The Department of Physics is one of the oldest and the most prestigious departments of the College. The Department started functioning in 1949 when the College was established. The B.Sc. degree programme was started in 1957 with a sanctioned strength of 48. In 1995 the M.Sc. degree programme was started and the strength of students sanctioned was 10. Later in 2000, the Department was upgraded as a Research Centre of the University of Kerala. Currently the Department has ten faculty members and three technical staff. Nine out of the ten faculty members are Ph.D. holders.
In 2008 the Department of Physics received ‘DST-FIST support of Rs.50 lakhs. In 2009 the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) selected Mar Ivanios College for conducting laboratory course in Physics and Chemistry for Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST). The Department also received DST-FIST support in 2010 and 2017. From 2007 to 2011 the Department extended its experimental lab facilities for the B.Tech Aerospace, Avionics and Physical Science students of Indian Institute of Space Science & Technology (IIST) of ISRO.
A total of 105 students have so far registered for PhD at the Centre, of whom 65 have been awarded Ph.D degree since 2001. Currently there are 20 students carrying out their research here. Faculty members have published more than 400 research papers in international journals and 250 in conference proceedings. They have also participated in 475 conferences including many international symposia. The Department received a total research fund of 300 lakhs over the years from 22 major research projects sanctioned by various agencies like DST, UGC, CSIR, BRNS, DRDO, ISRO, KSCSTE, KSHEC etc. A substantial number of major research instruments were installed in the research division for the smooth conduct of research activities. The Department also has to its credit 10 new entries made in the JCPDS files for new compounds and 8 international patents registered. Two new patent applications have also been submitted. A central instrumentation unit established under UGC-CPE scheme is functioning in the Department.
Another major initiative of the Department is the Science Facilitation Centre (SFC) established in 2012. The centre offers opportunity for the students of VIII and IX classes of the nearby schools to carry out laboratory experiments in Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
The Department hosted the 2nd and the 5th International Conferences on Perspectives in Vibrational Spectroscopy (ICOPVS 2008 and ICOPVS 2014 respectively). The proceedings of the Conference were published by American Institute of Physics in 2008 and Institute of Physics London in 2014. The Department has also organized various conferences, seminars, webinars and other academic events over the years, including two national level refresher course / workshops on Experimental Physics.
Dr. Jijimon K. Thomas is the current Head of the Department.