The physics department was founded in 1954 and at present is one of the main at a technical university. The main aim of the department is to prepare specialists who apart from their major qualification could have scientific outlook.
The first head of the physics department was a 1949 graduate of Leningrad polytechnical institute, candidate of engineering, associate professor M.P.Tonkonogov. In 1969 he has defended the doctor’s dissertation in engineering and has received a professor academic status in 1970.
In 1987 the head of the department had been elected V.A.Vexler – a 1962 graduate of the Leningrad college of mines, Doctor of engineering (1990), professor (1991).
From 1992 to 1997, the physics department was headed by Y.I. Lekht – a 1961 graduate of Tomsk polytechnical institute, candidate of engineering (1969), associate professor (1971).
In 1997 the head of the physics department was Y.A. Ritter – a 1959 graduate of Karaganda teacher training college, candidate of engineering (1981), professor (1991).
From 1998 to 2001, the physics department was headed by T.Zh.Kunakbaev – a 1971 graduate of Kazakh state university, the candidate of physics and mathematics (1984), associate professor (1991).
Since July, 2001 the department has been headed by Y. M.Smirnov – a 1971 graduate of Karaganda polytechnical institute, a Doctor of engineering (1997), professor (1998).
From the date of the department formation the scientific school headed by M. P. Tonkonogov has been established. Its specialization were theoretical and applied researches in area of physics of dielectrics and rocks, automation of processes of grouwing of water-soluble crystals for industrial optoelectronic, developing of holographic technics and experimental registering methods for research of fast physical processes in the conditions of strong electric and optical hindrances. High level of experimental researches has allowed to receive for the first time in the world in scientific laboratories of the department holographic interferograms of the processes proceeding in a solid dielectric at its electrospark breakdown.
In 1967 the first correspondence post-graduate student of the department Sulimov K.G was awarded a candidates’s degree. In 1968 the first intramural post-graduate student of the department Vexler V. A. was awarded a candidates’s degree. In 1969 first at the department Tonkonogov M. P. was awarded doctor’s degree.
In 1978 by employees of the department it is declared about new methods of relaxation dielectric losses of liquids with the high specific electric conductivity measurements on sound and radio frequencies. For the first time also the role of tunnel effects in materials with hydrogen bonds has been noted. Results of researches were reported at the First European conference on application of polar dielectrics (Switzerland, Zurich), on V and VI International symposiums on electretes (Germany, Heidelberg; Great Britain, Oxford), on the International symposium on ice physics and chemistry (Japan, Sapporo), are published in journal Ferroelectrics (USA).
From 2001 in a formation stage there is a science school headed by professor Y.M. Smirnov. The main aim of this research lab is to work out theoretical and applied problems of creation of low-frequency hydraulic and electro-hydraulic pulse systems for realization of various technological processes of rock and building manufacture, vibrating scanning of earth crust, geophysics, seismology.
On the basis of the department the regional inter-higher school scientific-methodical seminar is organized and successfully functions. The aimes of the seminar are increase of physics teaching quality at schools, grammar schools of Karaganda and Karaganda region. The physics department became one of organizers of Small Academy of Sciences at the Karaganda Palace of children and youthes. The teachers of the department are not only working out innovative programs but elaborating teaching materials for general physics on school and college level. Thanks to that up to 80 % of graduates of the educational institutions which supervised by the teachers of our department become annually students of high schools of Kazakhstan, Russia and other republics CIS and the far abroad.
Leading teachers of our department, the doctors and candidates of science, are heads and members of dissertational councils, instructors of student’s scientific circles, dissertational papers of post-graduate students, competitors and doctoral candidates.
The department annually holds the university contest on the physics. Winners as a part of a university team were numerous prize-winners of the republican student’s contests and were marked with certificates of honor, diplomas and presents. In 2002 the team of KarSTU has won the general third place in the Republican subject contest on physics and first place among Kazakhstan technical colleges. The students participate in research work from their first year. They contribute to developing distance learning technology, electronic textbooks, virtual labs. Results of student’s researches are regularly published in university Proceedings.
Last years the department collective has extended by young teachers having master’s degrees. The alloy of experience of leading teachers and enthusiasm of the young allows to predict quality jump in educational and research work of the department.