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Head of Department letter June 2023

Dear colleagues,

"I would like to provide you with an update regarding the ongoing changes at the Department of Physics at Lund University. The integration of activities within astrophysics and theoretical particle physics has progressed successfully, and I am proud of the progress we have made so far.

By bringing together these two disciplines within our department, we are creating a stronger and more cohesive research environment. This enables increased interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange, which is expected to lead to groundbreaking research and discoveries in both astrophysics and theoretical particle physics. I look forward to seeing the exciting collaborations and research projects that will develop as a result of this integration.

At the same time, I want to inform you that the formal closure of the Division of Nuclear Physics will be completed on July 1, 2023. We understand that this may evoke feelings of sadness and uncertainty among those who have been involved in the division's activities. However, we want to emphasise that the significance and relevance of nuclear physics will not disappear. Instead, the activities will continue within the Division of Combustion Physics, the  Division of Particle and Nuclear Physics, and the joint departmental activities, where the Microhall and AGB activities will be transferred.

We have worked diligently to ensure a smooth transition of the nuclear physics activities to these divisions, without compromising the scientific excellence and quality that you have demonstrated over the years. We are confident that this structural change will benefit both researchers and students and enable new collaborations and opportunities for all involved.

I am grateful for your commitment and hard work during this time of change. Your passion and dedication are key to our success as an institution. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of science and shape the future of physics research at Lund University.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes, please feel free to contact me. I am here to support you and ensure that you have the resources and assistance you need to continue conducting outstanding scientific research.

Thank you for your commitment and continued contributions to the Department of Physics at Lund University."

The above is what ChatGPT writes when I instruct ChatGPT to write a Head of Department letter with the following input:

"Write a Head of Department letter for the Department of Physics at Lund University, addressing the progress of integrating the activities in astrophysics and theoretical particle physics within the department, and the formal closure of the Division of Nuclear Physics on July 1, 2023, with the activities from the Division of Nuclear Physics continued at the Division of Combustion Physics department, the Division of Particle and Nuclear Physics and the joint Departmental Activities to which the Microhall and AGB activities will be transferred."

I made some minor changes to the text, namely replacing "we" with "I" in several places, and, obviously, correcting the verb forms accordingly. However, I removed one sentence, the very first one: "We hope this letter finds you all in good health and high spirits." This just was too much.

One can contemplate the implications of artificial intelligence entering our world. For example, I wonder if the vast amount of texts written in the future will sound more or less the same because we will all be using the same AI tools (and whether we will get used to – or need to get used to – the slightly exaggerated style of the above text). This might be one of the less serious consequences, but I'm not completely certain that it's not serious.

What will AI mean for the cognitive processes underlying creativity and learning? More concretely, how will we adapt in our teaching and assessment activities to the fact that AI exists and is being used? How will we, as university teachers, use AI tools? These and other questions were discussed at the workshop "Teaching and learning in the era of ChatGPT," organised by Elisabeth Nilsson, Martin Magnusson, and Johan Rathsman at the Department of Physics on June 19. It was a very pleasant event with a large number of participants. The undergraduate education workshop series will continue in the autumn, and it would be great if the participation level remains high!

What about the organisational changes that I made ChatGPT write about? Well, it's roughly as ChatGPT writes, although I would have expressed it differently. The work on integrating the activities within theoretical particle physics and astrophysics continues. In this context, the relocation of premises is a major puzzle piece, and intense work is being done.

The intention of the Faculty of Science is that Computational Biology shall move to Geocentrum before the end of August and that Astrophysics shall move into the Fysicum area, primarily to the A Building, before the end of December.

This would mean that we fairly soon can bring together the Division of Particle and Nuclear Physics, which since January includes Theoretical Particle Physics and since June the NUSTAR group.Part of the BAR group's staff in the Faculty of Science will also soon be included in the division, while we have an ongoing dialogue with the LTH part of the BAR group during autumn.

The Division of Combustion Physics will have a contiguous space by taking over a number of offices in the H Building. This will allow the Division of Combustion Physics, which since June includes the Aerosol group, to sit together.

Further changes will occur in the B and C Buildings when part of the Division of Solid State Physics moves from one building to the other.

Renovations and modifications will also take place elsewhere. For a while, we will have to endure the disruptions of renovation even in premises and corridors where we have recently moved in because not all work will be completed before the move. Occasionally, this may be a little trying, and then we need to remember that we will be rewarded with fresh premises a little further on.

The Microhall and AGB activities will be placed under an Deputy Head of Department. I am grateful that Knut Deppert is willing to take on this assignment during the upcoming period. The Division of Nuclear Physics department will cease to exist as of 30 June 2023 – but here, ChatGPT is absolutely right: the relevance and significance of nuclear physics remain!

This and much more is happening at the Department of Physics right now. But even this year, summer will come, and with summer comes holiday time and well-deserved rest. Take a break, relax, do something different from what you usually do – simply enjoy the summer and then we'll see each other in August!