Physics
Students should note that in the Science Faculty the minimum acceptable grade in a course which is required by a particular program or is used to meet a prerequisite, is a "C". Any student who fails to attain a "C" or better in such a course must repeat the course (at the next regular session) until a grade of "C" or better is attained. Students will not be eligible for graduation until such deficiencies are removed. The only exception will be granted for a single course with a D grade that is a normal part of the final year of that program, and is being taken for the first time in the final year.
NOTE: See the beginning of Section H for abbreviations, course numbers and coding.
Not all courses are offered every year. Consult with the Department concerning availability of courses from year to year.
PHYS 1061 , PHYS 1062 , PHYS 1091 , PHYS 1092 are prerequisites for second year physics courses. PHYS 1071 may count in place of PHYS 1061 and PHYS 1072 in place of PHYS 1062 . Note that credit can only be obtained for one of PHYS 1061 and PHYS 1091 , PHYS 1071 and PHYS 1091 or PHYS 1081 . However, for students wishing to transfer from engineering PHYS 1081 and EE 1813 may replace First Year Physics i.e. PHYS 1061 , 1062 , 1091 , 1092 (or equivalently PHYS 1071 , 1072 , 1091 , 1092 ).
Courses with a 5 for the first digit are advanced courses, which may be taken only with the permission of the instructor.
Physics program description.
PHYS1061 | Introductory Physics - I (Physical Science Interest) | 3 ch (3C 1T) |
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This course is an introduction to the branch of physics called mechanics. Mechanics is the study both of how objects move and why they move the way they do. Describing the motion of objects requires understanding the basic kinematics quantities position, displacement, velocity and acceleration, as well as the connection between them. Understanding the causes of motion can be achieved by considering the forces acting on the object and/or by focusing on the conserved properties of the system (momentum, energy, angular momentum). Mechanics applies to a wide range of phenomena, essentially to anything that moves, but this course will highlight ties to and applications in the physical sciences. Co-requisite: MATH 1003 or MATH 1053. NOTE: Credit can be obtained in only one of PHYS 1061, PHYS 1071 or PHYS 1081. |
PHYS1062 | Introductory Physics - II (Physical Science Interest) | 3 ch (3C 1T) |
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This course introduces the students to wave phenomena and to electricity and magnetism. Throughout, the concepts related to motion learned in the previous course are used to describe and explain new phenomena. The study of waves introduces the student to propagating, periodic disturbances. In addition to their importance in mechanical phenomena (e.g. seismic waves), waves form the basis of both optics and acoustics. The study of electricity and magnetism introduces the student to the concept of charge and to the effects of charges on their surroundings (fields and forces). This course will highlight ties to and applications in the physical sciences. Prerequisites: PHYS 1061, PHYS 1071 or PHYS 1081, MATH 1003 or MATH 1053. It is recommended that students intending to take Physics courses beyond Introductory Physics should take MATH 1013 or MATH 1063 as a co-requisite to this course. NOTE: Credit can be obtained in only one of PHYS 1062 or PHYS 1072. |
PHYS1071 | Introductory Physics - I (Health & Life Science Interest) | 3 ch (3C 1T) |
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This course is an introduction to the branch of physics called mechanics. Mechanics is the study both of how objects move and why they move the way they do. Describing the motion of objects requires understanding the basic kinematics quantities position, displacement, velocity and acceleration, as well as the connection between them. Understanding the causes of motion can be achieved by considering the forces acting on the object and/or by focusing on the conserved properties of the system (momentum, energy, angular momentum). Mechanics applies to a wide range of phenomena, essentially to anything that moves, but this course will highlight ties to and applications in the health and life sciences. Co-requisite: MATH 1003 or MATH 1053. NOTE: Credit can be obtained in only one of PHYS 1061, PHYS 1071 or PHYS 1081. |
PHYS1072 | Introductory Physics - II (Health & Life Science Interest) | 3 ch (3C 1T) |
