

Module for First Year and First Term Second Year Physics Courses

Physics
106

Module M6 Thermal Physics


Thermal Physics. Gas laws; kinetic theory of gases; temperature; internal energy; specific heat; energy transfer; laws of thermodynamics; PVT diagrams.
Course Hours:
0.75 units; (12 hours)
Prerequisite(s):
Consent of the Department.
Notes:
Taught as part of Physics 223. Contact the instructor in Physics 223 regarding the schedule.

back to top  



Introductory Newtonian particle mechanics and rigid bodies in rotational equilibrium: Kinematics, Newton's laws, conservation of momentum and mechanical energy.
Course Hours:
3 units; (42)
Prerequisite(s):
Mathematics 301 or Mathematics 2 (offered by Continuing Education).
Antirequisite(s):
Credit for more than one of Physics 211, 221, or 227 will not be allowed.
Notes:
Physics 211 and 221 differ in their prerequisites, but cover the same material and have the same examinations and tutorial quizzes. Physics 211 has an extra lecture hour per week to deal with certain topics from High School Physics and Mathematics 31. Mathematics 31 is recommended.

back to top  


Introductory Newtonian particle mechanics and rigid bodies in rotational equilibrium: Kinematics, Newton's laws, conservation of momentum and mechanical energy.
Course Hours:
3 units; (32)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 30; and Mathematics 301 or Mathematics 2 (offered by Continuing Education); and Mathematics 31.
Antirequisite(s):
Credit for more than one of Physics 211, 221, or 227 will not be allowed.

back to top  

Physics
223

Introductory Electromagnetism, and Thermal Physics


Electrical forces and energy. Static electric fields due to point charges. Parallelplate capacitor. Simple DC circuits. Lorentz force. Static magnetic fields generated by electric currents. Electromagnetic induction. Gas Laws; kinetic theory of gases; temperature, thermal energy, specific heat; energy transfer; laws of thermodynamics; PVT diagrams.
Course Hours:
3 units; (33)
Prerequisite(s):
3 units from Physics 211, 221 or 227.

back to top  

Physics
227

Classical Physics


Vector algebra; statics and kinematics of rigid bodies; Newton’s laws of motion; conservation laws; collisions; rotational mechanics; computer modelling of physical systems; approximation methods.
Course Hours:
3 units; (32T2)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 30; and Mathematics 301 or Mathematics 2 (offered by Continuing Education); and Mathematics 31; and admission to a Major or Minor in Physics or Astrophysics or a Major in Chemistry, Natural Science (Physics Concentration), or Environmental Science (Physics Concentration).
Antirequisite(s):
Credit for more than one of Physics 227, 321, 211 or 221 will not be allowed.

back to top  

Physics
229

Modern Physics


Origins of quantum mechanics. Wave mechanics and applications. Nuclear physics and radioactivity. Special Theory of Relativity.
Course Hours:
3 units; (33)
Prerequisite(s):
3 units from Physics 211, 221 or 227; and 3 units from Mathematics 249, 265 or 275.
Also known as:
(formerly Physics 325)

back to top  

Physics
259

Electricity and Magnetism (for students in Engineering)


Electric and magnetic fields related to charges and current through Maxwell’s equations. Energy stored in fields, potential energy, and voltage. Conductors, insulators, and dielectrics. Resistance, capacitance, and inductance with applications to RC/RL circuits.
Course Hours:
3 units; (42)
Prerequisite(s):
Mathematics 211 and 3 units from Mathematics 265 or 275 and admission to the Schulich School of Engineering.
Antirequisite(s):
Credit for Physics 259 and either Physics 255 or 355 will not be allowed.

back to top  

Physics
271

How Things Work


Physics behind many common devices will be discussed. Topics will be chosen from among the following: the use of simple and compound machines; waves, sound, acoustics; light and optics; household electric circuitry; magnetism.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Antirequisite(s):
Physics Majors, Astrophysics Majors, Natural Sciences Physics Concentrators and Environmental Science Physics Concentrators are not permitted to register in this course.

