The actual structure of INFLPR activities, research based on lasers, solid state quantum electronics, plasmas and electron accelerators, is a result of organization and reorganization of the research in physics during last 60 years.
The roots of the present Laser Department reside in the former laboratory “Optical Methods in Nuclear Physics” headed in 1956 by Prof. Ion Agarbiceanu, when the Institute for Atomic Physics was founded by Prof. Horia Hulubei. Due to the experimental and theoretical results in the hyperfine structures developed in this laboratory, it was possible to approach research in the very recent domain of lasers and in 20 October 1962 the He-Ne laser beam was obtained “Contributions á l’étude des lasers aux gas” authors : I. Agarbiceanu, A. Agafitei, L. Blanaru, N. Ionescu-Pallas, I.M. Popescu,V. Vasiliu and V.G. Velculescu, Proc. 3d Intl. Congress on Quantum Electronics, Paris, 11-15.02.1963. This group was the hard core of the future Laser Department.
Founded in 1959, the electron accelerator laboratory projected and developed devices for radiographic control in continuous flux. The laboratory built several electron accelerators for Romanian industry.
Ioan Ursu, pro-rector of Babes-Bolyai University and head of the Nuclear Physics and Electromagnetism Division at the Cluj Faculty of Physics, was appointed director of IFA, as Hulubei retired in 1968. Under his guidance, IFA spearheaded the introduction of nuclear energetics in Romania.
During early ‘70s he founded the laboratory MALIRM – Laser active media and interaction of radiation with matter and Prof. Voicu Lupei was appointed as laboratory head. The laboratory was involved mainly in the development and applications of solid state crystals as laser gain media, optical and spectroscopic characterization of these materials, solid state lasers.
The Central Institute of Physics (ICEFIZ) was created in 1973 as an umbrella institution incorporating IFA, IFB (Institute of Physics Bucharest), and anything throughout the country that had to do with physical research and education.
A great change in the management of the Central Institute of Physics – ICEFIZ happened in 1977, when the institute was split in several institutes according the different topics: the Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering – IFIN, the Institute of Physics and Technology of Radiation Devices – IFTAR, the Institute for Physics and Technology of Materials- IFTM, Institute for Gravity and Space Sciences –IGSS, the Center for the Earth Physics and Seismology -CFPS and others.
At that time, research department on plasma physics which were active in the frame of Institute of Physics Bucharest was joined to IFTAR and formed the base for the actual laboratories: Fusion Plasma and Low Temperature Plasma.
The first director of IFTAR was Prof. Ioan Iovit Popescu member of Romanian Academy. The new organized institute consisted from Laser Department, Laser Active Media and Interaction with Matter Laboratory, Electron Accelerators Laboratory, Plasma Physics Laboratory, Special Laser Devices Laboratory.
By the Government Decision 1310/1996 from 25/11/1996 the institute was accredited as national one among the other research institutes. “The National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics “ has almost the same structure as IFTAR but the research activity was diversified.