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This course introduces the students to wave phenomena and to electricity and magnetism. Throughout, the concepts related to motion learned in the previous course are used to describe and explain new phenomena. The study of waves introduces the student to propagating, periodic disturbances. In addition to their importance in mechanical phenomena (e.g. seismic waves), waves form the basis of both optics and acoustics. The study of electricity and magnetism introduces the student to the concept of charge and to the effects of charges on their surroundings (fields and forces). This course will highlight ties to and applications in the health and life sciences. Prerequisites: PHYS 1061 or PHYS 1071, MATH 1003 or MATH 1053. It is recommended that students intending to take Physics courses beyond Introductory Physics should take MATH 1013 or MATH 1063 as a co-requisite to this course. NOTE: Credit can be obtained in only one of PHYS 1062 or PHYS 1072. |
PHYS1081 | Foundations of Physics for Engineers | 5 ch (3C 3L) |
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An introduction to the fundamentals of mechanics. Vector analysis and its application to the analysis of the motion of particles and rigid bodies. Newton's three laws of motion. The kinematics and dynamics of particle motion along straight and curved paths. Work, energy, impulse and momentum of particles and rigid bodies. An introduction to the rotation of a rigid body about a fixed axis, moments of inertia, angular momentum. Simple Harmonic Motion. Co-requisites: (MATH 1003 or MATH 1053), (MATH 1503, or MATH 2213, or equivalent). NOTE: Credit can be obtained in only one of PHYS 1061 and PHYS 1091, PHYS 1071 and PHYS 1091 or PHYS 1081. |
PHYS1091 | Experiments in Introductory Physics - I | 2 ch (3L) [W] |
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This course provides the student hands-on experience with concepts covered in PHYS 1061 or PHYS 1071. |
PHYS1092 | Experiments in Introductory Physics - II | 2 ch (3L) [W] |
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This course provides the student hands-on experience with concepts covered in PHYS 1062 or PHYS 1072. |
PHYS1803 | Physics and Society (O) | 3 ch (3C) [W] |
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This course aims to investigate the two way interaction between society and physics. The ideas of physics have percolated into the collective consciousness both as scientific knowledge and as cultural reference points and various new technologies can be identified as originating in physics research. However, physics also has to deal with how it is perceived as a discipline and how physicists are perceived as trustworthy authorities. Open to students in all faculties. No mathematics beyond basic high school algebra and geometry is needed. Content. Introduction to the philosophy of science and the scientific method, introduction to the major scientific ideas that have shaped our society and the world. |
PHYS2311 | Mechanics I | 4 ch (3C 1T) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This course is an important - and big! - first step away from the tremendously simplified problems that we have dealt with both in introductory university physics and in high school. We introduce the integration of greater mathematical sophistication in the treatment of physical situations, showing that comfort with a variety of mathematical techniques will allow us to study a greater range of - and more interesting - problems. Furthermore, this course serves to show that familiarity with the powerful Newtonian toolchest, which we have been using since high school, allows us to approach complicated, realistic situations with confidence. The inclusion of special relativity challenges us to think beyond the familiar. Content. Special relativity (including elements related to the development of the theory), advanced Newtonian kinematics and dynamics (translational and rotational), conservation principles, oscillatory motion, mechanics in non-inertial reference frames. Prerequisites: MATH 1003 or MATH 1053 and MATH 1013 or MATH 1063 plus PHYS 1061, PHYS 1062, PHYS 1091, PHYS 1092 or equivalent. Co-requisite: MATH 2003 or equivalent. |
PHYS2312 | Mechanics II | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This course introduces an entirely new approach to mechanics, one that is more elegant and more powerful but less intuitive than the Newtonian approach to which we have been exposed thus far. This is the last compulsory mechanics course and, therefore, includes the classical mechanics background for the quantum mechanics stream. Some computational exercises are included (e.g. the use of numerical differential equation solvers). Content. Calculus of variations, Lagrangian mechanics, two-body, central force problems (orbital motion), rotational motion of rigid bodies, coupled oscillators and normal modes, an introduction to Hamiltonian mechanics. Co-requisite: MATH 2013 or equivalent. |
