The Department has a long tradition of leading research and teaching in the physical sciences. This page will provide links to articles covering notable milestones in our history, illustrious past members of the department, as well as subsequently famous (or notorious) graduates.

  • Professor R.W. James. Pioneer of X-Ray Diffraction (after whom the Physical Sciences building is named).
  • Professor Walter Schaffer, Head of Department of Physics, University of Cape Town, 1957 - 1971.
  • Professor W.E. Frahn, Professor of Theoretical Physics 1964 - 1982, and Head of Department 1972 - 1973 and 1982.
  • A.M. Cormack, 1979 Nobel laureate for Physiology and Medicine, and lecturer in the department 1950 - 1957.
  • Sir Aaron Klug, 1982 Nobel laureate in Chemistry, an MSc student in the department 1946 - 1948.
  • Professor F.D. Brooks, Pioneer in neutron detection  1963 - 2012