Graduate Handbook

Graduate Handbook

Here is the latest Handbook for the Graduate Program in Physics and Astronomy:

Topics covered include:

Research Areas and Facilities
Who to See about What
General Information
Important Dates
Registration Procedures and Deadlines
Graduate Income Information
Graduate Courses
Degree Requirements
Annual Research Evaluation
Process for Approval of M.Sc. Thesis and Ph.D. Dissertation
Graduate Resources
Student Support Services
Graduate Faculty Members

Here is a listing of all courses that may be offered. The subset of courses actually taught in any given year will depend upon student demand and available faculty resources.

PHYS 5000 3.0 Quantum Mechanics I

A review of the fundamentals and formalisms of quantum theory, followed by a detailed treatment of topics such as radiation theory, relativistic quantum mechanics, and scattering theory.

PHYS 5020 3.0   Electromagnetism

A formal treatment of electromagnetic fields, including: review of Maxwell’s Equations; wave propagation, fields from time-independent sources; Green’s Function methods; multipole expansions; field energy and momentum conservation; electromagnetic waves; refraction; waveguides; solutions of Maxwell’s Equations with time-dependent sources, multipole radiation; electromagnetic field of moving point charges; Lienard-Wiechart potentials; relativistic nature of Maxwell’s Equations; Lorentz transformations of electric and magnetic fields.

PHYS 5030 3.0   Statistical Mechanics

Fundamentals and applications of equilibrium statistical physics, including classical and quantum statistics, ensemble theory, density matrix, cluster expansions, Darwin-Fowler method, magnetization, phase transitions, Bose and Fermi gases.

PHYS 5040 3.0   Elementary Particle Physics

The properties of the fundamental particles (quarks and leptons), and the forces between them are studied. Topics include the interactions of particles with matter, symmetry principles and experimental techniques.
Integrated with PHYS 4040 3.0.

PHYS 5050 3.0   Atomic and Molecular Physics

An introduction to the study of energy levels in atoms and molecules including atomic structure calculations for one electron and complex atoms, the effect of external fields, radiative transitions and laser spectroscopic studies of atomic and molecular states, energy levels in molecules, molecular symmetry and groups and normal modes, and vibronic transitions.
Integrated with PHYS 4011 3.0.

PHYS 5061 3.0   Experimental Techniques in Laser Physics

This course involves a selection of labs in laser physics, with emphasis on techniques necessary for trapping neutral atoms with lasers. One lecture hour and two three-hour laboratory sessions per week.
Integrated with PHYS 4061 3.0.

PHYS 5062 3.0   Atom Trapping Laboratory

This course involves a selection of labs in laser physics, with emphasis on techniques necessary for trapping neutral atoms with lasers. One lecture hour and two three-hour laboratory sessions per week.
Prerequisite: PHYS 4061 3.0.
Integrated with PHYS 4062 3.0.

PHYS 5070A 3.0   Advanced Numerical Methods

A treatment of the theory and applications of numerical methods. Topics will be selected from the areas of Gaussian quadrature, Monte Carlo methods and simulation, Fast Fourier transforms, Pade approximates, stiff differential equations, eigenvalue problems and optimization techniques.
Integrated with MATH 4141 3.0.

PHYS 5070B 3.0   Numerical Solutions to Partial Differential Equations

This course provides a rigorous treatment of numerical methods for the solutions of ordinary and partial differential equations.

PHYS 5080 3.0   Plasma Physics

This course treats the physics of weakly and strongly ionized gases, including charged particle motion, trapping, ionization and de-ionization processes, transport phenomena, plasma waves, continuum and kinetic models, plasma boundaries, and diagnostics. Applications are made to laboratory and natural plasmas.

PHYS 5090 3.0   Stars and Nebulae

The astrophysics of radiating matter in the universe. The course covers radiation processes, radiative transfer, stellar atmospheres, stellar interiors, and interstellar matter. The course offers an overview of astrophysical radiation mechanism, interactions of radiation with matter, observations, theory, and modelling of stellar atmospheres, theory and modelling of stellar interiors and their evolution, and interstellar gas and dust.
Integrated with PHYS 4070 3.0.

PHYS 5100 3.0   Solid State Physics

This course covers symmetry concepts in solids, crystal field theory, a review of the theory of atomic spectra, and a discussion of the spectra of ions in solids and spin-orbit coupling. It also reviews the elastic properties of solids from the standpoint of vibrational lattice spectra.
Integrated with PHYS 4050 3.0.

PHYS 5110 3.0   Quantum Electronics

A review is made of the quantum mechanical description of the emission and absorption of radiation and of the energy levels of atoms and molecules. The physical basis of laser operation is presented, including topics such as stimulated emission and oscillation conditions, population inversion, gain saturation, optical resonators, modes and Q-switching, and spatial and temporal coherence.