PHYS2327 | Circuits & Elementary Electronics | 5 ch (4C/L) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. Understanding circuits and basic electronics is essential for any physicist who will develop or simply use measuring devices. This course moves beyond the simple DC circuits involving resistors and capacitors seen in introductory physics. It introduces the basic elements of the many electronic devices which we use every day, then shows how to combine these elements when designing simple circuits. This topic is particularly well-suited to hands-on learning. The course is experiential in design with more time devoted to manipulations than to lecture. Through the experimental work involved in learning about basic electronics, we are introduced to and become comfortable with essential measurement apparati (multimeters, oscilloscopes, etc). The understanding of basic electronics and measuring devices gained from this course will serve to enhance all future laboratory work: the equipment will not distract us from the physical phenomena which we are studying and we will understand how to best use the equipment and appreciate its limitations. This course also introduces some computational techniques for circuit analysis e.g. in the solution of simultaneous linear equations. Content. AC circuits, operational amplifiers, diodes and other pertinent topics. Prerequisites: PHYS 1061, PHYS 1062, PHYS 1091, PHYS 1092 or equivalent, PHYS 2331. Co-requisite: MATH 2013 or equivalent. |
PHYS2331 | Research Skills | 3 ch (3C) [W] |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This course helps us to acquire skills needed to do research. These include two different aspects: (1) how to deal with experimental limitations (2) how to read and write scientific documents. The skills acquired in this course are subsequently applied in other courses. In all future experimental work, we will treat experimental limitations properly and fully. In all future courses involving reports, written work will meet or exceed the standards established in the Research Skills course. The title of this course emphasises the fact that the programme does more than fill us with physics facts. This is also an opportunity to review other skills, which are developed by the programme (problem solving strategies, approximation, presentation skills, index/abstract searching, etc.). All of these skills are generally applicable in physics & beyond. Content. Uncertainty analysis, Data processing and analysis, Reading and understanding technical literature, Technical writing. Prerequisites: PHYS 1061, PHYS 1062, PHYS 1091, PHYS 1092 or equivalent, MATH 1003, MATH 1013 or equivalent. Co-requisite: MATH 2003 or equivalent. |
PHYS2341 | Thermal Physics | 3 ch (3C) |
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This course includes some experimental work that supports the lecture material. Prerequisites: PHYS 1061, PHYS 1062, PHYS 1091, PHYS 1092 or equivalent, MATH 1003, MATH 1013 or equivalent. Co-requisite: MATH 2003 or equivalent. |
PHYS2351 | Quantum Physics | 3 ch (3C) |
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This course includes some experimental work that supports the lecture material. Prerequisites: PHYS 1061, PHYS 1062, PHYS 1091, PHYS 1092 or equivalent, MATH 1003, MATH 1013 or equivalent. Co-requisite: MATH 2003 or equivalent. |
PHYS2372 | Waves | 3 ch (3C) |
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This course includes some experimental work that supports the lecture material. Role within programme and connections to other courses. Oscillations and waves are key elements to understanding many subfields and applications of physics. Acoustics, optics and electromagnetism (telecommunications) are obvious examples, but waves are also essential to understanding quantum mechanics (the Schrödinger formalism), some atmospheric phenomena, seismic phenomena and fluid mechanics. Content. Waves, applications to optics and acoustics. Co-requisite: MATH 2013 or equivalent. |
PHYS2603 | Work Term Report I | CR |
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PHYS2703 | Physics Outreach & Education (O) | 3 ch (3C) [W] |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This course is meant to help us develop the skills needed to communicate with non-specialists concerning physics. Given that most physics research is ultimately paid for by the public, it behooves physicists to communicate effectively with those who are funding their work, for the benefit of both parties. The goal of such communication is two-fold: (1) to insure that the general public is physics literate and therefore able to enter into a discourse about the science, and (2) to insure that the next generation of university students is exposed to physics in such a way that they can make an informed choice about whether or not their academic and career paths should include physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 1061, PHYS 1062, PHYS 1091, PHYS 1092 or equivalent and one year of university physics. |
