Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science

Connections with other departments

Although the Physics and Astronomy Department has never had a regular faculty member working in medical physics, there has been a very long-standing association between the Department and medical physicists working in local hospitals and research institutes, dating back to 1957 when Dr. John MacDonald, Senior Physicist (and later Chief Physicist) at the London Regional Cancer Centre (LRCC) had an appointment in the Physics Department as Sessional Lecturer, a position which continued until his retirement in 1985. Dr. MacDonald (and later others) gave a senior undergraduate/graduate course in Radiological Physics, and over the years many graduate students have obtained MSc and PhD degrees in medical physics through the Physics Department. At present, the Department has 10 Adjunct Professors in medical physics who supervise graduate students in radiological physics (Dr. Jerry Battista, LRCC; Dr. Peter Munro, LRCC; Dr. Jake Van Dyk, LRCC) and medical imaging (Dr. D. Drost, Lawson Research Institute (LRI); Dr. Aaron Fenster, Robarts Research Institute (RRI); Dr. Ravi Menon, RRI; Dr. Frank Prato, LRI; Dr. Brian Rutt, RRI; Dr. Terry Thompson, LRI).

The Applied Mathematics Department at Western has several theoretical physicists on its faculty. About a decade ago a Collaborative PhD Program in Theoretical Physics was established which is jointly administered by the two departments and allows students to register in either department, without regard to the department of his/her supervisor. Through this program PhD students in Physics and Astronomy have access to a regular theoretical physics seminar, and to theoretical physics research in the Applied Mathematics Department in both subatomic physics (Dr. Victor Elias, Dr. Gerry McKeon, and Dr. Roger Migneron) and atomic physics (Dr. Trevor Luke).

A long-standing association with the Electrical Engineering Department began with the creation of the Centre for Radio Science in 1967, and continues to this day in Space and Atmospheric research (Dr. John MacDougall and Dr. Alan Webster). The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Chemical Physics was established in 1973 to encourage research in areas which bridge two or more traditional disciplines, and includes over 30 members from the departments of Applied Mathematics, Chemistry, Engineering, Earth Science, Physics and Astronomy (10 members), and from the Robarts Research Institute.