Tartu University opens its new, modern physics building

On 25 August, the University of Tartu opened its new modern building of the Institute of Physics, called Physicum, situated at the university’s Maarjamõisa science campus. The building of approximately 13,000 square metres provides contemporary facilities for research in physics, materials science and nanotechnology.

“The new building of the Institute of Physics brings under one roof the teaching and research activities that were so far scattered between different buildings,” emphasised Jaak Kikas, Director of the Institute of Physics.

The new physics building will house four Estonian centres of excellence and 14 physics laboratories, the experiments of which will, among other places, reach MAX-lab, the Swedish national centre of synchrotron light source. Students of physics, materials science, computer engineering, etc can make use of modern facilities for studies and conducting experiments. In addition to the spacious lecture halls, teaching activities can be conducted in eight study laboratories equipped with all necessary fittings for practical lectures.

The most expensive and the newest piece of scientific equipment at the new physics building is the transmission electron microscope (TEM) that cost €2 million. The new Physicum also has a scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM), allowing to investigate the inner structure of materials. It also enables to cut nano-thin pieces of materials and create a 3D image of the researched object on a nanoscopic scale.

The building includes two large conference rooms that accommodate 300 people in total. The rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia solutions allowing cross-use, meaning that one conference can be simultaneously held and followed in both rooms.

The construction of the physics building cost more than €16 million, €13.5 million of which was covered by the resources of the European Regional Development Fund via the Archimedes Foundation.

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Cover photo: The University of Tartu’s brand new “Physicum”.

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