Course Descriptions

Physics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

PHYS: Physics

PHYS 111 (3) Introductory Physics for the Physical Sciences I
Introduction to mechanics primarily for students majoring in the physical sciences (e.g. physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, geology, physical geography) or engineering. Particle kinematics and dynamics, work and energy, momentum, gravitation, rigid body motion, fluid statics and dynamics with applications to the physical sciences. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 111 and PHYS 112. Students with Physics 12 may apply for a tutorial exemption. [3-3-1]
Prerequisite: One of MATH 12, PREC 12, MATH 125, MATH 126 and PHYS 11. Physics 12 is strongly recommended.
Corequisite: MATH 100.
PHYS 112 (3) Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences I
Introduction to mechanics primarily for students majoring in the life sciences (e.g. biochemistry, biology, microbiology, pharmacy, human kinetics, human geography or psychology). Particle kinematics and dynamics, work and energy, momentum, gravitation, rigid body motion, fluid statics and dynamics with applications to the biological sciences. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 111 and PHYS 112. Students with Physics 12 may apply for a tutorial exemption. [3-3-1]
Prerequisite: One of MATH 12, PREC 12, MATH 125, MATH 126. Physics 11 and Physics 12 are strongly recommended. Concurrently taking MATH 100 is strongly recommended.
PHYS 121 (3) Introductory Physics for the Physical Sciences II
Introduction to physics primarily for students majoring in the physical sciences. Basic concepts of simple harmonic motion, sound, physical and wave optics, electricity, electric circuits, and magnetism with applications to the physical sciences. Experimental laboratory investigations in electricity, magnetism, waves and optics. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 102, PHYS 121 and PHYS 122. Students with Physics 12 may apply for a tutorial exemption. [3-3-0]
Prerequisite: MATH 100 and one of PHYS 111, PHYS 112.
Corequisite: MATH 101.
PHYS 122 (3) Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences II
Introduction to physics primarily for students majoring in the life sciences. Basic concepts of simple harmonic motion, sound, physical and wave optics, electricity, electric circuits, and magnetism with biological applications. Experimental laboratory investigations in electricity, magnetism, waves and optics. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 102, PHYS 121 and PHYS 122. Students with PHYS 12 may apply for a tutorial exemption. [3-3-1]
Prerequisite: MATH 100 and one of PHYS 111, PHYS 112.
Corequisite: MATH 101.
PHYS 140 (3) Concepts and Connections: Physics of the Everyday World
Presents physics development from its early beginnings through to topics in modern physics as they relate to culture. Connections will be made between physics principles and societal topics. Emphasis on explaining how we know what we know in science. Topics as global warming, ozone depletion, transportation, relativity, fusion and fission. Approved Science course for Education students, approved lab Science for Arts, and can be used as a Science elective for the B.Sc. [3-1.5-0]
PHYS 200 (3) Relativity and Quanta
Special relativity: Lorentz transformation, dynamics, and conservation laws. Quantum physics: the experimental evidence for quantization; a qualitative discussion of the concepts of quantum mechanics and their application to simple systems of atoms and nuclei. [3-0-1]
Prerequisite: MATH 101 and one of PHYS 102, PHYS 122.
PHYS 215 (3) Thermodynamics
Thermodynamics at an intermediate level. Temperature, heat and work, the First Law, heat transfer, heat engines, entropy, and the Second Law. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: MATH 101 and one of PHYS 102, PHYS 122.
PHYS 216 (3) Mechanics I
Review of kinematics, Newton's laws, angular momentum, and fixed axis rotation. Rigid body motion, central forces, non-inertial frames of reference. [3-0-1]
Prerequisite: MATH 100 and one of PHYS 111, PHYS 112.
PHYS 225 (3) Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism
Electrostatics, Gauss' law, electric potential, DC circuits, conduction models, strain gauges, RTD, circuit analysis theorems, magnetic fields, Hall effect, Ampere's law, Faraday's law, inductance, and semiconductors with basic applications. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: MATH 101 and one of PHYS 102, PHYS 122.
PHYS 231 (3) Introduction to Electronics
Design and analysis of analog AC circuits, digital circuits, and analog-to-digital conversion methods. Basic physics laboratory skills including data collection, presentation of results, and analysis of uncertainties. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 231 or PHYS 219. [2-3-0]
Prerequisite: MATH 101 and one of PHYS 102, PHYS 122.