PHYS2902 | Environmental Physics (O) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. With the population of the planet increasing and the natural resources decreasing, it is more important than ever to understand the manner in which those resources can and are being used as well as the environmental impacts of those uses. In addition, part of understanding those impacts is understanding how measurements of impacts are made. By focussing on applications of physics to environmental matters, this course contributes to the synthesis of concepts and models learned in other courses. Content. The main focus of the course is on matters related to energy, its production, extraction, distribution and use. Topics include hydroelectricity, solar power, nuclear power, fossil fuels, etc. |
PHYS3322 | Electromagnetism I | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This course will be our first major foray into the formalism of electromagnetic theory. A thorough examination of the nature of vector fields and the forces they cause, and scalar fields along with their relationship to energy, will form a connection to earlier discussions started in Mechanics I. The tools studied previously in Intermediate Calculus (vector operations and calculus) and Methods of Theoretical Physics (particularly special functions like Legendre polynomials and spherical harmonics, delta functions, and tensor analysis) will play a significant role here. Content. Interactions between point charges, the nature and calculation of the electric and magnetic fields, the distribution of electric and magnetic fields in space (flux, Gauss’ law, Ampère’s law), reactions of charges and dipoles to applied fields, electrostatic scalar potential and magnetic vector potential, elementary gauge theory, energy storage in static electric and magnetic fields, elementary treatment of fields in materials, fields across boundaries, time dependence of electromagnetic fields, displacement current, the final form of Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic waves. Prerequisites: PHYS 2311, PHYS 3331, MATH 2013 or equivalent. |
PHYS3331 | Methods of Theoretical Physics. | 4 ch (3C 1T*) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. In the course of an undergraduate physics programme we employ a variety of theoretical techniques. This course exposes us to theoretical ideas that are widely applicable in electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, classical mechanics and relativity. Special emphasis will be placed on demonstrating the general nature of the topics considered. Content. Non-orthogonal, non-normalised bases, tensors, special functions (general solutions to second order differential equations) and expansions in special functions, integral transforms (Fourier, z-transform, Laplace transform). Prerequisites: MATH 2213 or equivalent, approved second year physics. |
PHYS3336 | Experimental Physics I | 3 ch (3L) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. Various courses contain experiments that are directly related to the material addressed in the lectures, however, in the interest of promoting an understanding of connectivities (avoiding compartmentalisation) and refining research skills, this synthesis course will contain a variety of experiments, many of which integrate concepts learned in diverse courses. Content. The experiments include topics in mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum physics, thermal physics and optics. Prerequisite: PHYS 2331. |
PHYS3338 | Independent Study | 3 ch (3R) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. Every physics honours student is required to complete one independent study course, to allow the development of critical reading and thinking skills. This course shall be taken no sooner than the beginning of his/her third year and no later than the penultimate term of his/her degree (i.e. the student must know a sufficient amount of physics to allow for a challenging independent study course, and the student should complete this course before working on his/her Advanced Research Project so that the skills developed during the independent study course are of use during the thesis project). Prerequisite: Approved 2000-level or 3000-level courses. |
PHYS3342 | Statistical Physics | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This course builds from the bottom up (molecules → continuous phases) what Thermal Physics describes from the top down (macroscopic properties → kinetic theory). We reinforce the idea (from Quantum Physics and Quantum Mechanics I) that our macroscopic observations can be based on underlying probabilities, rather than strict determinism. Content. The ensemble basis for basic statistics, equilibrium between interacting systems, the Laws of Thermodynamics (from a microscopic standpoint), classical and quantum statistical distributions, applications of Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics, kinetic theory of gases revisited, applications of quantum statistics. Prerequisite: PHYS 2341. |
