The Department of Physics and Chemistry - Emilio Segrè (DiFC) is located on several different sites: the two historical buildings of Via Archirafi 36 and of the Astronomical Observatory, and Buildings 17 and 18 in the main Campus of University of Palermo.
DiFC builds upon a long-standing and prestigious scientific legacy. Giuseppe Piazzi (1746-1826), first Head of the Astronomical Observatory, discovered Cerere, the first member of a new family of celestial bodies, asteroids. The physicist Emilio Gino Segrè (1905-1989, Nobel prize in 1959), after whom the DiFC is named, was the Director of the Physics Institute at the University of Palermo, and discovered in Via Archirafi the chemical element Technetium, the only element of the periodic table discovered in Italy. The chemist Stanislao Cannizzaro (1826-1910) was an illustrious scientist working in Palermo, worldwide known for his "Cannizzaro Rule”. Today, these historical roots are put on display in Museo della Specola e Osservatorio Astronomico (Palazzo dei Normanni), Museo della Chimica (Building 17 in Viale delle Scienze – Main Campus) and Collezione Storica degli Strumenti di Fisica (Via Archirafi building).
TEACHING: DiFC currently manages Bachelor and Master degree programs in Physics, Chemistry, Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage and Optics and Optometry. Furthermore, DiFC offers Ph.D. programs in Physics and Physical and Chemical Sciences, hosts the School of Specialization in Medical Physics, and participates to a joint Ph.D. program in Materials Science and Nanotechnologies in agreement with University of Catania, and to an Interdepartmental Ph.D. program in Medicine and Biotechnology.
RESEARCH AND THIRD MISSION: DiFC is home to a lively and highly interdisciplinary research activity at the forefront of fundamental and applied Science, leading to >100 publications per year on high-quality international Scientific journals. DiFC regularly receives funding from several European and National agencies (Horizon 2020, and national POR, PON, PRIN, FIRB projects). Furthermore, DiFC often provides consulting services to third parties from the private sector, especially on the Sicilian territory. Researchers at DiFC benefit from a well-established network of collaborations with many national and international Universities and Research Centers, and regularly participate to well-known international conferences and scientific boards across several different areas of Physics and Chemistry.