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Faculty of Arts and Science Calendar

Academic Calendars


2010-2011 Academic Year

Arts and Science Departments, Programs and Courses Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy Courses of Instruction

Courses of Instruction
The Department of Physics does not offer all of the courses listed in the Calendar every year. For the most up-to-date information on the availability of courses offered in the current year, check QCARD or consult with the departmental office.
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PHYS 010*/0.5 Fundamental Concepts in Physics for Teachers 3L;1P
A course relevant to those interested in teaching. Activity-based learning of fundamental physics topics typically taught in elementary and secondary schools. Topics include: motion, forces, energy, heat, electricity and magnetism, and light. Students will be required to teach a one-hour enrichment class, once a week for 10 weeks, to Grade 7 or 8 students in a local school. 
NOTE    Students may incur transportation costs, expected to be no more than $50. This course may not be included in any concentration in Physics.
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PHYS-015*/0.5 Astronomy I: The Solar System 3L/P
A non-mathematical introduction to the science of astronomy for non-specialist students. Topics to be covered include the fundamentals of astronomy; an introduction to the tools and techniques of modern observational astronomy; the historical development of our understanding of the Earth, Moon and Solar System; space exploration of Mars, Jupiter, and other planets; the nature of the Sun; and the origin and uniqueness of our Solar System.
Also offered at the Bader International Study Centre, Herstmonceux.
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PHYS-016*/0.5 Astronomy II: The Active Universe 3L/P
This course, intended for non-specialist students, will provide an overview of astronomy beyond the Solar System. Topics will include: the formation, nature, and evolution of the stars; stellar deaths, including novae, supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes; the interstellar medium; the Milky Way Galaxy; normal and active galaxies and large scale structure in the universe; and modern ideas in cosmology and the early universe. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 015* or permission of the Department.
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PHYS-020*/0.5 Physicists in the Nuclear Age 3L
For those interested in the impact of science on our century. Modern physics, especially nuclear physics, will be introduced by emphasizing the personalities, thoughts and writings of key scientists such as Bohr, Einstein and Rutherford and the ways in which they related to and shaped their political, scientific and social environments. Enrolment is limited.
Also offered as a distance course. Consult Continuing and Distance Studies.
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PHYS-104/1.0 Fundamental Physics 3L;3P
Mechanics, including systems of particles and rigid body motion; gravitation; fluids; electricity and magnetism; oscillatory motion and waves; topics in modern physics. The material is presented at a more fundamental level appropriate for students who are seeking a deeper appreciation of physics, and who may be considering a concentration in Physics. PREREQUISITES    4U Physics with at least 60 per cent or equivalent, and a previous or concurrent university course in calculus.
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PHYS-106/1.0 General Physics 3L;3P
Mechanics, including systems of particles and rigid body motion; fluids; electricity and magnetism; oscillatory motion and waves; heat, light and sound; topics in modern physics. Aspects of physics useful for further work in other sciences will be emphasized. PREREQUISITES    4U Physics with at least 60 per cent or equivalent, and a previous or concurrent university course in calculus.
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PHYS-107/1.0 Introductory Physics 3L;3P
Primarily for students in the biological and life sciences. Topics include: kinematics, mechanics, and energy; heat, heat transfer and temperature; fluid flow; electricity and magnetism; oscillations and wave motion; sound; light and optics; atoms and nuclei. The application of physics to biological systems will be emphasized. PREREQUISTE    4U Physics or equivalent recommended; and 4U or equivalent in mathematics required.
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PHYS-206*/0.5 Dynamics 3L;1T
An introductory course in classical dynamics of particles, of rigid bodies and of fluids that sets the foundation for more advanced work. Topics include kinematics of particles and of rigid bodies, central forces, kinetics of systems of particles, planar and three-dimensional dynamics of rigid bodies and an introduction to fluid mechanics. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 104 or PHYS 106 (a minimum grade of 65 per cent is recommended), MATH 120 (or MATH 121).
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PHYS-212*/0.5 Waves and Vibrations 3L;1T
Fundamentals of free, damped and forced vibrations with applications to various mechanical systems. Coupled oscillations and normal modes. Classical wave equation, standing and travelling waves. Continuum mechanics of solid bodies; elasticity theory with applications. Introduction to optics: image formation and optical instruments.
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PHYS-214*/0.5 Planets and Life 3L
A course in planetary astronomy intended for students in the life sciences, earth sciences and chemistry who have taken a suitable first-year course. Topics may include the solar system, the origin of life on Earth, other planets and planetary systems, extra-terrestrial life. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 104 or PHYS 106 or PHYS 107 or CHEM 112 (or CHEM 116) or permission of the Department.