PHYS3351 | Quantum Mechanics I | 4 ch (3C 1T*) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. The need for and qualities of quantum mechanics have been clearly established in Quantum Physics. This course begins to put quantum mechanics on a formal footing. The approach in QM I is expected to include both wave and matrix techniques. Prerequisite: PHYS 2351, PHYS 2312, approved second year mathematics. Co-requisite: PHYS 3331. |
PHYS3603 | Work Term Report II | CR |
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PHYS3752 | Atomic and Molecular Physics (O) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. For an undergraduate student, atomic and molecular physics is one of the most fundamental applications of quantum mechanics in the curriculum. The course provides a firm grounding in quantum angular momentum theory, including spin and angular momentum coupling, and makes extensive use of the matrix approach to quantum physics calculations. The course is linked to all courses in the quantum mechanics stream, and to optics. |
PHYS3852 | Subatomic Physics (O) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. The study of nuclear and particle physics draws mainly on quantum physics but, due to the semi-empirical nature of many of the nuclear models used, it also draws heavily on basic electromagnetism and other branches of physics. An understanding of nuclear physics is essential for work related to radiation therapy, in the nuclear energy sector, and in some branches of astrophysics. As for particle physics, as well as being a field in its own right, it has become inextricably linked to research in cosmology. Prerequisites: PHYS 3351. |
PHYS3883 | Atmospheric Physics (A) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. Atmospheric events and processes have an impact on and are impacted by human activity, making atmospheric physics a topic of great societal relevance. The study of the atmosphere requires consideration of a wide range of spatial scales — from radiation transfer at the atomic level to phenomena on the global level — and a wide range of time scales — from seconds to centuries. Making headway requires an understanding of what processes can and cannot be ignored depending on the scales under consideration. In addition to providing an introduction to the field of atmospheric physics, this course contributes toward the overall goal of the physics programme by calling on us to combine knowledge from a variety of subfields of physics. Knowledge acquired in thermal physics, in mechanics and in quantum physics (blackbody radiation, spectral lines) must be brought together to develop an understanding of basic atmospheric physics. Content. Structure of the atmosphere, the global energy balance, atmospheric thermodynamics, physics of weather patterns, observational techniques and instrumentation. Usually alternates with Astrophysics. |
PHYS3892 | Medical Physics (A) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This course introduces our students to a field where there are many opportunities for stimulating and satisfying careers. Medical physics is an application of physics to the particular — and particularly complex — system which is the human body. This course requires an integration of concepts from optics, quantum physics, nuclear physics, electromagnetism, mathematics, etc. Content. Radiation therapy, medical imaging. Usually alternates with Biophysics. Prerequisite: PHYS 2351. |
PHYS3911 | Mechanics III (O) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This third, elective mechanics course can afford to take a more philosophical approach to Hamiltonian mechanics, while Mechanics II will, of necessity, be more pragmatic. In addition, our tools can now be used in a variety of very sophisticated circumstances. Prerequisite: PHYS 2312. |
PHYS3912 | Special Relativity (A) | 3 ch (3L) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. The Special Theory of Relativity is one of the foundations of modern physics. It underlies our understanding of particle physics and gravitation. This course builds beyond the introduction begun in the Physics course Mechanics I. It is recommended for all physics and mathematics students who wish to pursue the study of particles, fields and gravitation. Content. The course provides an introduction to the physical principles (Lorentz invariance, constancy of the speed of light, equivalence, of mass and energy) and the mathematical underpinnings (Minkowski spacetime, tensors), of the theory of special relativity. This course is cross listed MATH 3463. Credit cannot be obtained for both MATH 3463 and PHYS 3912. Prerequisites: MATH 2003, PHYS 1062 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor. |
