The Physics Department is part of the Science Faculty of the University of Porto. This Faculty inherited the activities initiated in the 18th century at the old Aula Náutica (1762) and carried on by the Real Academia da Marinha e Comércio (1803) and the Academia Politécnica (1837). With the creation of the University of Porto in 1991, the Academia Politécnica was transformed into the Science Faculty, with an Engineering School.
By the end of the sixties there was a substantial increase in the activity of the Physics Department, namely because of PhD's undertaken by lecturers at prestigious foreign universities, which reflected in the research activities and curricular renovation of the Physics degrees. At that time, essential infrastructures for experimental research were created, and support services such as workshops and the library were expanded. The number of lecturers continued to grow regularly, now with PhDs from the University of Porto. During the last few years, the Physics Department has atracted a considerable number of lecturers and researchers of internationally recognized status, both portuguese and foreign. The Physics Department is proud of having educated physicists with high standard careers at other Universities, both portuguese and foreign, as well as in the Industry.