BACKGROUND OF THE DEPARTMENT
The Department of Physics in Olabisi Onabanjo University was established in 1983 to provide the Physics graduate firm applications oriented background in the field of Physics and a high level competence in fitting into diverse careers in research and industry. Every aspect of the department has grown tremendously but un-evenly, especially in the last decade. In fact, the number of students that it now caters for has grown in leaps and bounds and has almost outstripped its personnel and physical facilities in view of the popularization of Physics, that is, applied physics programmes in the last six years.
However, with the staff strength and well co-coordinated collaborative academic activities, the department stands shoulder high in spirit, leadership and self-confidence. The performance of our graduates in academia nation wide and abroad is an attestation to our claim. Others are their management competence in private sector and record of achievements in both public and civil services.
At inception, a team of distinguished Academics led by Professors S. O. Ogunade, M. C. Isherwood and A. Amusa from the then University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife were appointed Associate Lecturers and were in charge of the departmental administration, Academic activities and Researches, and given the responsibility of attracting quality staff and providing leadership in the young department.
The first set of staff of the department was employed between 1983 and 1985, and comprised mainly Mr. E. O. Ladele, Mr. B. I. Imasogie, Mr. E. M. Tongo, Mr. R. K. Odunaike, Mr. V. U. Chukwuma, Mr. O. O. Nubi and Dr. Z. U. Khan, a foreigner.
Fro inception, the programme in the department was designed mainly for Pure Physics. However, with the passage of time, it was observed that pure Physics did not appear to be of much interest to young Nigerians. This was so because students’ enrolment in the department could hardly exceed twenty students per Academic session. Also most candidates who sought admission into the department were candidates who initially wanted to study other science-related courses but could not meet the cutoff marks for the courses of their first/second choice.
The problem of students’ enrolment in the department was addressed in the 1997/98 Academic session to popularize Physics programme. In that year, a four-year Applied Physics programme was introduced in the department. The Applied Physics programme consists of two options, namely:
(i) Physics with Electronics
The Applied Physics programme was designed in such a manner that the students were given strong background in Physics. The students required to take the core, compulsory courses with other students in the Pure Physics programme as well as courses in the Applied Physics option.
The Physics with Electronics students take Electronics Workshop practice courses in Analogue and Digital Electronics at both 300 and 400L. Similarly, the Geophysics option students are exposed to up to date techniques in geophysical exploration and mining. In general, the students are equipped to work on and with modern electronic devices and equipment and also exposed to enough field experience and theoretical competence in reputable Electrical/Electronic/Materials industries and geophysical companies.
It is important to note that with the introduction of the Applied Physics programme, the students’ enrolment has increased tremendously.
As the present trend is towards professionalism and Entrepreneurship courses, the department currently runs courses leading to a B. Sc. Physics Degree in any of the following options
(ii) Physics with Electronics.
The Department has the following research groups in the department
(i) Atmospheric Physics
– Ionosphere space and radio propagation
(ii) Solid State Physics
(iii) Solid Earth Physics
– Environmental Physics
Ours have been a collective responsibility and the target is to be the best in this country in terms of Academic excellence and services to the nation.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) initial accreditation visit to the department was in January 1991 and secondly during 96/97 academic session with lots of improvement. Ever since these visits, the students admitted into the department had and still followed a Programme of study scheduled over a period of three or four years as stipulated by the NUC approved Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS) in Science for all Nigerian Universities and with the set objectives.
The department has firmly established Academic linkage with older Universities to enhance our students’ understanding in the philosophy and objectives of our programme.
The department similarly attracts research support and fund from International Foundations and Agencies for Science as the Third World Academy of Science (TWAS), DeutscherAkademischerAustauschdienst (DAAD), International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy, International Atomic & Agency (IAEA), and United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
(1) Candidates for admission into the department must satisfy the University/Faculty requirements, that is, minimum of five Credit passes at ordinary level (O/L) or SSCE or NECO which must include English language, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and any one from the following subjects, (Biology or Agricultural Science, Geography, Statistics) at NOTmore than two (2) sittings.
(2) Candidates for Direct entry, while fulfilling the conditions in (1), must have in addition principal level passes at Advanced level (A/L) in Physics, Mathematics, and/or in Chemistry or OND, ND or HND or their equivalent in Geology, Engineering (including Civil) and Pure/Applied Sciences from a recognized University or Polytechnic or College of Science & Technology as may be approved by the University Senate from time to time.
(3) The direct entry candidates may after a written or oral examination organized in the department may be considered for exemption from some 100-level courses. Also HND holders may be exempted from some course(s) at 200 level and this is subject to departmental consideration based on the evidences before it.