The University of Zagreb is one of the oldest universities in Europe, it was officially founded on 23 September 1669 by Emperor and King Leopold I Habsburg who issued a decree granting the status and privileges of a university to the Jesuit Academy of the Royal Free City of Zagreb. In naturalist field the teaching started in 1896, with first lectures in mineralogy and geology, and then in botanic, physics, mathematics, chemistry, zoology and geography. Today, the University of Zagreb is the largest university in Croatia with more than 50000 full-time students.
The Physics department at the Faculty of Science has a long tradition in teaching and in scientific research. Since 1991, after moving to the new building on Horvatovac, the Department had its renaissance. The new equipment considerably improved the practical side of the education process and experimental research. Studies of the Departments theoretical physicists have led to new discoveries in the process of neleptonic decay, research of cosmology of neutrino, nuclear structures, theory of classic and quantum chaos, low dimensional systems, and electron dynamics on the surfaces of conductor and isolators. Since 2005, the Physics department consolidated its transition towards Bologna system of study programmes. Within the academic year around 700 students are pursuing one of the various theoretical, experimental, computational and educational physics programmes.