PHYS 232 (3) Modern Physics Laboratory
Selected experiments in relativity, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, particle physics or nuclear physics. Quantitative analysis of data, methods of measurement, formal presentation of laboratory results. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 232 or PHYS 229. [2-3-0]
Prerequisite: MATH 101 and one of PHYS 102, PHYS 122.
PHYS 301 (3) Electricity and Magnetism
Electric fields and potentials of static charge distributions, current, fields of moving charges, magnetic field, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell's equations. [3-0-1]
Prerequisite: MATH 317 and either (a) PHYS 102 or (b) a score of 68% or higher in PHYS 112 and a score of 68%% or higher in PHYS 122.
PHYS 304 (3) Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
The beginnings of quantum mechanics, wave mechanics and the Schroedinger equation, one-dimensional potentials, the postulates of quantum mechanics, and applications to three-dimensional systems. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: All of MATH 225, PHYS 200.
PHYS 305 (3) Introduction to Biophysics
Analysis of biological systems from a physicist's perspective. Introduction to physics underlying biological phenomena, and range of applicability of simple physical principles. Form and size in animals, strength and energy storage in structural elements, thermal regulation, fluid motion within organisms, life in fluids, and molecular physics topics. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: MATH 101 and either (a) PHYS 102 or (b) a score of 68% or higher in PHYS 112 and a score of 68% or higher in PHYS 122. Third-year standing in Science or a 200-level PHYS course taken concurrently.
PHYS 310 (3) Introduction to Medical Physics
Radiation interactions with matter; use of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation to diagnose and treat disease; radiation dosimetry; introduction to radiobiology; radiation effects in healthy and tumour tissue; radiation protection; medical imaging in radiation therapy. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: MATH 101 and either (a) PHYS 102 or (b) a score of 68% or higher in PHYS 112 and a score of 68% or higher in PHYS 122. Third-year standing in Science or a 200-level PHYS course taken concurrently.
PHYS 314 (3) Fluids
Kinetic theory: diffusion, viscosity, and sound waves. Introduction to hydrodynamics: Laminar flow, capillary and gravity waves, convection, and turbulence. Dimensional analysis. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: MATH 101 and either (a) PHYS 102 or (b) a score of 68% or higher in PHYS 112 and a score of 68% or higher in PHYS 122. Third-year standing in Science.
PHYS 320 (3) Environmental Physics
Contemporary environmental issues: physics of climate modification, ozone depletion, energy sources for electrical generation, energy storage, energy conservation strategies, transportation, pollutant transport, non-ionizing radiation, risk analysis, and other current topics of interest. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: MATH 101 and either (a) PHYS 102 or (b) a score of 68% or higher in PHYS 112 and a score of 68% or higher in PHYS 122. Third-year standing in Science or a 200-level PHYS course taken concurrently.
PHYS 321 (3) Stellar Astrophysics
Stellar structure and evolution. Hydrostatics, radiative transfer, fusion, equations of state. Main sequence stellar models. Low and high mass stellar post main sequence evolution. Stellar remnants. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: All of PHYS 200, PHYS 216.
PHYS 324 (3) Waves
Intermediate treatment of wave production, propagation, reception. Acoustics, electrical transmission lines, electromagnetics, scalar wave equation. Finite difference time domain computer simulation, boundary conditions, normal modes, input impedance, energy density, power flux/propagation across boundaries at normal and oblique incidence, sonic transducers, alternating current sources, and antennae. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: MATH 200 and one of PHYS 200, PHYS 216.
PHYS 328 (3) Advanced Mechanics
Variational calculus, the Lagrangian Method applied to a variety of problems, weak anharmonic perturbations of normal-mode systems, Hamilton's equations of motion, phase space, Liouville's theorem, chaos in Hamiltonian systems, rigid-body rotations in three dimensions, Lagrangian formulation of relativistic mechanics, and the Virial theorem. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: All of MATH 200, MATH 221, MATH 225, PHYS 216.
PHYS 331 (3) Experimental Physics I
Selected advanced physics experiments in solid-state physics, fluid dynamics, particle physics, astrophysics, optics, nonlinear dynamics or electromagnetism. Emphasis on experimental design and construction, including machine shop training. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 331 or PHYS 327. [0-3-1.5]
Prerequisite: One of PHYS 219, PHYS 231 and one of PHYS 229, PHYS 232.
