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Transcript
PHYS
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 Courses -> Saint John or Fredericton -> Standard Course Abbreviations in the online
undergraduate calendar for an explanation of 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 ofPHYS 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 1071and 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.
PHYS 1061
Introductory Physics - I (Physical Science Interest)
3 ch (3C 1T)
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
focussing 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. Corequisite: MATH 1003 or 1053 . NOTES: Credit can be obtained in only one of PHYS
1061 , 1071 or 1081.
PHYS 1062
Introductory Physics - II (Physical Science Interest)
3 ch (3C 1T)
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. Prerequisite Courses: PHYS 1061 , PHYS
1071 or PHYS 1081 ,MATH 1003 or 1053 . It is recommended that students intending to
take Physics courses beyond Introductory Physics should take MATH 1013 or 1063 as a corequisite to this course. NOTES: Credit can be obtained in only one of PHYS 1062or 1072 .
PHYS 1071
Introductory Physics - I (Health & Life Science
3 ch (3C 1T)
Interest)
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
focussing 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 1053 . NOTES: Credit can be obtained in only one of
PHYS 1061 , 1071 or 1081 .
PHYS 1072
Introductory Physics - II (Health & Life Science
Interest)
3 ch (3C 1T)
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 or1053 . It is recommended that students intending to take Physics
courses beyond Introductory Physics should take MATH 1013 or 1063 as a co•-requisite to
this course. NOTES: Credit can be obtained in only one of PHYS 1062 or 1072 .
PHYS 1081
Foundations of Physics for Engineers
5 ch (3C 3L)
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 1003or MATH 1053 ), ( MATH 1503 , or MATH 2213 , or
equivalent). NOTES: Credit can be obtained in only one of PHYS 1061 , and PHYS
1091 , 1071 and PHYS 1091 or 1081 .
PHYS 1091
Experiments in Introductory Physics - I
2 ch (3L) [W]
This course provides the student hands-on experience with concepts covered in PHYS
1061 or PHYS 1071 . Co-requisite:PHYS 1061 or PHYS 1071 .
PHYS 1092
Experiments in Introductory Physics - II
2 ch (3L) [W]
This course provides the student hands-on experience with concepts covered in PHYS
1062 or 1072 . Co-requisite course:PHYS 1062 or 1072.
PHYS 2311
Mechanics I
4 ch (3C 1T)
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 1053 and 1013 or1063 plus PHYS 1061 , 1062 , 1091 , 1092 or equivalent. Corequisite: MATH 2003 or equivalent.
PHYS 2312
Mechanics II
3 ch (3C)
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.
Prerequisites: PHYS 2311 , MATH 2003 or equivalent. Co•-requisite: MATH 2013 or
equivalent.
PHYS 2327
Circuits & Elementary Electronics
3 ch (3L)
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, transistors, etc.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1061 , 1062 , 1091 , 1092 or equivalent. Co-requisite: MATH 2013 or
equivalent.
PHYS 2331
Research Skills
3ch (3C) [W]
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 , 1062 , 1091 , 1092 or equivalent. Co•-requisite: MATH 2003 or equivalent.
PHYS 2341
Thermal Physics
3 ch (3C)
Role within programme and connections to other courses. This course furnishes us with
classical thermodynamics and a little about properties of materials. We have heard that
“energy is conserved― and even have an appreciation of how important this principle
is, but in first year mechanics energy is often apparently “lost― when friction does
work. Here, at last , we introduce a complete formulation for energy conservation,
comparing the work defined in first year with heat as a means of energy transfer. We
discuss transformations of energy in a variety of processes, then go on to explain that not
all of the energy is available for doing mechanical work. The theoretical framework of
classical thermodynamics is beautifully self-contained, but this course also emphasises the
link between the microscopic world of the kinetic theory (drawing on Newtonian mechanics
as it does so) and the macroscopic world of the everyday, in preparation for the statistical
thermodynamics to follow. Content. Gases (ideal and real) and pressure, phases and phase
diagrams, the state of a system, what is energy?, heat and work, first, second and third
laws of thermodynamics, entropy, enthalpy and free energies, heat engines, refrigerators,
heat pumps and efficiency, phase transitions, introductory kinetic theory.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1061 , 1062, 1091 , 1092 or equivalent. Co-requisite: MATH 2003 or
equivalent."
