The university reform made the year 2009 a very special year. The law regulating the legal status of the universities in Finland came into effect in August. The planning to start new universities in the beginning of 2010 was a big effort. The new law meant renewal of administrative structures and finance administration. New administrative organs were selected. The rector, deans of the faculties and department heads were appointed. I shall continue as the head of the Department for the four years 2010 - 2013.

The Department of Astronomy will be merged to the Department of Physics in the beginning of 2010. Both departments have their own annual reports for 2009. This is the annual report of Physics Department.

The changes in the personnel comprise three new professors, namely professors in particle physics phenomenology, computational aerosol physics, and medical physics. The last one is a joint professorship with the University central hospital. There were altogether 28 professors at the end of the year. The total number of person years, about 240, was at the same level as in the previous years.

The high quality of the research is indicated by the journal articles published in top journals, appointment of Professor Kari Enqvist to the Academy professor, and strong complementary funding of research, about half of the total budget. Top areas of research are atmospheric sciences, particle physics especially at CERN, cosmology also related to the Planck experiment and materials physics especially in nanoscience.

The research infrastructure has been improved especially by the complementary funding and special funding in the university budget. The research is connected to several nationally important international research infrastructures, like CERN, ESRF, ESA, and the SMEAR stations in Finland which the Department is responsible for.

The curriculum and teaching have been improved. The number of MSc exams is somewhat lower than during the previous years, the number of PhD exams at the same level. These numbers correspond to about 25 percent and 40 percent of the exams in the whole faculty, respectively.

The outreach of the Department was acknowledged also during 2009, especially by the teacher and continued education, visibility of the personnel in the publicity, and visits of school pupils and teachers.

Juhani Keinonen
Head of the Department