School of Physics



The School of Physics has a 200-year glorious history of fruitful work in education, science, and culture. When on January 17, 1805, the Kharkiv Imperial University was opened, one of the departments of its Division of Physical and Mathematical Sciences was the Department of Theoretical and Experimental Physics. The brilliant lecturer A. Stoikovych, a Serbian by origin, was the first to head this Department. One of his students was V. Komlyshynskyi who headed the Department of Physics in 1813. He was the first to defend a doctoral thesis in physics at the University and was engaged in educational and enlightening activities for 35 years. In 1808, Kharkiv University opened the Astronomical Cabinet, in 1824 — the Department of Astronomy. In 1883, Professor H. Levytskyi founded the Astronomical Observatory.


The School of Physics founded world-famous scientific schools that are still successfully developing:

  • Theoretical Physics,
  • Solid State Physics,
  • Low Temperature Physics,
  • Magnetism,
  • Real Crystal Physics,
  • Physical Optics,
  • Solar System Physics.

The founders of the Scientific School of Theoretical Physics at Kharkiv University were prominent scientists, namely L. D. Landau, a laureate of the Nobel Prize, and Academician I. M. Lifshits.

Today, the School has nine Departments:

  • Department of Experimental Physics,
  • Department of Higher Mathematics,
  • Department of General Physics,
  • Academician I. M. Lifshitz Department of Theoretical Physics,
  • Department of Low Temperature Physics,
  • Department of Solid State Physics,
  • Department of Crystal Physics,
  • Department of Physical Optics,
  • Department of Astronomy and Space Informatics.

The Departments have their branches at the institutes of the National Academy of Sciences of Kharkiv. Our partners are: B. I. Verkin Institute for Low Temperature Physics and Engineering, the National Research Center “Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology”, the Institute of Electrophysics, the Science and Engineering Complex “Institute of Monocrystals”, V. Ya. Usykov Institute of Radiophysics and Electronics, the Institute of Radioastronomy. Close cooperation with the Institute for Scintillation Materials of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine resulted in the opening of the specialization “Physics of Nanocrystals and Nanostructures” on the basis of the Scientific School of Real Crystal Physics (Department of Crystal Physics), and the creation of the Research and Education Center “Functional Materials”, whose scientists won a tender for implementing the project “Development of New Composite Media to Record Ionizing Radiation Based on Nanodispersed Materials”.

Scientific Research and International Cooperation

The School also has research and methodological laboratories, a unique helium liquefaction station, machine workshops.

Today, the School has a powerful potential: students’ professional training involves faculty members from the nine departments. Among them are two full members and two corresponding members of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, a corresponding member of the Transport Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, laureates of the State Prize of Ukraine in Science and Technology, Merited Workers of Education of Ukraine, more than 30 doctors of sciences, full professors, over 40 PhDs, associate professors.

The School of Physics offers Bachelor’s degree programs (majors: Physics, Astronomy), duration of study: 4 years; and Master’s programs (majors: Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Astronomy), duration of study: 2 years. Graduates obtain the qualification of a researcher (Physics and Astronomy), a lecturer/instructor of higher education institutions. Students of the School of Physics can choose to obtain an additional qualification of a physics and mathematics teacher. Graduates of the School of Physics fruitfully work in contemporary areas of physics, including physics of biomaterials and medical materials science, astrophysics and astronomy, in the fields of financial mathematics, computer simulation, IT-technologies.

Research development led to the opening of new majors and specializations:

  • major: Physics, specializations: physics of magnetic phenomena, magnetism of nanodimensional systems, optics and spectroscopy, nonlinear optics of nanodimensional structures, photonics and optoinformatics, physics of crystals and functional materials, physics of nanocrystals and nanosystems, low temperature physics, superconductivity physics, theoretical physics;
  • major: Condensed Matter Physics, specializations: physical materials science and computer metallography, physics of biomaterials and medical materials science;
  • major: Astronomy, specializations: astrophysics, solar system physics, space informatics.
    The Department of Higher Mathematics is planning to open a specialty in computer simulation of physical processes.