back to top  


Physics
303

Quantum Mysteries and Paradoxes


Aims to explain basic quantum phenomena for students outside the physical sciences. Topics covered may include waveparticle duality, quantum interference, as well as the paradoxes of entanglement and quantum nonlocality. Applications such as quantum cryptography and quantum teleportation are discussed, as are the philosophical interpretations of the quantum picture of the world.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Antirequisite(s):
Physics Majors, Astrophysics Majors, Natural Sciences Physics Concentrators and Environmental Science Physics Concentrators are not permitted to register in this course.

back to top  

Physics
321

Harmonic Motion, Waves, and Rotation


Newtonian mechanics of rigid body rotation. Simple harmonic oscillations. Progressive waves in one dimension. Energy of a wave. Superposition. Standing waves. Fluids.
Course Hours:
3 units; (32T)
Prerequisite(s):
3 units from Physics 211, 221 or 227; and Mathematics 211 or 213; and Mathematics 267 or 277.

back to top  

Physics
323

Optics and Electromagnetism


Static electric fields due to charge distributions. Static magnetic fields due to current distributions. Timedependent behaviour of capacitors and inductances. Geometrical optics: Thin lenses and curved mirrors. Physical optics: Interference and diffraction.
Course Hours:
3 units; (33/2)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 223 and 3 units from Physics 211, 221 or 227; and 3 units from Mathematics 249, 265 or 275.

back to top  

Physics
341

Classical Mechanics I


Conservative and nonconservative forces; forced and damped harmonic oscillations; phasespace analysis; central force motion and scattering; noninertial frames; applications of ordinary differential equations.
Course Hours:
3 units; (33/2)
Prerequisite(s):
3 units from Physics 211, 221 or 227; and Mathematics 211 or 213; and Mathematics 267 or 277.

back to top  

Physics
343

Classical Mechanics II


Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics; general rotations of rigid bodies; moment of inertia tensor; eigenvalues and eigenvectors; perturbation theory; applications to multipleparticle systems.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 341.

back to top  

Physics
355

Electromagnetic Theory I


Electrostatics, DC circuits, calculation of magnetic intensity from currents, motion of charged particles in electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic induction, transient effects in capacitors and inductors, electric and magnetic properties of materials.
Course Hours:
3 units; (33/2)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 211 or 221 or 227; and Mathematics 375 or 376.
Antirequisite(s):
Credit for Physics 355 and 259 will not be allowed
Also known as:
(formerly Physics 255)

back to top  

Physics
365

Acoustics, Optics and Modern Physics (for students in Engineering)


Wave motion as applied to acoustics and physical optics. Waveparticle duality applied to light and matter; electron energy levels of atoms and crystals.
Course Hours:
3 units; (33/2)
Prerequisite(s):
Mathematics 277 and Physics 259 and admission to a program in Engineering.
Antirequisite(s):
Credit for Physics 365 and 369 will not be allowed. Not open to Geomatics Engineering students.

back to top  

Physics
369

Acoustics, Optics and Radiation (for students in Engineering)


Wave motion as applied to acoustics, geometric and physical optics, and radiant energy transfer. Traditional and modern applications.
Course Hours:
3 units; (33/2)
Prerequisite(s):
Mathematics 277 and Physics 259 and admission to a program in Engineering.
Antirequisite(s):
Credit for Physics 369 and 365 will not be allowed. Not open to Electrical Engineering students.

back to top  

Physics
371

Introduction to Energy


Energy and power. Sources of energy such as wind power, solar power, nuclear power, geothermal energy and fossil fuels and related limitations. Generation and distribution of electricity.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  

Physics
375

Introduction to Optics and Waves


Geometrical Optics: lenses, mirrors, and other basic optical components. Wave motion. Description of light as a wave. Fermat’s principle. Refraction, scattering, interference, diffraction, and polarization. Optical instruments (including telescopes and microscopes). Lasers and fibre optics if time allows.
Course Hours:
3 units; (33/2)
Prerequisite(s):
3 units from Physics 211, 221 or 227; and Mathematics 267 or 277.

