are offered: the M. Sc. Physics and the Master on Medical Physics. Both certified by the National Commission of Postgraduate Programs (CNAP).
In addition, the university imparts, through the Physics Department, several courses for Pedagogy in Sciences as well as basic subjects for different careers of the Faculty of Engineering and Sciences, and also for some careers of the Faculties of Medicine, and Agricultural and Forestry Sciences.
Regarding the scientific research, the study of condensed matter physics and statistical physics were the two first areas developed with strong relevance, increasing the collaboration with universities and institutes in the country and abroad. In parallel, the annual organization of the South Workshop of Solid State Physics was a landmark that consolidated this research group and the Physics Department within the national scientific community. Over the years, different research lines were growing and three more are consolidated: Photonics and Remote Sensing; Cosmology, Gravitation, and Quantum Field Theory; Medical Physics.
These four lines have been able to accomplish important levels of scientific productivity (25 publications WoS/IS on average per year), which is relevant for the Chilean context. Additionally, there exists a high levels of participation in the scientific meetings organized by the Physics Department of, for instance, the Symposium of the Chilean Physical Society (2010), the IX Iberoamerican Meeting on Optics and the XII Iberoamerican Meeting on Optics, Lasers and Applications (RIAO/OPTILAS 2016), the Latin American Conference on Analysis by X-ray Techniques (2018), and the Intensive Seminar on Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics (annual).
It is important to stand out the trajectory of the Physics Department considering the diffusion of the discipline and the outreach activities. The organization of the Physics Olympiads is an annual activity linking the Physics Department with the regional community. Also, there exist several activities involving different schools, i.e. diffusion lectures, workshops of experimental physics, etc.
Moreover, the Physics Department manages the agreement between the University and the National Service of Geology and Mining (Sernageomin) and maintains cooperation agreements with the National Commission of Forestry (CONAF), the Regional Hospital and other public organisms at the region.