
Instruction offered by members of the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Science.
Department Head  R.I. Thompson
Note: For listings of related courses, see Astronomy, Astrophysics, Medical Physics and Space Physics.
Students intending to register in any Physics course should read the relevant Faculty of Science Program section of this Calendar.

Physics
501

Special Relativity


Lorentz transformations in classical mechanics; relativistic kinematics; spacetime diagrams; relativistic energy and momentum conservation; Geometrical interpretation; applications of relativistic kinematics; fourvector formalism and tensors; applications, primarily to relativistic electrodynamics.
Course Hours:
H(30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 325 and 457; and one of Mathematics 353 or 377 or Applied Mathematics 309.

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:
H(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:
H(30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 343 and 455.

back to top  

Physics
521

Nonlinear Dynamics


Topics: Introduction to nonlinear dynamical systems: Phase space representation, nonlinear oscillators, bifurcations, normal forms, pattern formation, amplitude equations, deterministic chaos, attractors, fractals, synchronization
Course Hours:
H(30)
Prerequisite(s):
Applied Mathematics 433 and Physics 381 and 449 or consent of the Department

back to top  

Physics
543

Quantum Mechanics II


Theory of angular momentum and applications, perturbation theory and applications. Identical particles. Introduction to relativistic wave equations.
Course Hours:
H(30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 443 or Chemistry 373.

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:
H(21)
Prerequisite(s):
Consent of the Department.

back to top  


Geometrical Optics: lenses, mirrors, and other basic optical components. Matrix Methods. Physical Optics: Interference, Diffraction, and Polarization. Fourier Optics. Modern Optics: Lasers and Fibre Optics.
Course Hours:
H(33)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 325 and 457 and Applied Mathematics 433.
Antirequisite(s):
Credit will not be allowed for both Physics 575 and 471.

back to top  

Physics
581

Computational Physics III


Solution of problems associated with the analysis of physical systems, using digital computers, high level programming languages, and mathematical computation systems (e.g., Maple, Macsyma).
Course Hours:
H(33)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 443 or Chemistry 373; and Physics 481 and 455.
Notes:
A knowledge of a high level programming language (C, C++, Fortran or Pascal) is highly recommended.
Also known as:
(formerly Physics 535)

back to top  

Physics
593

Topics in Contemporary Physics


Topics will be from the research areas of staff members.
Course Hours:
H(30) or H(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:
H(16)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 325 and 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:
F(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:
H(09)
Prerequisite(s):
Consent of the Department.
Notes:
This course may be repeated once 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:
H(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:
H(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:
H(30)
Notes:
It is expected that a student's background will include Physics 343 or equivalent.

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:
H(30)
Notes:
It is expected that a student's background will include Physics 449 or equivalent.

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:
H(30)
Notes:
It is expected that a student's background will include Physics 457 and 501 or equivalents.

back to top  

Physics
615

Advanced Quantum Mechanics I


Basic formalism of the theory and its interpretation, symmetry generators. Scattering theory. Bound states. Charged particles in electric and magnetic fields. Approximation methods.
Course Hours:
H(30)
Notes:
It is expected that a student's background will include Physics 543 or equivalent.

back to top  

Physics
617

Advanced Quantum Mechanics II


Second quantized description of Nparticle systems. Quantum theory of the electromagnetic field, coherent states. Relativistic quantum mechanics.
Course Hours:
H(30)
Notes:
It is expected that a student's background will include Physics 543 or equivalent.

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:
H(30)
Prerequisite(s):
Physics 611.
Notes:
It is expected that a student's background will include Physics 481 or its equivalent.

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:
H(30)
Notes:
It is expected that a student's background will include Physics 451, 481 and 521 or equivalents.

back to top  


An introduction to Einstein's theory of gravitation. Applications to the solar system, black holes, and cosmology.
Course Hours:
H(30)
Notes:
It is expected that a student's background will include Physics 501 or equivalent.

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:
H(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:
H(30)

back to top  

Physics
673

Quantum and Nonlinear Optics


Fundamentals of quantum and nonlinear optics including atomphoton interactions, coherence, electromagnetically induced transparency, open systems and decoherence, and applications to quantum information technology.
Course Hours:
H(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:
H(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:
H(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. Each student must complete a minimum of three terms of Physics 691 during each graduate course, although the normal load is four terms, and additional terms may be required of students on an asneed basis. The components of Physics 691 are:
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
Effective Scientific Speaking courses provide instruction on preparing and presenting quality scientific oral presentations, including discussions of the aspects of quality presentations and exercises aimed at improving student speaking skills, and will be taken by graduate students in their first fall terms in program. Effective Scientific Writing courses provide students with instruction on preparing quality scientific papers, as well as exercises aimed at improving students' writing skills, and will be taken during students' second fall term in program. The Graduate Seminar courses will be run each winter, and provide all students enrolled in each course the opportunity to present one or two scientific talks, as well as to provide peer feedback to other students in the course. At the end of each Graduate Seminar term, the course instructor(s) will identify those students who have reached an acceptable level of scientific speaking competency and exempt these students from any further Physics 691 Graduate Seminar courses for their current degrees.
Course Hours:
Q(2S0)
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:
H(30) or H(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:
H(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:
H(09)
MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT

back to top  
