Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 01889
Even before the faculty was founded, there were several mathematics students who had physics as a minor subject. Therefore in January 1971, a physics department was established and a Chair in Theoretical Physics was appointed. In the spring of the same year, Theoretical Physics with borrowed furniture from Mathematics was able to move into some rooms in the top floor of the Iduna House at today’s Willy-Brand-Platz in Bielefeld.
Shortly afterwards, Experimental Physics moved into a rear building on Viktoria street and was finally able to set the first measuring apparatus in motion at the beginning of 1972. The rented space included a shop in the front building. Some of the courses in practical physics took place there, so that the citizens of Bielefeld were given the rare opportunity to observe the students in their work whilst ‘window shopping’.
Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 01890
The Faculty chose a predominantly experimental research focus with the “Physics of Atoms and their Interactions”, which corresponded to the zeitgeist. This focus and the close interdisciplinary cooperation with scientists from Biology led to the approval of the first Bielefeld Collaborative Research Centre a good ten years after the foundation of the Faculty. Since then, the Faculty of Physics has gained international recognition and has developed strong networks in the scientific community. The SFB 216 “Polarisation and Correlation in Atomic Collision Complexes” (1983 to 1997) has contributed greatly to the Faculty’s international reputation and position in the research landscape.
Photo: Hans Dieter Johner
Source: NW Archiv (Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 01891)