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PHYS-216*/0.5 Introduction to Astrophysics  3L;1T/P
Broad overview of basic laws of gravitation, radiation, and relativity: history and evolution of modern astronomy; ground and space-based astronomy; the physics and evolution of stars; the milky way; galaxies in the universe; and cosmology. This course also uses the on-campus observatory at an introductory level. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 104 or PHYS 106, and MATH 120 or MATH 121, or permission of the Department.
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PHYS-239*/0.5 Electromagnetism 3L;1T
The experimental basis and mathematical description of electrostatics, magnetostatics and electromagnetic induction, together with a discussion of the properties of dielectrics and ferromagnetics, are presented.  Both the integral and vector forms of Maxwell’s equations are deduced. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 104 or PHYS 106 (a minimum grade of 65 per cent is recommended); MATH 221* (or MATH 227* or MATH 280*).
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PHYS-242*/0.5 Relativity and Quanta 3L;1T
Evidence for relativistic effects. Kinematics and dynamics in special relativity, space-time diagrams, applications. Evidence for quanta, spectra, Bohr atom. Introduction to the Schroedinger equation. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 104 or PHYS 106 (a minimum grade of 65 per cent is recommended).
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PHYS-250*/0.5 Foundations of Experimental Physics 1L;3P
Laboratory and lecture course that presents techniques and skills that are the foundations of experimental physics. Topics include statistical analysis of data, uncertainties in measurement, propagation of errors, software for data analysis, graphing and reporting. Students will be exposed to techniques in the measurement of electric, magnetic, thermal and mechanical properties. Laboratories also illustrate some principles of quantum physics, mechanics, electromagnetism and thermodynamics learned in other physics courses. Some exposure to computerized data acquisition is included. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 104 or PHYS 106.
COREQUISITE    PHYS 206* or PHYS 242*.
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PHYS-274*/0.5 Thermodynamics 3L;1T
Thermodynamics applied to engineering systems. Ideal gas properties and real thermodynamic working substances. First law using control mass and control volume. Second law, entropy, Carnot cycle, power and refrigeration cycles. Introduction to fluid flow and flow devices. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 104 or PHYS 106.
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PHYS-312/1.0 Mathematical Methods in Physics 3L;1T
Methods of mathematics important for physicists. Function of a complex variable, contour integration, partial differential equations, orthogonal functions, Green functions, Fourier series, Fourier and Laplace transforms, finite difference methods, numerical solution of ordinary and partial differential equations. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 212*, MATH 221* (or MATH 227* or MATH 280*); MATH 231* (or MATH 232*).
EXCLUSIONS    MATH 236*, MATH 331 (or MATH 334* and MATH 335*).
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PHYS-313*/0.5 Computational Methods in Physics 2L; 2P
Introduction to Linux and a programming language. Foundations and limitations of numerical calculations. Code development, debugging, optimization and profiling. Algorithms and techniques used in physics problems. Possible topics to be covered include numerical differentiation and integration, root finding and optimization problems, solution of linear systems of equations, Monte Carlo simulations, symbolic computation. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 212* and PHYS 239*; MATH 221* (or MATH 280*), MATH 232* (or MATH 231*).
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PHYS-315*/0.5 Physical Processes in Astrophysics 3L;1T/P
This course relates observable quantities to the physical properties of astronomical sources thereby deciphering the varied nature of the cosmos. Basic physical processes in astrophysics are discussed and applied to diverse systems including planets, stars, the interstellar medium and distant galaxies. Topics include radiative transfer and the perturbation of the signal by instruments, the atmosphere, and the interstellar medium. The main astrophysical emission processes, both continuum and line, are also presented. An evening project using the on-campus observatory will be carried out during the term. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 216* (or PHYS 115*) or permission of the Department, PHYS 242*.
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PHYS-321*/0.5 Advanced Mechanics 3L;1T
An introduction to the equations of mechanics using the Lagrange formalism and to the calculus of variations leading to Hamilton's principle. The concepts developed in this course are applied to problems ranging from purely theoretical constructs to practical applications. Links to quantum mechanics and extensions to continuous systems are developed. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 212*, MATH 221* (or MATH 227* or MATH 280*); MATH 231* (or MATH 232*).