PHYS 335 (3) The Universe from Aristotle to Hawking
Traces the evolution of rational cosmology from the ancient Greeks to the present. There are no specific Mathematics and Physics prerequisites, but students must have third-year standing. It may be taken for credit by Science and non-Science students, but may not be used to replace any of the required courses in the Physics Major, or to satisfy the Physics credit requirements in a B.Sc. general degree. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: Third-year standing.
PHYS 336 (3) Introduction to Medical Imaging and Radiation Safety
X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound and Nuclear Medicine images: creation and use to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of human health conditions. Radiation safety and regulatory aspects of Medical Imaging. Emphasis on multi-disciplines: especially the role of Physics, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science in the field of Medical Imaging. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 336 or COSC 335. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: 3rd-year standing. A score of 60% or higher in PHYS 122 or (preferably) PHYS 102.
PHYS 360 (3/6) d Special Topics in Physics
Astrophysics, geophysics, medical physics, medical imaging physics, medical radiation physics, physics of music, atmospheric physics, or other topics as required based upon student demand and faculty availability. Consult unit for specific topic to be offered in any given year. With different topics, this course may be taken twice for credit. Only 3 credits of this course can be counted as Physics credits; further credits will be considered Science electives. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: MATH 101 and either (a) PHYS 102 or (b) a score of 68% or higher in PHYS 112 and a score of 68% or higher in PHYS 122.
PHYS 400 (3) Introduction to Elementary Particles
Standard model, classification of elementary particles and forces of nature, symmetries, conservation laws, quark model, quantum electrodynamics, quantum chromodynamics, and the theory of weak interactions. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: PHYS 304.
PHYS 401 (3) Electromagnetic Theory
The application of Maxwell's theory to the propagation of electromagnetic waves. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: PHYS 301.
PHYS 402 (3) Advanced Quantum Mechanics
Quantum mechanical methods and concepts emphasizing operator algebra approaches. Commutation relations; quantum dynamics; approximation methods including stationary-state and time-dependent perturbation theory; interaction of radiation with matter; identical particles. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: PHYS 304.
PHYS 403 (3) Statistical Mechanics
Ensemble theory, application to classical and quantum gases, and Boltzmann equation. Principles and applications of statistical mechanics. Ideal gases, degenerate Fermi gases, Bose-Einstein condensation, black body radiation, fluctuations and phase transitions. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 303 and PHYS 403. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: All of MATH 200, PHYS 215.
Corequisite: PHYS 304.
PHYS 407 (3) Introduction to General Relativity
Physical consequences of Einstein's equations, including the principle of equivalence, curved space-time, geodesics, the Schwarzchild solution, deflection of light, black holes, and gravitational radiation. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: All of MATH 225, MATH 317, PHYS 200, PHYS 216.
PHYS 408 (3) Optics
Matrix formulation of geometrical optics. Physical optics: interference, diffraction, polarization, Fourier optics. Modern applications including fibre optics. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 308 and PHYS 408. [3-0-0]
Corequisite: PHYS 301.
PHYS 413 (3) Atomic and Nuclear Physics
Provides an introduction to the phenomena fundamental to the fields of atomic and nuclear physics. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: All of MATH 225, PHYS 200.
PHYS 418 (3) Methods of Theoretical Physics
Powerful analytical techniques repeatedly encountered in the subject areas of physics, unity in theoretical treatment of different subject areas. Tensors, operator algebra, variational principles, the Dirac delta-function formalism, adiabatic approximations, and stochastic processes. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: All of MATH 221, MATH 225, PHYS 200, PHYS 216.
PHYS 420 (3) Data and Image Processing
Introduction to digital signal and image processing. Correlation, convolution, Fourier transforms, digital filtering, model of image formation and degradation, image filtering in the spatial and Fourier domain, deconvolution, multivariate analysis. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: All of MATH 225, MATH 317 and 3 credits in 200-level Physics.
PHYS 425 (3) Low-Temperature Physics
Cryogenic techniques and instrumentation. Production of low temperatures: cryogenic liquids; closed-cycle refrigerators; dilution refrigerators; magnetic cooling. Low-temperature material properties and cryostat design. Macroscopic quantum effects: superconductivity and superfluidity. [3-2-0]
Prerequisite: All of PHYS 215, PHYS 304.
