Courses

For complete and up-to-date course information, including pre-requisites, anti-requisites, weight, breadth, and more, please consult the Western Academic Calendar linked in the course. To search and view the Registrar's timetable for courses, please consult the Student Services Timetable

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Physics Levels

         

Astronomy Levels

       

1000 Level Courses

1028A: Physics for the Biological Sciences I

Description: Fundamental physics concepts are introduced with examples of applications in biological and medical processes. Topics include kinematics, forces, conservation of energy and momentum, torque, equilibrium, and optics of the eye and microscope.

Instructors: T. Poepping, E. Wong, R. Sica

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory/tutorial hours 
Weight: 0.5

1029B: Physics for the Biological Sciences II

Description: Fundamental physics concepts are introduced with examples of applications in biological and medical processes. Topics include oscillations and waves, fluid statics and dynamics, electricity, magnetism, and induction.

Instructor: E. Wong

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory/tutorial hours 
Weight: 0.5

1301A: Introductory Physics I

Description: An introductory calculus-based laboratory course in physics covering the foundational principles of kinematics, force and motion, energy, linear momentum, rotation, torque, and angular momentum, gravitation, fluids.

Instructors: T. Poepping, E. Wong, R. Sica

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory/tutorial hours 
Weight: 0.5

1302A/B: Introductory Physics II

Description: An introductory calculus-based laboratory course in physics covering the foundational principles of oscillations, waves, electric fields, and potential, DC circuits, magnetic fields, magnetic induction.

Instructor: J. Cami, S. Metchev

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory/tutorial hours 
Weight: 0.5

 

1401A: Physics for Engineering Students I

Description: An introductory calculus-based laboratory course in physics covering the foundational principles of kinematics, force and motion, energy, linear momentum, rotation, torque, and angular momentum, gravitation, fluids.

Instructor: S. Mittler

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory/tutorial hours 
Weight: 0.5

1402B: Physics for Engineering Student II

Description: An introductory calculus-based laboratory course in physics covering the foundational principles of oscillations, waves, electric fields, and potential, DC circuits, magnetic fields, magnetic induction.

Instructor: J. Cami, S. Metchev

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory/tutorial hours 
Weight: 0.5

 

1501A: Enriched Introductory Physics I

Description: A calculus-based laboratory course for students intending to pursue further studies in science, particularly the physical sciences. Newton's laws, energy, linear momentum, rotations, and angular momentum, gravitation and planetary motion.

Instructor: P. Wiegert

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory/tutorial hours 
Weight: 0.5

 

1502B: Enriched Introductory Physics II

Description: A calculus-based laboratory course for students intending to pursue further studies in science, particularly the physical sciences. Relativity, the electromagnetic interaction, the strong and weak interactions, oscillations and waves.

Instructor: S. Gallagher

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory/tutorial hours 
Weight: 0.5

 

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2000 Level Courses

2070B: Understanding Earth's Atmosphere (NOT OFFERED)

Description: This course is designed for non-science students and examines the atmosphere in which we live, how it affects our everyday life, and how we in turn, as the technologically dominant earth-born species, affect it. Atmospheric phenomena such as wind, temperature, composition, precipitation, and electricity are used to illustrate basic physical principles.

Instructor: Not offered

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory/tutorial hours 
Weight: 0.5

 

2101A: Intermediate Physics

Description: Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves and induction, geometric optics, the propagation of light, thermal properties of matter and the laws of thermodynamics.

Instructor: M. Campbell-Brown

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour. 
Weight: 0.5

 

2102B: Introduction to Modern Physics

Description: Introduction to quantum mechanics, wave-particle duality, atomic physics, nuclear physics, particle physics and the origins of the universe.

Instructor: E. Peeters

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour. 
Weight: 0.5

2110A: Oscillations and Waves

Description: A unified treatment of oscillatory and wave motion, with examples from mechanics, electromagnetism, optics and materials science. Topics include simple harmonic motion, forced oscillations and resonance, coupled oscillations, transverse waves on strings and in crystals, longitudinal waves in gases and solids, electromagnetic waves, Fourier methods, nonlinear oscillations, and chaos.

Instructor: O. Trichtchenko

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 2 laboratory/tutorial hours 
Weight: 0.5

 

2810B: Physical Properties of Materials (NOT OFFERED)

Description: The properties of materials are described in terms of their atomic structure and interatomic bonding. The basic physical principles underlying mechanical, electrical, and magnetic properties are discussed in the context of modern materials including polymers and semiconductors.

Instructor: NOT OFFERED

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

2910G: Introduction to Physical Measurement

Description: Students will gain an introduction to experimental techniques through experiments on electricity and magnetism, and modern physics. Concurrent lectures will cover circuit theory and experimental design.