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PHYS-334*/0.5 Electronics for Applied Scientists 2L;3P
The design of electronic circuits and systems, using commonly available devices and integrated circuits. The properties of linear circuits are discussed with particular reference to the applications of feedback; operational amplifiers are introduced as fundamental building blocks. Digital circuits are examined and the properties of the commonly available I.C. types are studied; their use in measurement, control and signal analysis is outlined. Laboratory work is closely linked with lectures and provides practical experience in the subjects covered in lectures. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 239*.
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PHYS-344*/0.5 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 3L;1T
Brief introduction to Hamiltonian dynamics. Matter waves. Postulates of quantum mechanics. Stationary states. One-dimensional potentials. Particle tunnelling and scattering states. Introduction to matrix mechanics and Dirac notation: the simple harmonic oscillator and angular momentum.  PREREQUISITES    PHYS 212*, PHYS 242*; MATH 221* (or MATH 280*), MATH 232* (or MATH 231*).
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PHYS-345*/0.5 Quantum Physics of Atoms, Nuclei and Particles 3L;1T
Quantum mechanical treatment of two and three dimensional systems. The hydrogen atom. Spin. Many-electron atoms and the periodic table. Introduction to perturbation theory and Fermi’s golden rule. Introduction to nuclear and particle physics. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 344*.
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PHYS-350*/0.5 General Laboratory 3P
Experiments in heat, optics, electron physics, quantum physics, and radioactivity are performed. A substantial part of the course is an experimental project during the Winter Term. A topic for the experimental physics, or observational astronomy project will be assigned after discussion with the student. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 239*, PHYS 242* and PHYS 250*.
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PHYS-352*/0.5 Measurement, Instrumentation and Experimental Design 3L;2P
Measurement of a variety of quantities with particular reference to techniques used in current physics and engineering practice, including optics, X-rays in crystallography and analysis, vacuum practice, nuclear techniques, signal-to-noise enhancement, the use of digital computers for instrumentation purposes, and the statistical analysis of data. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 239* and PHYS 344*.
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PHYS-372*/0.5 Thermodynamics 3L;1T
Temperature, equations of state, internal energy, first and second laws, entropy and response functions. Application to heat engines and refrigerators. Free energies, Legendre transformations, changes of phase. Introduction to the Boltzmann factor and statistical mechanics. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 242*.
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PHYS-380*/0.5 Electrical and Optical Properties of Solids 3L;1T
An introduction to the electrical and optical properties of insulators, semiconductors and metals. Introduction to Fermi-Dirac statistics, crystal and band theory and electron transport. Topics covered include the physics behind diodes, field effect and bipolar junction transistors, and electro-optical discrete devices. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 239* and PHYS 344*.
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PHYS-414*/0.5 Introduction to General Relativity 3L
Einstein's theory of gravity is developed from fundamental principles to a level which enables the student to read some of the current literature. Includes an introduction to computer algebra, an essential element of a modern introduction to Einstein's theory. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 321*; PHYS 312 or MATH 334*.
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PHYS-422*/0.5 Fluid Mechanics 3L;1T
A survey of the physics of fluids. The fundamental principles and the range of validity of the usual approximation methods are stressed. Topics include a study of incompressible flow, both laminar and turbulent, boundary layers, stratified flow and waves, with a brief introduction to gas dynamics, magnetohydrodynamics and plasma physics. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 312 or MATH 334*.
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PHYS-432*/0.5 Electromagnetic Theory 3L
Electromagnetic theory and applications. Topics include: Maxwell’s equations, gauge theory, relativistic transformations of Maxwell’s equations, properties of waves in free space, dielectrics, conductors and ionized media, reflection and refraction at the surfaces of various media, propagation in metallic and dielectric waveguides, radiation of electromagnetic waves from charged particles and antennae. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 239*; MATH 221* (or MATH 280*) and MATH 232* (or MATH 231*).
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PHYS-435*/0.5 Stellar Structure and Evolution 3L
This course provides a detailed account of the formation, structure, evolution and endpoints of stars. Topics include the HR diagram, nuclear energy generation, radiative transport and stellar model building, supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars and black holes. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 315*.
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PHYS-444*/0.5 Advanced Quantum Physics 3L
This course covers perturbation theory, scattering theory and the addition of angular momentum. Special topics may include: many-electron systems, path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, entanglement and quantum computing, quantum optics. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 345*.   
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PHYS-450/1.0 Advanced Physics Laboratory and Project 6P
This course provides advanced physics and engineering physics students with experience in a wide range of modern experimental techniques. Experiments encompass measurements in applied physics, quantum solid state physics, low temperature physics, nuclear physics and optics. The course has set experiments in the Fall Term and group projects in the Winter Term. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 350* and PHYS 344* (or PHYS 343*) or CHEM 313*.