PHYS 2351
Quantum Physics
3 ch (3C)
This course includes some experimental work that supports the lecture material. Role within
programme and connections to other courses. This course lays the necessary foundations
for thinking about phenomena on very small spatial scales. This course calls on many
concepts learned in introductory physics: position, momentum, energy, angular momentum,
vibrations, waves. It casts many of them in a new light, at times requiring modification of
the classical definition of these quantities. Quantum Physics serves as the foundation for the
more in-depth learning of the tools of quantum mechanics presented in the Quantum
Mechanics trio of courses and the courses which follow from these. In addition, Quantum
Physics is essential background for the study of astrophysics and atmospheric
physics. Contents. Particle properties of waves: blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect,
Compton effect; wave properties of particles: de Broglie waves, Davisson-Germer
experiment, the uncertainty principle; old atomic theory: atomic spectra, Rutherford's
model, Bohr's model, spontaneous and stimulated transitions, lasers; quantum mechanics:
the Schrödinger equation, mathematical tools; quantum mechanical examples: square wells
and barriers, quantum tunnelling and its applications; quantum theory of atoms.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1061 , 1062 , 1091 , PHYS 1092 or equivalent. Co-requisite: MATH
2003 or equivalent.
PHYS 2372
Waves
3 ch (3C)
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. Prerequisites: PHYS 2311 , MATH 2003 or equivalent. Co•requisite: MATH 2013 or equivalent.
PHYS 2703
Physics Outreach & Education (O)
3 ch (3C) [W]
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. Content. Science journalism, science museums and exhibits,
outreach to schools and other groups. Prerequisites: PHYS 1061 , 1062 , 1091 , 1092 or
equivalent.
PHYS 2803
Physics and Society (O)
3 ch (3C) [W]
Role within programme and connections to other courses. This course aims to investigate
the two way interaction between society and physics (although the society of physics itself
will also be discussed). 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. This course allows students to see how physics operates in a wider
context than the university environment. 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. We will emphasize the human element of
scientific discovery, with energy and the environment providing an underlying theme.
PHYS 2902
Environmental Physics (O)
3 ch (3C)
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. Prerequisite: PHYS
1061 , 1071 or 1081 .
PHYS 3322
Electromagnetism I
3 ch (3C)
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 , 3331 , MATH
2013 or equivalent.
PHYS 3331
Methods of Theoretical Physics
4 ch (3C 1T*)
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). Prerequisite: MATH 2213 or equivalent.
PHYS 3332
Computational Physics
3 ch (3C)
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: CS 1073 or
equivalent, approved second year physics.
PHYS 3336
Experimental Physics I
3 ch (3L)
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 .
PHYS 3338
Independent Study
3 ch (3R)
Role within programme and connections to other courses. Every physics honours student
will be 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). Content. The student will choose among the list of
topics for which supervision has been offered or can choose some other topic of interest if
(s)he can convince a faculty member to supervise the course. Prerequisites: approved
second year physics.
PHYS 3342
Statistical Physics
3 ch (3C)
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 .
PHYS 3351
Quantum Mechanics I
4 ch (3C 1T*)
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. Content. Mathematical structure of quantum mechanics,
Hilbert space, operator algebra; postulates of quantum mechanics, symmetries and
conservations; quantum dynamics; general theory of angular momentum, coupling of
angular momenta, irreducible tensor operators, Wigner-Eckart theorem; analytical solution
of the hydrogen atom; identical particles: spin and statistics, the Pauli exclusion principle
and many electron atoms. Prerequisites: PHYS 2351 , approved second year mathematics.
PHYS 3752
Atomic and Molecular Physics (O)
3 ch (3C)
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. Content. Quantum angular
momentum concepts, including orbital angular momentum, spin, and angular momentum
coupling, the hydrogen atom, including spin•-orbit and hyperfine interactions, methods and
approaches to multi•-electron atoms, topics in molecular physics, including development of
the Hamiltonian, the Born-Oppenheimer approximation, and the structure of molecular
spectra. Usually offered on rotation with Subatomic Physics and Solid State Physics.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3351 .
