Physics has existed as a discipline within the University of Helsinki since its foundation in 1640. The Department of Physics was established about 1830 on the completion of the main building of the University in Helsinki.
The tasks of the Department of Physics are to perform physics research at high international level and to offer basic and post-graduate university level education in physics of the highest possible quality based on a foundation of a high standard of research.
Today the areas of specialization of the Department are materials physics, condensed matter physics, applied physics and particle and nuclear physics.
The Department of Physics is divided into four divisions.
The General Division (GEN) comprises the experimental and theoretical research groups in X-ray physics, applied physics, nuclear physics, didactical physics, electronics and aerosol and environmental physics.
The experimental research groups of materials physics, applied physics, nuclear physics, laser spectroscopy, molecular physics and optics function in the Accelerator Laboratory (ACC).
Both experimental and theoretical particle physics research is performed in the High Energy Physics Division (HEP).
The Theoretical Physics Division (TPH) is responsible for the education in theoretical physics. The main weight of its research is in cosmology, particle and nuclear physics and space physics. In many of these research fields numerical methods play an important rôle and sophisticated computational algorithms and codes have been developed.