back to top  

Physics
381

Computational Physics I


Python environments and tools, numerical representation, polynomials and Taylor’s theorem, iterated functions and fractals, root finding, numerical integration, ordinary differential equations.
Course Hours:
3 units; (13)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 341; and 3 units from Computer Science 217, 231 or Data Science 211.

back to top  

Physics
397

Applied Physics Laboratory I


Basic laboratory electronics, vacuum systems, and optical devices. Introduction to experimental control, data collection, and analysis. Fundamentals of error analysis and error propagation.
Course Hours:
3 units; (21T3)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 229 or 325.

back to top  

Physics
435

Mathematical Methods in Physics


Partial differential equations. Fourier analysis. Laplace Transforms. Special functions and orthogonal polynomials. Complex analysis. Applications in Physics and Astronomy
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 343 and Mathematics 367; and one Mathematics 375 or 376.
Antirequisite(s):
Credit for Physics 435 and Mathematics 433 will not be allowed.

back to top  

Physics
443

Quantum Mechanics I


Basic concepts of quantum systems and their physical interpretation. Operator, matrix, and wave mechanics. Dirac notation. Schrödinger’s timeindependent and timedependent equations. Applications.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 343; and 229 or 325; Mathematics 311 or 313; and Physics 435 or Mathematics 433.

back to top  

Physics
449

Statistical Mechanics I


Statecounting; classical distributions and probability theory; origins and role of entropy; equilibrium; ensemble theory; concepts of work, heat, and temperature; equations of state; heat capacity; equipartition theorem; engines; laws of thermodynamics; nonequilibrium systems; MaxwellBoltzmann distribution; thermodynamic potentials.
Course Hours:
3 units; (31T0)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 343; and 229 or 325; and Mathematics 375 or 376; and Mathematics 367.

back to top  

Physics
451

Statistical Mechanics II


Quantum statistical mechanics; bosons and fermions; quantum counting; classicalquantum transition; blackbody radiation; applications of statistical mechanics to phase transitions, critical phenomena and complex systems, Ising model, meanfield theory.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 449.

back to top  


Physics
457

Electromagnetic Theory III


Electromagnetic wave solutions to Maxwell's equations, in vacuum and in insulating and conducting media. Waveguides. Electromagnetic radiation from accelerated charges. Relativistic formulation of electrodynamics.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 455; and one of Physics 435 or Mathematics 433.
Antirequisite(s):
Credit for Physics 457 and Electrical Engineering 476 will not be allowed.

back to top  

Physics
481

Computational Physics II


Random walks, cellular automata, pseudorandom number generation, Monte Carlo methods, numerical solution of ordinary and partial differential equations, introduction to Fourier transforms.
Course Hours:
3 units; (13)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 381 and Mathematics 367; and one of Mathematics 375 or 376.

back to top  

Physics
497

Applied Physics Laboratory II


Intermediate laboratory electronics. AC circuit theory and semiconductor devices, including operational amplifiers. Digital sampling theory and frequencydomain signal processing. Computer automation of experimental control, data collection, and analysis, including error analysis and error propagation.
Course Hours:
3 units; (26)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 397; and Mathematics 433 or Physics 435.

back to top  


Lorentz transformations in classical mechanics; relativistic kinematics; spacetime diagrams; relativistic energy and momentum conservation; Geometrical interpretation; applications of relativistic kinematics; fourvector formalism and tensors; introduction to general relativity; applications.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 455.

back to top  

Physics
507

Solid State Physics


Crystal structure. Classification of solids and their bonding. Fermi surface. Elastic, electric and magnetic properties of solids.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 443 or Chemistry 373; and Physics 449 and 455.

back to top  

Physics
509

Plasma Physics


Occurrence of plasmas in nature, single particle motion, plasmas as fluids, waves in plasmas, diffusion, resistivity, equilibrium and stability, kinetic theory of plasmas, nonlinear effects.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 343 and 455.

back to top  

Physics
521

Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos


Introduction to nonlinear dynamical systems: Phase space representation, bifurcations, normal forms, nonlinear oscillators, deterministic chaos, attractors, fractals, universality, renormalization, and synchronization.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 381 and 449; and Physics 435 or Mathematics 433.