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PHYS-453*/0.5 Specialist Physics Laboratory 6P
To provide students in the SSP degree programs with experience in a range of advanced experiments and techniques. Four experiments are performed selected from, for example, pure and applied nuclear physics, Mössbauer spectroscopy, fluid mechanics, optics, magnetic resonance, quantum effects in the solid state, superconductivity, and superfluidity. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 350* and PHYS 344* (or PHYS 343*) or CHEM 313*.
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PHYS-460*/0.5 Laser Optics 3L
Topics and applications in modern physical optics, culminating with the development of the laser and its current applications. Topics include: Gaussian beam propagation, optical resonators, Fourier optics, fiber optics, holography, light-matter interaction using classical and semi-classical models, and the basic theory and types of lasers. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 239* and PHYS 344* (or PHYS 343* or CHEM 313*).
COREQUISITE    PHYS 432* (or PHYS 332*).
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PHYS-472*/0.5 Statistical Mechanics 3L;1T
Phase space, the ergodic hypothesis and ensemble theory. Canonical and grand canonical ensembles. Partition functions. Ideal quantum gases. Classical gases and the liquid-vapour transition. Introduction to techniques for interacting systems, including Monte Carlo simulations. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 313*, PHYS 344* and PHYS 372*.
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PHYS-480*/0.5 Solid State Physics 3L
A fundamental treatment of the properties of solids. Topics include: crystal structure, X-ray and neutron scattering, the reciprocal lattice, phonons, electronic energy bands, and the thermal, magnetic, optical and transport properties of solids. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 380* and PHYS 345* (or CHEM 313*).
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PHYS-483*/0.5 Nanoscience and Nanotechnology   3L;1T
An examination of the key ideas, techniques and technologies in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Emphasis will be placed on the physics involved, measurement techniques, and technological applications. Topics covered are selected from the following: electrical and optical properties of quantum dots, quantum wires and nanotubes; quantum information technology; mesoscopic electronics; nanostructures on surfaces; and scanning-probe and optical microscopy. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 345* (or PHYS 343*) or CHEM 313*, and PHYS 380* (or PHYS 335* or PHYS 480*); or permission of the Department.
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PHYS-487*/0.5 Surface Engineering and Analysis 3L
An outline of the fundamental concepts and applications of modern techniques for the production and analysis of surfaces and thin films. Topics include ultra-high vacuum, surface adsorption, surface crystallography, electron and ion microscopy and spectroscopy, electron and x-ray diffraction, scanning probe microscopy, and growth of thin films by vapour deposition. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 345* (or PHYS 343*) or CHEM 313* or permission of the Department.
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PHYS-490*/0.5 Nuclear and Particle Physics 3L
A systematic introduction to nuclear and particle physics for advanced physics students. Topics include basic nuclear properties: size, mass, decay and reactions; shell model of nuclear structure; magnetic moments; gamma and beta decay; quark model of elementary particles; and strong, electromagnetic and weak interactions. PREREQUISITE    PHYS 345* (or PHYS 424*).
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PHYS-491*/0.5 Physics of Nuclear Reactors 3L;1T
The objective of this course is the understanding of the fundamental physics associated with a nuclear reactor. Topics include a brief review of basic nuclear physics, neutron interactions and cross-sections, neutron diffusion, neutron moderation, theory of reactors, changes in reactivity, control of reactors. Offered in alternate years. PREREQUISITE OR COREQUISITE    PHYS 350*.
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PHYS-495*/0.5 Introduction to Medical Physics 3L
Topics include: the production and measurement of X-rays and charged particles for radiation therapy and nuclear medicine; interactions of radiation with matter and biological materials; interaction coefficients and radiation dosimetry; radiation safety; physics of medical imaging with examples from nuclear medicine, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging. PREREQUISITES    PHYS 344* (or PHYS 343*); PHYS 312 or MATH 338*; PHYS 350* or PHYS 352*.
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PHYS-590/1.0 Research Thesis 9P
Investigation of a contemporary research topic in physics or astronomy under the supervision of a faculty member, and leading to a written thesis and an oral presentation of results. PREREQUISITES    Admission to Honours and enrolled in one of the following programs: MAJ PHYS, SSP PHYS, SSP ASPH or SSP MAPH.
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Arts and Science Departments, Programs and Courses Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy Courses of Instruction
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