The School of Physics students undergo scientific internships at the Center for Nanointegration and Biomaterials (CeNIDE), the University of Duisburg—Essen (Germany); and at Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice (Slovakia). This enables them to get acquainted with the organization of training, the content of related academic courses and principles of knowledge control at these institutions, to evaluate the efficiency of presenting academic material through modern forms of self-study and electronic technologies. Students share the gained experience at the School’s seminars. All this encourages students’ involvement and enhances their role in shaping the content of education. As a rule, students take an active part in Regional, All-Ukrainian, and International Scientific Conferences, where they make reports on the results of their own research.

During their studies, students of the School of Physics receive not only ordinary and increased scholarships, but also have an opportunity to apply for the President’s Scholarship, scholarships of different charitable foundations, in particular those of Yu. Sapronov, I. Tarapov Foundations, as well as named scholarships, such as the I. M. Lifshitz Scholarship, the Academician M. P. Barabashov Scholarship. Within the framework of cooperation with the Universities of Duisburg-Essen and Bochum (Germany), our students receive the Leonhard Euler Scholarship (German Academic Exchange Service DAAD). The high quality of education at the School of Physics is evidenced by students’ victories at prestigious contests in physics, astronomy, astrophysics, and theoretical mechanics; their successful presentations at contests of student research papers and the Student Tournament of Physicists.

The School has close ties with a number of foreign scientific and educational institutions offering employment for our alumni. Our foreign partners, among others, are the School of Physics of the Belorussian State University (Minsk), the Belorussian State University of Transport, the College of Physical Sciences of the University of Exeter (England), the School of Physics of the University of New Brunswick (Sackville, Canada), McGill University (Canada), the Institute of Physics of J. W. Goethe University (Frankfurt, Germany), the Institute of Solid State Physics of Friedrich Schiller University (Jena, Germany), the Universities of Duisburg-Essen, Bochum, and Münster (Germany), the Institute of Metals in Düsseldorf (Germany), Leibniz Institute (Rostock, Germany), the Institute of Physics of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University (Cošice, Slovakia), the Institute of High Pressure Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Wroclaw, Poland), the University of Science and Technology (Krakow, Poland), Bar-Ilan University (Israel), the Ariel University (Ariel, Israel), the École Polytechnique (Paris, France), the Laboratory of Space Studies and Instrumentation in Astrophysics (Meudon, France), and others. An illustrative example is the fact that our alumni work on the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and in the Los-Alamos National Laboratory of the United States Department of Energy.

The Dean of the School of Physics, Professor R. V. Vovk, is a Kharkiv region coordinator of the Seventh International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) within the NoWaPhen Project titled “Novel Wave Phenomena in Magnetic Nanostructures” funded by the European Community grant agreement No. PIRSES-GA-2009-247556.

Recently, grants have been won to conduct research and cooperate with the National Center of Scientific Research “DEMOKRITOS” (Athens, Greece), Brighton University, the University of Exeter (Great Britain), Friedrich Schiller University (Jena, Germany). Another grant is 823G/22-13 Armory Research Laboratory (USA).

The School has the Thesis Committee for defense of PhD and doctoral theses in physics and mathematics. The School publishes its specialized journal “Bulletin of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Series ‘Physics’”.


The School of Physics is known not only for the fundamental education it offers, but also for its wonderful traditions. There is an annual ritual of “Student Initiation”. Students always successfully participate in the contest of amateur performances for first-year students Alma Mater, and in the Miss University Beauty Pageant. The show-ballet Kontrast, the folk music group Vesnianky, the Club of the Merry and the Witty, and the club of intellectual games Feniks are always open for students to join. Much attention is devoted to the genres of solo and choral singing, modern pop and sports dancing. However, it is for many years now that the calling card of the School of Physics has been the celebration of the School’s Day, its agenda including a press-conference of faculty members and students, a torchlight procession to the spring in the Botanical Garden, and the gala concert. Moreover, the School of Physics has something special, namely the Students’ Science Fiction Fan Club Kontakt, and the International Festival of Popularization of Science and Science Fiction Star Bridge. Once a year, in September, many guests from 30 countries get together to participate in the Star Bridge culturological conference. In the honorable contest held several years ago, this festival was recognized the best in Europe by the decision of the Special Commission in Copenhagen.


Руслан Володимирович Вовк

Ruslan Vovk
Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Professor
Phone: +380 (50) 515-27-70
Address: room 4-31, 4 Svobody Sq, 61022, Kharkiv

Helpful links