back to top  

Physics
543

Quantum Mechanics II


Intermediate quantum mechanics. Theory of angular momentum, symmetries, perturbation theory. Identical particles. Applications to atomic physics, spectroscopy. Entanglement.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 443.

back to top  

Physics
561

Stable and Radioactive Isotope Studies, Fundamentals


A multidisciplinary course. Topics include nucleosynthesis, radioactive decay, isotope exchange phenomena, kinetic isotope effects, tracer techniques, molecular spectra and instrumentation.
Course Hours:
3 units; (31)
Prerequisite(s):
Consent of the Department.

back to top  

Physics
577

Implementations of Quantum Information


Proposals and realizations of quantum information tasks including quantum computation, quantum communication, and quantum cryptography in optical, atomic, molecular, and solid state systems.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 455 and 543.
Antirequisite(s):
Credit for Physics 577 and 677 will not be allowed.

back to top  

Physics
581

Computational Physics III


Linear inversion, spectral methods, calling external libraries, data formats, parallelization, numeric and symbolic programming languages.
Course Hours:
3 units; (13)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 481; and Mathematics 433 or Physics 435.

back to top  

Physics
593

Topics in Contemporary Physics


Topics will be from the research areas of staff members.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30) or (06)
Prerequisite(s):
Consent of the Department.
MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT

back to top  

Physics
597

Senior Physics Laboratory


Selected advanced experiments. Where possible, students may choose those experiments most suited to their interests. Development of technical and computerbased skills, technical writing and presentation skills.
Course Hours:
3 units; (16)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 497.

back to top  

Physics
598

Honours Research Thesis


Each student will be assigned a project in consultation with a supervisor. Written reports and oral presentations are required.
Course Hours:
6 units; (09)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 443 and 449 and 455 and consent of the Department.

back to top  

Physics
599

Senior Research Thesis


Each student will be assigned a project in consultation with a supervisor. Written reports and oral presentations are required.
Course Hours:
3 units; (09)
Prerequisite(s):
Consent of the Department.
Notes:
A maximum of 6 units may be taken.
MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT

back to top  

Graduate Courses
Only where appropriate to a student's program may graduate credit be received for courses numbered 500599.

Physics
603

Experimental Methods of Physics


Instrumentation for physical experiments. General philosophy of experimentation; signal processes; signal processing methods; instrument design and control; data acquisition and storage; specific detection methods.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  

Physics
605

Advanced Data Analysis


Methods of extraction of significant information from experimental data degraded by noise. Parametric and nonparametric statistical methods; curve fitting; spectral analysis; filtering, sampling, convolution and deconvolution techniques.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  

Physics
609

Advanced Classical Mechanics


Variational principles, Lagrange's equations, Noether's theorem. Hamilton's equations and canonical transformations. HamiltonJacobi theory, actionangle variables. Perturbation theory.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  

Physics
611

Statistical Physics


Classical and quantum ensemble theory applied to interacting systems: real gases, spin lattices, phase transitions. Kinetic theory: Boltzmann equation, transport processes, irreversible processes and fluctuations.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  

Physics
613

Electrodynamics


Interaction between charged particles and the electromagnetic field in relativistic formulation. Scattering and energy losses of charged particles. Radiation by charged particles.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  

Physics
615

NonRelativistic Quantum Mechanics


Mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics. Topics may include addition of angular momenta, ClebschGordan coefficients, WignerEckart theorem; charged particles in electric and magnetic fields; quantum operators; approximation methods; scattering; quantum nonlocality, EinsteinPodolskyRosen paradox, Bell's theorem.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  

Physics
617

Relativistic Quantum Mechanics


KleinGordon and Dirac equations; Dirac spinor and the adjoint spinor; charge (C), parity (P) and (T) transformations and CPT symmetry; relativistic corrections to atomic spectra.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  

Physics
619

Statistical Physics II


Topics Theories of equilibrium and nonequilibrium critical phenomena and methods to study fluctuating systems selected from the following list of topics: Percolation, scaling theory, phase transitions, LandauGinzburg theory, lattice models, Monte Carlo methods, renormalization group, selforganized criticality, theory of random graphs; Brownian motion, random walks and diffusion, FokkerPlanckEquation, Markov processes, stochastic differential equations, first passage times.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 611.