Instructor: L. Goncharova

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 3 laboratory hours. 
Weight: 0.5

2950Y: Year Two Seminar

Description: A forum for students to meet the third and fourth-year students and faculty in an informal setting. We will discuss research areas, practice giving and critiquing talks, and provide information on careers.

Instructors: S. Gallagher, P. Wiegert

Hours:  1 lecture hour, 0.5 courses. 
Weight: 0.5

 

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3000 Level Courses

3151A: Classical Mechanics

Description: This course provides students with the tools to tackle more complex problems than those covered in introductory mechanics. D'Alembert's principle, the principle of least action, Lagrange's equations, Hamilton's equations, Poisson brackets, canonical transformations, central forces, rigid bodies, oscillations. Optional topics including special relativity, Hamilton-Jacobi theory, constrained systems, field theory.

Instructor: G. Fanchini

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

 

3200B: Quantum Mechanics I

Description: The Schrodinger equation in one dimension, wave packets, stationary states, the harmonic oscillator, the postulates of Quantum Mechanics, operators and eigenvalue equations, angular momentum, the hydrogen atom.

Instructor: C. Denniston

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

3300A: Electromagnetic Theory I

Description: A study of static electric and magnetic fields using vector calculus; time-varying electric and magnetic fields, Maxwell's equations, electric and magnetic fields in matter.

Instructor: M. Campbell-Brown

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

3380B: Optics and Photonics (NOT OFFERED)

Description: An introduction to the principles of optics and modern optical devices. Topics include geometrical optics, interference, diffraction, reflection, transmission, and polarization, modulation of light waves, fiber-optical light guides, optical communication systems, integrated optics.

Instructor: Not offered.

Hours:  3 lecture hours. Typically offered in alternate years only. 
Weight: 0.5

 

3400B: Introduction to Thermal Physics

Description: Thermodynamics applied to classical and quantum systems. Thermodynamic laws, interactions, engines, phase transformations of pure substances, Boltzmann statistics, simple quantum systems.

Instructor: A. Ouriadov

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

 

3900G: Senior Physics Laboratory

Description: A senior physics laboratory designed to familiarize the student with the basic concepts of modern physics, with emphasis on the development of experimental skills and including an introduction to computer programming and its use in experimental analysis.

Instructor: L. Goncharova

Hours:  6 laboratory hours. 
Weight: 0.5

3926F: Computer Simulations in Physics

Description: A project-oriented computation course using applications of numerical methods to problems in medical physics, the science of materials, atmospheric physics and astrophysics. Projects will involve choosing a physical problem, posing scientific questions, and implementing a computer simulation. Techniques for programming, analysis, and presentation will be developed.

Instructor: P. Barmby

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 2 laboratory hours. 
Weight: 0.5

3930B: Special Topics in Physics: Mathematical Methods (NOT OFFERED)

Instructor: O. Trichtchenko

Hours:  3 lecture hours.
Weight: 0.5

3950Y: Year Three Seminar

Description: A forum for students to meet the second and fourth-year students and faculty in an informal setting. We will discuss research areas, practice giving and critiquing talks, and provide information on careers.

Instructor: S. Gallagher, P. Wiegert

Hours:  1 lecture hour 
Weight: 0.5

 

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4000 Level Courses

4251A: Quantum Physics II

Description: Potential scattering, spin, the addition of angular momenta, stationary and time-dependent perturbation theory, systems of identical particles, applications to atomic, molecular, solid-state, nuclear, particle and atmospheric physics.

Instructor: C. Denniston

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

 

4351B: Electromagnetic Theory II

Description: Maxwell's equations; conservation laws; electromagnetic waves and waveguides; electromagnetic radiation; relativistic formulation of electrodynamics.

Instructor: A. Sigut

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

 

4672B: Radiological Physics

Description: An introduction to the instrumentation and techniques of radiation therapy.

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

 

4850A/B: Nanomaterials (NOT OFFERED)

Description: Synthesis, properties, characterization and application of materials structured on the nanometer scale. Fabrication methods including epitaxy, lithography, and self-assembly. Optical and electronic properties of nanomaterials including carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, nanoparticles. Interaction with electrons and photons. Characterization methods, including electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, plasmon resonance.

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5 

4910G: Special Topics in Physics: Advanced Physics Projects

Instructor: L. Goncharova

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

 

4931B: Special Topics in Physics: Relativity 

Instructor: W. Hocking

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5
 

4930B: Special Topics in Physics: Particle Physics (NOT OFFERED)

Instructor: A. Soddu

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

4931B: Special Topics in Physics: Condensed Matter Physics (NOT OFFERED)

Instructor: G. Fanchini

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

4950Y: Year Four Seminar

Description: A forum for students to meet the second and third-year students and faculty in an informal setting. We will discuss research areas, practice giving and critiquing talks, and provide information on careers.

