Departament of Physics


The Department of Physics conducts its activities toward the development of this scientific discipline by means of teaching, research and continuing education. For this, the academic teaching faculty contributes significantly to the training of students of the university as professors of physics courses during the basic training cycle of the Common Plan (Plan Común, in Spanish), also as in the Bachelor, Master and Postgraduate programs.

Its purposes are the following:

  • Carry out physics research whose results constitute a substantial contribution, maintaining an academic body of excellence that serves as a national example and whose researchers are recognized internationally.
  • Provide advanced training in physics, leading to bachelor, master or doctorate degree.
  • Provide superior training in general physics to students of engineering and earth sciences
  • Contribute to the nation's development by providing specific knowledge, advanced training in human resources and participating in interdisciplinary networks with an emphasis on engineering problems.
  • Maintain a permanent international relationship that involves its own academic faculty and students.
  • Sensitize society to relevant knowledge and advances in physics.
Staff in charge
Chair Dr. Álvaro Núñez
Vice chair Dr. Felipe Barra
Teaching coordinator Dr. Mario Riquelme
Postgraduate coordinator Dr. Rodrigo Arias
Outreach coordinator Dr. Claudio Falcón


The Department of Physics carries out undergraduate and postgraduate training in the following areas:

  • Bachelor of Science in Physics: provides a solid scientific preparation that allows students to access and carry out successful postgraduate studies in physics or related sciences. In addition, it offers complementary training for technological engineers of the FCFM
  • Basic Training courses in sciences for students of the first two years of the Common Plan (Plan Común) of Science and Engineering
  • Additional basic training courses: for students that have already completed the Common Plan and are studying for a bachelor degree in engineering or earth sciences.
  • Minors (four): for students from the School of Engineering and Sciences. These minors provide complementary training to students of other programs or areas of study. Together with other departments, it offers a minor in computer science.
  • Master Program: aims to prepare suitable graduates to conduct original research for whose results make a substantial contribution to physics and its applications thereof.
  • PhD Program: aims to train and prepare graduates to the highest level, apt to carrying out original research in an autonomous manner, whose results constitute substantial input to physics and its applications.


From its inception, the Department of Physics (DFI - initials in Spanish) has maintained permanent efforts to develop lines of relevant research for the discipline, whose results are of high significance for physics and its related applications. The department boasts a distinguished academic faculty of quality who primarily work in thematic research groups, with the participation of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students.

  • Currently, the department develops various research projects with national and/or international funding.
  • The DFI possesses a high quality infrastructure for which to conduct experimental research; numeric and theoretical. The laboratories of Surface Physics, Crystallography, Micromechanics and Matter Out of Balance are located in an area of over 10,000 sq ft.

Extension and outreach

Since its beginning as the Institute of Physics and Mathematics in 1959, the department has promoted the task of dissemination of scientific knowledge in various ways:

  • Departmental Seminars. Developed weekly since 1962. National and International exhibitors present to the scientific community recent advances in physics as well as in the related sciences.
  • FCFM Vocational Fairs. Opportunities for professors and thesis students to present their experimental and theoretical works not only to the public, but also to high school students in the evaluation process of academic alternatives for their higher education needs.
  • Summer School (Escuela de Verano de la FCFM). Came to being in 1990 as an initiative by DFI professor Nelso Zamorano, with the goal of strengthening the understanding of physics and mathematics among high school students within the nation. Currently, a considerable amount of the Summer School activities are carried out on the school premises, offering students an opportunity to get to know more about the scientific, theoretical and experimental activities that take place in their classrooms and labs.
  • Participation in national and international conferences and lectures by academic faculty where the results of their latest research is presented to the scientific community. Those in attendance are undergrad, grad and PhD students seeking to reinforce their knowledge be acquainted with the work done by researchers in other countries.
  • Organization of International Conferences. Activities that encompass the individual character of the DFI professors and include topics relevant to the discipline
  • Lectures, that set out to attract the general public to Physics and contribute to the scientific and economic development of the country.
  • Making available to the public a collection of scientific disclosure articles for teaching and dissemination.
Secretary Gilda Morales
Phone +562 29784335 - +562 26967359
Address Av. Blanco Encalada 2008, Santiago, Chile