The School of Physics, Nankai University, the formerDepartment of Physics was founded in 1919, and was one of the earliest departments on sciences in Nankai University. Renowned physicist Prof. Ta-you Wu used to teach in the department,and Nobel Prize laurates Dr. Chen-Ning Yang and Dr. Tseng-Dao Lee are the honorary professors of the school. The department had cultivated five academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering. At its birth time, Nankai University set up curricula on Physics, which were taught by Prof. Jiding Sun and Prof. Yunzhong Xu successively. In 1922, the Department of Physics was formally founded. The first chairman of the department was Prof. Yutai Rao (serving:1922-1930). From 1930 to 1937, Prof. Jinghui Gu was assigned to be the chairman of department (serving: 1930-1937). After the outbreak of the anti-Japanese war the school moved to Kunming, where Nankai University and Peking University,Tsinghua University were assembled as the Southwest United University. The School resumed in 1945, and Prof. Xiaoshuo Pan was appointed as the chairman after the war (serving: 1945-1949). During the early period of liberation, namely from 1949 to 1952, Prof.Jinnian Liu succeeded to be the chairman of the department (serving:1949-1952). In 1952 through an overall adjustment among the domestic universities, the original  physics department of Northern University merged into the physics department of Nankai university and  Prof, Ancai Jiang was selected to be the chairman after the merging (serving:1952-1966). Then Prof. Guozhu He (serving: 1978-1984), Prof. Guoguang Mu (serving in 1984), Prof. Guangyin Zhang (serving:1987-1991), Prof. Shihong Pan(serving:1984-1987, 1991-1997) served as the chairmen of the Physics Department successively. 

In 1984, considering the need for discipline construction and development,through a discussion on the university’s administrative conference,three sections in the original department, including Semiconductor Physics,Radio Physics and Electronic Vacuum Physics formed the Department of Electronic Science,and part of the original Optical Physics Section became an independent institute named as the Institute of Modern Optics which more focused on scientific research.In 1998, the title of Department of Physics was replaced by the School of Physics according to the requirement for further development. Prof. BeilaiHu, who was a theorist and an adviser of the Ph.D program for the major, served as the first dean (1998-2001). The current dean is Dr. Guoquan Zhang.

The School possesses a strong background and basis on scientific research.In recent five years, it has undertaken more than 200 projects,including nineteen National Key Research and Development Projectsone 863 High-tech project and 100 National Natural Science Foundation Projects. The teaching standard receives a nation-wide approval and gets several education awards. The Center for undergraduate physical experiments of the School is a national demonstration center for experimental physics, and the team of the university is rated as the national leading one. Now in the School there are more than 100 full-time teachers, including 63 professors and 33 associate professors. For the whole field of physics, there is one academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 6 National Distinguished Young Scholars, 4 young professors who were conferred with the title Cross-century Talents and another 13 young people with the title of New-century Talent.

In the School there are three majors for undergraduates and graduate students, including fundamental physics, optical information science and engineering and applied physics. In addition to providing agood condition for classroom lectures, the school also offers its students a chance to develop their abilities in the “second classroom”. The series of colloquium Physics Today;academic competitions, undergraduate innovation project, contest on mathematical modeling, scientific research practice and social practice activities are independently organized by students, all these activities enable young students to realize comprehensive development in all aspects of knowledge, ability and quality. The School also provides various scholarships. As well, a special class: the Boling class is a cultivation program set for the talent students, which is based on the project of the National Ministry of Education towards cultivating talents in the fields of basic science. 

The school not only pays attention to cultivating scientists engaged in the frontier research of physics, but also focuses on training high-level experts in applied physics. The school features: equal importance of teaching and research, as well as theory and application; not only paying attention to education of basic knowledge, but also concerning students’ practical ability; not only paying attention to train qualified persons of high tech, but also making education plan to meet the rapid developments of the modern economic construction of the state. Common basic courses including English, Mathematics, Mechanics, Thermal Physics, Electromagnetism, Optics, Atomic Physics, Basic Physics Experiment and Modern Physics Experiment, etc. are properly offered for each major separately.

The School of Physics is not merely a base for talent training in basic science, but also a research center of modern physics: Photoelectron Materials, Optoelectronic Information Science, Photonics and Materials Science, and is a training spot for cultivating comprehensive seniors with solid fundamental and wide-ranged knowledge to meet the rapid economic development and modernization construction of China. The School is carrying on more than 80 state-level and ministry-level scientific research projects, and has obtained more than 40 state-level and ministry-level awards for scientific & technological achievements and published excellent textbooks in recent years. The total number of papers attributed to the SCI catalog takes the leading position in our university. Since the 1990s, the School has published more than 20 textbooks and monographs formally.