Instructor: S. Gallagher, P. Wiegert

Hours:  1 lecture hour 
Weight: 0.5

4999E: Honors Research

Description: The student will work on a research project, either experimental or theoretical, under faculty supervision, and present the results in a written report and in a seminar.

Instructor: G. Fanchini

Hours:  1 lecture hour 
Weight: 1.0 course

 

Astronomy

1000 Level Courses

1021: General Astronomy

Description: A general survey of astronomy including the solar system and its constituents; stars, their basic properties, and evolution; systems of stars including clusters, the milky way, and other galaxies; the universe, it's past, present and future structure; astronomical instruments; topics of current interest including pulsars, quasars, black holes.

Instructor: M. Zinke-Allmang

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 1.0

  

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2000 Level Courses

2020F: Two-Eyed Seeing and Astronomy (NOT OFFERED)

Description: An introduction to the intersection between Indigenous and Western astronomy, particularly as it relates to naked-eye observations of the night sky; using astronomy as a gateway to learning more about Indigenous culture, history, and the process of decolonization and reconciliation.

Instructor: R. Cockcroft

Hours:  2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour. 
Weight: 0.5

2021A: Search for Life in the Universe

Description: This course is designed for non-science students as an introduction to current scientific thinking on the possibility of extraterrestrial life and intelligence. Ideas, observations, and experiments from the frontiers of many areas of science converge in this unique interdisciplinary field. Emphasis will be on topics of current interest, including searches for life in our Solar System, detection of extrasolar planets, and the origins of life on Earth.

Instructor: M. Zinke-Allmang

Hours:  3 lecture hours. May not be taken for credit by students in the Faculty of Science. 
Weight: 0.5

2022B: The Origin of the Universe

Description: This course is designed for non-science students as an introduction to current ideas about the universe. Topics include the Big Bang, cosmic microwave background, the origin of elements, and origin of galaxies, stars, and planetary systems.

Instructor: M.Zinke-Allmang

Hours:  2 lecture hours. May not be taken for credit by students in the Faculty of Science. 
Weight: 0.5

2201B: Planetary Systems

Description: An examination of planets and their environments, both in our own Solar System and in planetary systems around other stars. Celestial mechanics; dynamics of the Earth; the Earth-Moon System; planets, including atmospheres and interiors; satellites; comets; meteors; the interplanetary medium; detection, origin, and evolution of planetary systems.

Instructor: P. Brown

Hours:  3 lecture hours. 
Weight: 0.5

 

2801A: Observing the Stars

Description: The properties of stars, the building blocks of the universe, and how we obtain their characteristics. The night sky, coordinates, detectors, telescopes, stellar magnitudes and fluxes, spectra, the interaction of light and matter, Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, stellar evolution, and the Sun. Introduction to astrophysics, the order of magnitude estimates, astronomical nomenclature, and observations.

Instructor: P. Wiegert

Hours:  3 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour. 
Weight: 0.5

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3000 Level Courses

3302A: Astrophysics of Interstellar Space (NOT OFFERED)

Description: The physics of interstellar space - the gas, dust, electromagnetic radiation, cosmic rays, and magnetic fields - present between the stars in a galaxy and between galaxies. Star formation, the interaction of light and matter, and the physical processes that determine the properties, dynamics, and behavior of the interstellar medium

Instructor: E. Peeters

Hours:  3 lecture/tutorial hours. Typically offered in alternate years only. 
Weight: 0.5

3303A: Galaxies

Description: Introduction to galaxies, including the Milky Way. Galaxy components and their variation with galaxy location, shape, and age; the distribution of galaxies in space and time; interpretation of observational data to derive physical properties of galaxies.

Instructor: E. Peeters

Hours:  3 lecture/tutorial hours. Typically offered in alternate years only. 
Weight: 0.5

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4000 Level Courses

4101B: Stellar Astrophysics

Description: Internal structure of stars; stellar evolution; stellar atmospheres; the formation of stars 

Instructor: Shantanu Basu 

Hours:  3 lecture/tutorial hours. Typically offered in alternate years only. 
Weight: 0.5

4602B: Gravitational Astrophysics & Cosmology (NOT OFFERED)

Description: Introduction to gravity in astrophysics. Application of Newtonian gravitation to basic galactic dynamics and galactic structure. An introduction to general relativity with applications to black holes, cosmology, and the early universe.

Hours:  3 lecture hours. Typically offered in alternate years only. 
Weight: 0.5

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