PHYS3952 | Solid State Physics (O) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. Solid state physics, also referred to as condensed matter physics, is the study of matter in which a large number of atoms (10^{23} cm^{-3}) are bound together, forming a dense solid aggregate. It is a fundamental field of physics that leads to such areas and topics as material science, nanotechnology, and superconductivity. In this course, the student will study the structure of solids and how this structure affects such things as their mechanical properties, their thermal properties, and their electronic properties. This course builds on concepts introduced in thermodynamics and statistical physics, as well as quantum mechanics, with links to electromagnetism (e.g. van der Waals forces). Content. Lattice structure and dynamics, electron kinetics and dynamics, applications (e.g. semiconductors, superconductors, magnetic resonance). Usually offered on rotation with Atomic & Molecular Physics and Subatomic Physics. |
PHYS3983 | Astrophysics (A) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. In addition to providing an introduction to the field of astrophysics, this course contributes toward the overall goal of the physics programme by calling on us to combine knowledge from a variety of subfields of physics. Knowledge acquired in introductory physics (conservation principles, forces, optics) and in quantum physics (blackbody radiation, spectral lines) must be brought together to develop an understanding of basic astrophysics. In addition, elements of statistical physics will be introduced as required. Content. Observational tools (telescopes and detectors), stars: properties, formation, and evolution, galaxies: structure and evolution, large-scale structure and cosmology. Usually alternates with Atmospheric Physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 2351 or permission of the instructor (some combinations of engineering courses may be suitable preparation for Astrophysics). |
PHYS3993 | Biophysics (A) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. The study of biophysics offers a new perspective on physics through application to the biological sciences. It involves the integration of diverse concepts seen in introductory physics as well as elements of thermodynamics and fluid physics. It highlights the usefulness of physical thinking and a physicist’s perspective in the study of biological phenomena. Content. Biomechanics, the optics of vision, sound, hearing & echolocation, fluids in motion, the thermodynamics of life, physics at the cellular level, electricity and magnetism in biological systems. Usually alternates with Medical Physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 1061, PHYS 1062, PHYS 1091, PHYS 1092 or equivalent plus MATH 1003 or MATH 1053, MATH 1013 or MATH 1063, BIOL 1001, BIOL 1012 . |
PHYS4321 | Electromagnetism II | 4 ch (3C, 1T) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This second course on the formalism of electricity and magnetism extends the material from Electromagnetism I, and adds mathematical rigor and sophistication to our toolbox of techniques for electromagnetic problems. Heavier use of the ideas from Methods of Theoretical Physics is made, including Fourier methods and spherical harmonics. At the culmination of this course, we will have been exposed to all of the core ideas in E/M theory except for relativity. The latter and applications will follow in Electromagnetism III. Content. Fields in materials (D and H), polarization and magnetization vectors, polarizability and susceptibility tensors, types of magnetization, gauge theory, and its uses in solution of electromagnetic problems, conservation laws in electromagnetic theory, Poynting's theorem, the Maxwell stress-energy tensor, the Lagrangian for a charged particle in an electromagnetic field, radiation from accelerated charges, retardation effects, generation and propagation of E/M waves, the breakdown of classical electromagnetic theory. |
PHYS4332 | Computational Physics | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This is a capstone course to demonstrate the use of numerical and simulation techniques in a range of situations taken from across the programme. For instance, numerical solutions to differential equations might be used to look at some examples of chaotic behaviour or Monte-Carlo simulations might be used to look at percolative mass transport problems. Computational techniques have great importance in the modern physical sciences to the extent that some have described it as of equal importance to experimental and theoretical physics (although computational physics may also be considered to have elements of both theoretical and experimental physics, of course). The skills acquired in this course can subsequently be applied in other advanced courses, in particular the Advanced Research Project. Content. Numerical techniques, modelling techniques. Prerequisites: Approved second year mathematics and third year physics, CS 3113 or equivalent. |
PHYS4338 | Advanced Research Project | 8 ch [W] |