PHYS 431 (3) Optics Project Laboratory
Optics and imaging science. Projects may include optical and other imaging methods, actual and computer-simulated; and optical investigations of diverse physical phenomena. Techniques may include geometrical optics, spectroscopy, scattering, interferometry, Fourier optics, and Schlieren effect. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 431 or PHYS 419. [0-3-1.5]
Prerequisite: One of PHYS 219, PHYS 231 and one of PHYS 229, PHYS 232.
PHYS 432 (3) Special Topics in Experimental Physics
Laboratory-based course in a selected topic of modern physics as determined by student interest and faculty availability. Consult with the department regarding topics offered. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 432 or PHYS 429. [0-3-1.5]
Prerequisite: One of PHYS 219, PHYS 231 and one of PHYS 229, PHYS 232.
PHYS 441 (3) Experimental Physics II
Student designs and constructs a single experiment in solid-state physics, fluid dynamics, particle physics, astrophysics, optics or electromagnetism. Emphasis on experimental design, construction, and formal presentation of results. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 441, PHYS 332 and PHYS 329. [0-3-1.5]
Prerequisite: One of PHYS 327, PHYS 331.
PHYS 448 (2-6) c Directed Studies in Physics
The investigation of a specific topic in physics may be undertaken under the direction of a Physics department staff member.
Prerequisite: Permission of the unit.
PHYS 449 (6) Honours Thesis
A research project undertaken under the direction of a faculty member culminating in a thesis. [0-6-1*, 0-6-1*]
PHYS 474 (3) Solid State Physics
Symmetry of crystal structures, reciprocal lattice, band theory, conduction in metals and semiconductors, phonons, and superconductivity. [3-0-0]
Prerequisite: All of PHYS 200, PHYS 216, PHYS 304.
PHYS 534 (3) Radiotherapy Physics I
Principles of dosimetry of ionizing radiation with emphasis on applications to radiotherapy and radiobiology. Covers the basics of linear accelerator design as well as design of X-ray generating apparatus; also provides the basics of electron and photon interactions with media, energy deposition in media, and radiation protection and shielding.
PHYS 535 (3) Radiotherapy Physics II
A continuation of Physics 534. Covers the physics and applied dosimetry of current external and internal irradiation treatment techniques. Photon and electron beam radiation treatment planning. Brachytherapy and special techniques. Errors in radiation therapy.
Prerequisite: PHYS 534.
PHYS 539 (3) Radiation Dosimetry
The fundamentals of radiation dosimetry, ionization cavity theories, and radiation dosimetry protocols. A variety of absolute and relative dosimetry techniques are also covered, with hands-on experience provided through a series of lab exercises on medical linear accelerators. Monte Carlo simulation of radiation transport for dosimetry applications is introduced.
PHYS 540 (3) Medical Imaging
Fundamental theory and application of medical imaging, including radiology, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine imaging. Basic principles, image formation and reconstruction, imaging instrumentation and hardware, and current trends of each imaging modality will be given.
PHYS 544 (3) Radiation Biophysics
Topics in radiation biophysics including DNA strand breaks, cell survival curves, fractionation and dose rate effects, oxygen effect, relative biological effectiveness, tumour radiobiology, radiation pathology, radiobiological modelling, stochastic and deterministic effects, and molecular techniques in radiobiology.
PHYS 546 (2) Clinical Shadowing
Shadowing course designed to give the student some insight into the clinical aspects of the medical physics profession. Under the guidance of a clinical physicist, students progress through a series of clinical areas. Modules illustrate the collaborative nature of the profession and the interaction with other medical professionals. Restricted to graduate students in the Medical Physics program. Pass/Fail.
PHYS 547 (1) Anatomy and Physiology for the Medical Physicist
Self-guided computer-based course covering basics of anatomy and physiology. Aimed at students in medical physics who are interested in clinical and/or academic careers that will require interaction with radiation oncologists and other health care professionals. Restricted to graduate students in the Medical Physics program. Pass/Fail.
PHYS 549 (12) Master's Thesis
Pass/Fail.
PHYS 649 (0) Doctoral Dissertation
Pass/Fail.

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