The Department of Physics at the Hong Kong Baptist University was founded in 1956. Its Ph.D. and M.Phil. Programmes were introduced in 1991. The main areas of research are: biological physics, complex systems, condensed matter physics, instrumentation, materials science, quantum optics and laser physics, soft matter physics and statistical and nonlinear physics.

The department also operates or collaborates in the operation of the following research centres: Center for Nonlinear Studies, Beijing-Hong Kong -Singapore Joint Centre for Nonlinear and Complex Systems, Centre for Advanced Luminescence Materials, the Institute of Advanced Materials and Centre for Quantitative Systems Biology.

Close research collaboration has been established with researchers locally and overseas. An International Advisory Committee of the Department was formed in 1996. It now consists of seven world renowned physicists: Profs. Moses Chan, Paul C.W. Chu, L.J. Sham, Y. R. Shen, Daniel C. Tsui and C.N. Yang.

Funding for research projects comes mainly from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, the University, the Industry and Technology Fund, and private industries. The past decade has witnessed a phenomenal growth in research activity, which has attracted a huge increase in research grants. This has in turn led to an expansion of the postgraduate studies programme.