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All physics honours students are required to complete a research project, under the supervision of a member of the department. Honours students in an interdepartmental program with physics may choose to complete their honours project in physics. Non-honours students may complete a research project as an elective. The Advanced Research Project course includes a formal written report and an oral defense, both of which are assessed by committee. Prerequisites: PHYS 3336, PHYS 3338, permission of the department. |
PHYS4351 | Quantum Mechanics II | 4 ch (3C, 1T*) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. The second QM course is not required for the majors programme, but furnishes our honours students with a range of tools allowing them to move beyond hydrogen-like atoms and to explore the applications of quantum mechanics. Prerequisite: PHYS 3351. |
PHYS4371 | Optics | 3 ch (3C) |
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This course includes some experiments that support the lecture material. Role within programme and connections to other courses. Optics is both a field of research in its own right and a topic the tools of which are used by many other branches of physics. This course builds on the basic concepts of wave optics introduced in Waves. It also provides a brief introduction to some concepts of photonics, the quantum treatment of light. Contents. Advanced geometrical optics (e.g. the transition between geometrical and physical optics, the thick lens, Jones’ matrices), Fourier optics. Prerequisite: PHYS 2372. |
PHYS4603 | Work Term Report III | CR |
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A written report on the scientific activities of the work term. A component of the grade will be the employer's evaluation of the student. (Students must have a GPA of 2.7 or better for PHYS COOP placement.) Prerequisite: Work Term Report II in a field of science. |
PHYS4722 | Signal & Image Processing (A) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. Many physics career paths involve signal and image processing of some kind, e.g. seismic data processing, medical imaging, remote sensing (defense, forestry, mining), observational astrophysics, etc. As a result, understanding the possibilities and limitations of various data analysis techniques is a valuable asset for any physics graduate. Content. This course uses data from a variety of applications to illustrate the wide range of applicability of the tools discussed. Usually alternates with Advanced Electronics. Prerequisite: PHYS 3331. |
PHYS4823 | Advanced Electronics (A) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. The world of experimental physics is an electrifying blend of theory and hands-on measurements which relies heavily on a wide array of complex electronic devices. This course builds on Circuits & Elementary Electronics and introduces electronics and instrumentation we encounter through a physics career. The requirement to design and build electronic equipment, to integrate and control multiple components, and to efficiently operate complex instrumentation is fundamental to experimental physics. The goal of this course is to furnish the tools we need to meet these challenges. It includes topics in electronic design, interfacing and control, sensors and detectors, and data acquisition. Content. Multi-component design, amplifiers, filters, PCB design, integrated circuits, digital logic and programmable devices, radio frequency design, interfacing and control, transducers, detectors and receivers, solid state sensors. Usually alternates with Signal & Image Processing. Prerequisite: PHYS 2327. |
PHYS4838 | Research Project | 4 ch [W] |
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A one-term research project, supervised by a member of the department, assessed on the basis of the research work carried out and a report. Note that no defense is involved (in contrast to the Advanced Research Project). Prerequisite: PHYS 3336. |
PHYS4872 | Plasma Physics (A) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. Plasmas are sometimes referred to as the fourth state of matter. In a plasma, charge separation between electrons and ions gives rise to electric fields, and the movements of these charged particles result in currents and magnetic fields. Understanding the behaviour of plasmas involves mechanics, electromagnetism, and thermodynamics, and thus a plasma physics course contributes toward the overall goal of the physics programme by calling on us to combine knowledge from a variety of subfields of physics. Plasmas are found in many branches of physics (e.g. particle physics, condensed matter, astrophysics) and so the knowledge gained in this course will be of great value in many fields. |