PHYS 3852
Subatomic Physics (O)
3 ch (3C)
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. Content. Some overlap of topics with environmental
physics and medical physics is to be expected, but the approach and depth will differ
greatly. Exact content will be at the instructor•fs discretion allowing the course to focus
sometimes more on applications of nuclear physics, sometimes more on particle physics,
etc. Usually offered on rotation with Atomic & Molecular Physics and Solid State Physics.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3351 .
PHYS 3883
Atmospheric Physics (A)
3 ch (3C)
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.
Prerequisites: PHYS 2312 , 2341 , 2351 .
PHYS 3892
Medical Physics (A)
3 ch (3C)
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 .
PHYS 3911
Mechanics II (O)
3 ch (3C)
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. Content. Topics might include Hamiltonian
mechanics with greater reach, canonical transformations, Hamilton-Jacobi theory, action•angle variables, collision theory, non•-linear mechanics and chaos, continuum mechanics
(Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations, in contrast to the Continuum and Fluid
Mechanics course). Prerequisite: PHYS 2312 .
PHYS 3952
Solid State Physics (O)
3 ch (3C)
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
(1023 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.
Prerequisites: PHYS 3351 , 3342 .
PHYS 3983
Astrophysics (A)
3 ch (3C)
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.
PHYS 3993
Biophysics (A)
3 ch (3C)
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 thermo dynamics of
life, physics at the cellular level, electricity and magnetism in biological systems. Usually
alternates with Medical Physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 1061 , 1062 , 1091 , 1092 or
equivalent plus MATH 1003 or 1053 , 1013 or 1063 , BIOL 1001 , 1012 .
PHYS 4321
Electromagnetism II
4 ch (3C,
1T*)
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. Prerequisites: PHYS 2311 , PHYS
3322 , PHYS 3331 .
PHYS 4338
Advanced Research Project
8 ch [W]
All physics honours students are required to complete a research project, under the
supervision of a member of the department. Non•-honours students may complete a
research project as an elective. The Advanced Resarch Project course includes a formal
written report and an oral defense, both of which are assessed by committee.
Prerequisites: PHYS 3336 , permission of the department.
PHYS 4351
Quantum Mechanics II
4 ch (3C,
1T*)
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. Contents. Time independent perturbation theory, non-degenerate and
degenerate cases, the Stark effect, fine structure, the Zeeman effect; the variational
method, helium atom; the WKB method; time•-dependent perturbation theory, the
Fermi•'s golden rule, harmonic perturbation, the adiabatic approximation, the Berry phase;
a charged particle in EM field, gauge transformation, Landau levels, the Aharonov•-Bohm
effect; scattering theory: the Lippmann-Schwinger equation, optical theorem, partial wave
expansion, phase shifts, effective range expansion, resonances, scattering between identical
particles, Coulomb scattering. Prerequisite: PHYS 3351 .
PHYS 4371
Optics
3 ch (3C)
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 .
PHYS 4722
Signal & Image Processing (A)
3 ch (3C)
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 .
PHYS 4823
Advanced Electronics (A)
3 ch (3C)
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 .
PHYS 4838
Research Project
4 ch [W]
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 defence is involved (in
contrast to the Advanced Research Project). Prerequisite:PHYS 3336 .
PHYS 4872
Plasma Physics (A)
3 ch (3C)
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. Content. Single particle motion, trajectories and
drift, plasmas as fluids (electron fluid and ion fluid, single fluid magnetohydrodynamics),
waves in a fluid plasma. Usually alternates with Continuum & Fluid Mechanics.
Prerequisites: PHYS 2341 , 2372 , 4321 .
PHYS 4922
Electromagnetism III
3 ch (3C)
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. Prerequisites: PHYS 4321 , 3351 .
PHYS 4933
Special Topics in Physics
3 ch (3C)
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.
PHYS 4938
Experimental Physics II (O)
3 ch (3L)
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. Prerequisites: PHYS
3336 , approved third year physics.
PHYS 4953
Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
3 ch (3C)
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