back to top  

Physics
621

Nonlinear Dynamics and Pattern Formation


Topics: Introduction to pattern formation and selforganization in nature: Reactiondiffusion systems, hydrodynamical systems, bistable media, excitable and oscillatory media, stability analysis, bifurcations, pattern selection, amplitude equations and normal forms, fronts, traveling waves, topological defects, spiral waves, spatiotemporal chaos, defectmediated turbulence, spatiotemporal point processes.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  


An introduction to Einstein's theory of gravitation. Applications to the solar system, black holes, and cosmology.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  

Physics
663

Applications of Stable Isotopes


Application of stable isotope techniques with special focus on Hydrogeology, Geology and Environmental Sciences. The use of isotopes to understand the water, carbon, nitrogen and sulphur cycles is demonstrated. Topics include hydrology, paleoclimates, geothermometry, fossil fuels exploration and recovery, pollutant tracing, food webs, forensic investigations, among others.
Course Hours:
3 units; (21)
Prerequisite(s):
Consent of the Department.
Also known as:
(Geology 663)

back to top  

Physics
671

Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy


Atomic structure and spectra. Rotational, vibrational and electronic spectra of diatomic molecules, including microwave, infrared, Raman and visible/ultraviolet spectroscopic techniques. Hund's coupling cases. Polyatomic molecular spectroscopy. Examples from astronomy and upper atmosphere/space physics.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  

Physics
673

Quantum and Nonlinear Optics


Theory of dispersion. Fast and slow light. Basics of nonlinear optics. Nonlinear optical crystals, phase matching. Coherence theory. Preparation, manipulation and measurement of quantum optical states and singlephoton qubits. Elements of atomic physics, optical Bloch equation, rotatingwave approximation. Twoand threelevel systems. Cavity quantum electrodynamics.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)

back to top  

Physics
675

Special Topics in Laser and Optical Sciences


Lectures by Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Engineering, and/or Medicine staff on current research topics in laser science and modern optical techniques.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT

back to top  

Physics
677

Implementations of Quantum Information


Proposals and realizations of quantum information tasks including quantum computation, quantum communication, and quantum cryptography in optical, atomic, molecular, and solid state systems.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30)
Prerequisite(s):
Consent of the Department.

back to top  

Physics
691

Scientific Communication Skills


Required, multicomponent, program of courses for all graduate students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy designed to assist students in improving their scientific oral and written communication skills.
691.11. Effective Scientific Speaking for MSc Students
691.12. Graduate Seminar for MSc Students I
691.13. Effective Scientific Writing for MSc Students
691.14. Graduate Seminar for MSc Students II
691.16. Graduate Seminar for MSc Students III
691.18. Graduate Seminar for MSc Students IV
691.21. Effective Scientific Speaking for PhD Students
691.22. Graduate Seminar for PhD Students I
691.23. Effective Scientific Writing for PhD Students
691.24. Graduate Seminar for PhD Students II
691.26. Graduate Seminar for PhD Students III
691.28. Graduate Seminar for PhD Students IV
Course Hours:
1.5 units; (2S0)
Notes:
It is recommended that students take the Graduate Seminar components (691.12 or 691.22,
and higher) after completing the relevant Effective Scientific Speaking component (691.11 or
691.21).
MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT
NOT INCLUDED IN GPA

back to top  

Physics
697

Topics in Contemporary Physics


Topics will be from the research areas of staff members.
Course Hours:
3 units; (30) or (06)
MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT

back to top  

Physics
699

Project in Physics


Each student will select a project in consultation with a staff member. The project may be experimental or theoretical in nature. A written report and an oral presentation are required.
Course Hours:
3 units; (09)

back to top  

Physics
701

Independent Study


Each student will select a topic of study in consultation with a staff member. The topic will be in the research area of the staff member. This course may not be used to meet the regular course requirements in the MSc and PhD programs.
Course Hours:
3 units; (09)
MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT

back to top  