PHYS4922 | Electromagnetism III | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This course pursues high level extension and application of electromagnetic theory. It connects to and extends relativistic mechanics (started in Mechanics I), and illuminates ideas from atomic/molecular physics, plasma physics and other fields. Content. Magnetohydrodynamics, relativistic four-vectors and four-tensors, force and Minkowski force, covariant formulation of E/M fields, an E/M perspective on quantum field theory. |
PHYS4933 | Special Topics in Physics | 3 ch (3C) |
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This “course” is included in order to allow for ad hoc courses that might be offered only once. For instance, a visiting professor may have some expertise that s/he could share with the Department, or the student body may request a course about a particular topic that intrigues them. Prerequisite: Permission of the department. |
PHYS4938 | Experimental Physics II (O) | 3 ch (3L) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. Various courses will contain experiments that are directly related to the material addressed in the lectures, however, in the interest of promoting an understanding of connectivities (avoiding compartmentalisation) and refining research skills, this synthesis course will contain a variety of experiments, many of which integrate concepts learned in diverse courses. Content. The experiments will cover a wide variety of topics. Prerequisite: PHYS 3336. |
PHYS4953 | Introduction to Quantum Field Theory | 3 ch (3C) |
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Content. Relativistic quantum mechanics. The negative energy problem. Classical field theory, symmetries and Noether's theorem. Free field theory and Fock space quantization. The interacting field: LSZ reduction formula, Wick's theorem, Green's functions, and Feynman diagrams. Introduction to Quantum electrodynamics and renormalization. This course is cross-listed as MATH 4443. Credit cannot be obtained for both MATH 4443 and PHYS 4953. Prerequisites: MATH 3003, PHYS 3351, MATH 3463/PHYS 3912 and one of MATH 3043, MATH 3503, PHYS 2312, PHYS 3331, or permission of the instructor. |
PHYS4972 | Continuum & Fluid Mechanics (A) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. The emphasis of this course will be on how what we know of Newtonian mechanics is carried over into a continuum. This approach helps to emphasise that the tools and knowledge we have already developed can be used to great effect in new situations. In addition to the portability of physical concepts, we will also be able to see some generally useful mathematical tools in a new context (vector calculus in velocity fields being a key example). Content. Volume and surface forces, stress and strain, Hooke’s Law, equation of motion for an elastic solid, longitudinal and transverse waves in a solid, fluid properties, fluid motion. Usually alternates with Plasma Physics. |
PHYS4983 | Introduction to General Relativity (A) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within the programme and connections to other courses.Along with quantum theory, general relativity is one of the central pillars of modern theoretical physics with wide-ranging implications for astrophysics and high energy physics. The essential idea is that gravitation is a manifestation of the curvature of spacetime rather than a force in Newtonian sense. This course will provide students with a basic working understanding of general relativity and an introduction to important applications such as black holes and cosmology. Prerequisites: MATH 3463/PHYS 3912, MATH 4473 or permission of the instructor. |
PHYS5952 | Quantum Mechanics III (O) | 4 ch (3C 1T*) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This advanced quantum mechanics course introduces relativistic quantum mechanics and a variety of modern applications of quantum mechanics. Content. Relativistic quantum mechanics: the Klein-Gordon equation, Lorentz transformation, the Dirac equation, the Dirac solution of the hydrogen atom; quantum theory of radiation: radiation-matter interaction, decays, absorption, stimulated emission, scattering of photons by atoms, the Casimir effect; path integral formulation; quantum entanglement, the EPR paradox, dense coding, quantum teleportation, the Bell inequality. Prerequisite: PHYS 4351. |
PHYS5993 | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (O) | 3 ch (3C) |
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Role within programme and connections to other courses. This advanced course draws upon electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and statistical thermodynamics to provide a capstone topic tied to the department’s research interests. Content. Principles of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, survey of imaging techniques, modern applications of MRI in medicine, biology and materials science. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. |