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1961-62[edit]

Appointment of first faculty; discussions of curriculum and teaching (meetings held at The Old Ship Hotel in Brighton); newly appointed faculty continued to teach at their previous university until science teaching began in October 1962.

Building of first buildings on the Falmer site (teaching in 1961-62 was for arts students only, in two houses in Brighton).

1962-63[edit]

First science teaching began. All scientists were in the one School of Physical Sciences (chemistry, physics and mathematics) with Roger Blin-Stoyle as Dean. The original physics Subject Group (known internally as the Physics Division) consisted of 12 members, listed on the front page. All students in the School followed the general course Structure and Properties of Matter (see articles by Roger Blin-Stoyle, by David Betts & Alan Walton and by Geoff Jones).

1963-64[edit]

1964-65[edit]

The University Computing Centre is established in July 1965.

1965-66[edit]

School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MAPS) founded; Chemistry moved into its own School of Molecular Sciences (MOLS).

Astronomy MSc started, with part-time students from the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Herstmonceux (RGO). First Professor of Astronomy, William H McCrea, appointed during 1965, and took up post in January 1966, funded by a grant from the DSIR (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, the predecessor of the Science Research Council). Teaching was by RGO staff and members of physics and mathematics faculty. Second professor of astronomy, Roger J Tayler, appointed in May 1966 and started his involvement with planning in astronomy. Beginning of Astronomy Subject Group, known as the Astronomy Centre.

1966-67[edit]

First full-time students on astronomy MSc, including John Gribbin. Roger Tayler took up his appointment in April 1967.

1967-68[edit]

1968-69[edit]

1969-70[edit]

1970-71[edit]

1971-72[edit]

Professor McCrea retired at the end of the academic year; a retirement party was held.

1972-73[edit]

Martin J Rees succeeded McCrea as Professor of Astronomy in October 1972, but in December was appointed to the Plumian Chair in Cambridge, a post he took up in October 1973.

1973-74[edit]

Leon Mestel succeeded Rees as Professor of Astronomy in October 1973.

1974-75[edit]

1975-76[edit]

1976-77[edit]

1977-78[edit]

1978-79[edit]

1979-80[edit]

1980-81[edit]

1981-82[edit]

1982-83[edit]

1983-84[edit]

1984-85[edit]

1985-86[edit]

1986-87[edit]

1987-88[edit]

1988-89[edit]

1989-90[edit]

Merger of Physics and Astronomy into a single Subject Group from October 1989; Astronomy Centre remained in existence as the research and postgraduate arm of astronomy.

First students accepted onto "Physics with a Preliminary Year" (PPY), a programme devised by David Betts and Colin Finn. In association with the School of Engineering, it provided a preliminary (later called Foundation) year designed to bring students without the necessary qualifications for direct entry into Year 1 up to the standard of A-level in both mathematics and physics.

1990-91[edit]

1991-92[edit]

1992-93[edit]

1993-94[edit]

1994-95[edit]

1995-96[edit]

Mathematics moved out of MAPS to form the School of Mathematical Sciences. For one year MAPS consisted solely of Physics and Astronomy, without a Dean but with the Subject Chair of Physics and Astronomy, Brian L Smith, given the title of Director of the school.

1996-97[edit]

School of Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science (CPES) formed: a merger of MAPS and MOLS, with three subject groups: Chemistry, Environmental Science (previously part of chemistry) and Physics & Astronomy. Founding Dean: John Murrell (theoretical chemist). Poor RAE result (3a) announced in December 1996 - led to revival of P&A's Research Strategy Group and a major internal re-organisation, leading eventually to the closure of the condensed matter group. Chemistry, on the other hand, was able to celebrate the award of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Harry Kroto.

1997-98[edit]

1998-99[edit]

1999-2000[edit]

2000-01[edit]

18 June 2001: the first results were announced of the SNO experiment on solar neutrinos, which ultimately confirmed that neutrinos oscillate between flavours and therefore have mass. Professor David Wark, then at Sussex, was the UK spokesman for the international collaboration.

2001-02[edit]

Greatly improved RAE result (5) announced in December 2001.

2002-03[edit]

Tony Leggett (at Illinois since 1983) awarded a share in the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work at Sussex in the 1970s.

2003-04
[edit]

Major re-organisation of the University led to the formation of a smaller number of larger schools. From October 2003, Physics and Astronomy became part of the School of Science and Technology (SciTech - founding and only Dean, Ben du Boulay (Informatics)), along with Mathematics, Informatics and Engineering & Design. (The other science school, the School of Life Sciences, contained Biology & Environmental Science, Biochemistry, Chemistry and Psychology.) The word Department for the first time replaced the expression Subject Group that had been used since 1961.

2004-05[edit]

2005-06[edit]

2006-07[edit]

2007-08[edit]

2008-09[edit]

2009-10[edit]

A further re-organisation of the University, into smaller schools again, led to the (re-)formation in August 2009 of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, now known as MPS but again consisting of the Departments of Mathematics and of Physics & Astronomy. Head of School: David J Axon (observational astronomer, and former post-doc in the Astronomy Centre).

2010-11[edit]

Preparations began to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Sussex. This wiki began to be written.

2011-12[edit]

The 50th anniversary year. Three faculty members died suddenly within one week: Emeritus Professor Ken Smith (30 March 2012), Professor Wolfgang Lange (3 April 2012), Professor David Axon (5 April 2012).