PHYS 5120 3.0   Gas and Fluid Dynamics

This course treats incompressible, compressible and viscous fluid flows, including shock waves, subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic flow phenomena, turbulence and boundary layers. Aerodynamic and meteorological applications are discussed.

PHYS 5130 3.0   Diagnostic Molecular Spectroscopy

This course covers the essentials of diatomic molecular spectroscopy. It emphasizes the concepts of spectral intensities in emission and absorption, the Franck- Condon principle and molecular transition probabilities and how they control the intensity profiles of molecular spectra. It reviews the principles of diagnostic interpretation of molecular space spectra in terms of species concentrations and energy exchange mechanisms taking place in remote regions of the atmosphere, space and astrophysical locations. Methods of realistic syntheses of spectral intensity profiles are reviewed.

PHYS 5140 3.0   Advanced Topics in Particle Physics

This course is a detailed and advanced discussion of the material covered in PHYS 5040 3.0.

PHYS 5160 3.0   Electronic Instrumentation

Topics to be selected from: precison AC and DC measurement techniques, linear systems, sampling techniques, MCS, PHA, SVA techniques, noise theory, threshold detection techniques, analysis and application of active devices, optoelectronic devices, photodetectors, CCD arrays. A laboratory project may be involved.

PHYS 5170 3.0   Advanced Optics

This course studies coherence properties of electromagnetic radiation, interferometry and interference spectroscopy, Fourier optics, non-linear phenomena and holography.

PHYS 5180 3.0   Quantum Field Theory

The objective of this course is to introduce quantum field theory topics such as the failure of relativistic quantum mechanics, canonical quantization, spin 0, 1/2 & 1 fields, symmetries and conservation laws, interacting fields, Feynman diagrams and quantum electrodynamics.
Prerequisite Recommended: PHYS 5000 3.00.

PHYS 5190 3.0   Galactic Astronomy

An overview of the Milky Way galaxy and its constituents, with particular emphasis on the kinematics and dynamics of stellar systems and their origin and evolution. Topics include components of the Milky Way; Organization of matter; Derivation of global properties; Kinematics and dynamics of star clusters; Kinematics and dynamics of the Milky Way system; Spiral structure; Dark matter; Star formation; Origin and evolution of star clusters; Formation and evolution of the Milky Way.

PHYS 5230 3.0   General Relativity

An overview of the theory of general relativity. Topics include: special relativistic mechanics of particles and continuous systems; principle of equivalence; differential gravitational redshift; Einstein field equations; Newtonian limit and effective theories; Schwarzschild geometry; classical tests of general relativity; other theories of gravity; Robertson-Walker metric; Friedmann equations; cosmological models.

PHYS 5290 3.0   Extragalactic Astronomy

An overview of current observational and theoretical knowledge concerning the structure, evolution and formation of galaxies and aggregates. Topics include: classification of galaxies; stellar content; gaseous content; dynamics; determination of distances; density wave theory of spiral structure; percolation; photometric, spectroscopic, chemical and dynamical evolution; environmental influences; nuclear activity; classification of galaxy aggregates; nature of galaxies in clusters; local organization of galaxies; peculiar motions; superclusters, voids, and large-scale structure; review of basic cosmology; observational constraints on galaxy formation; dark matter; origin and evolution of density fluctuations; biasing and merging.

PHYS 5390 3.0   Astronomical Techniques

An introduction to modern astronomical instrumentation, observational methods, data analysis, and numerical methods. While including some lectures, the course aims to provide students with hands-on experience with both observational and theoretical techniques of modern astronomy. Topics include: astronomical instrumentation; preparation for observing; data acquisition; data reduction, including image processing; quantative data analysis; analysis of errors; statistical inference; theoretical modelling techniques, including nonlinear least squares, Monte Carlo simulations, and N-body dynamics.
Integrated with PHYS 4270 4.0.

PHYS 5400 3.0   Physics Research

A non-thesis experimental or theoretical research endeavour in physics, supervised by a faculty member. The student and supervising faculty member agree at the outset on the project scope (including required literature review), milestones (including frequency of regular student-faculty meetings), and deliverables (including a final written report).

PHYS 5490 3.0   Astronomical Research

A non-thesis experimental or theoretical research endeavour in astronomy, supervised by a faculty member. The student and supervising faculty member agree at the outset on the project scope (including required literature review), milestones (including frequency of regular student-faculty meetings), and deliverables (including a final written report).

PHYS 5590 3.0   Observational and Theoretical Cosmology

A survey of observational and theoretical foundations of modern cosmology. Observational constraints on the history and current state of the universe are examined. Theoretical foundations of modern cosmology are introduced and employed to interpret observations. In the process, ideas about the early evolution of the universe, including the introduction of cosmic inflation and the development of large-scale structure, are elucidated.
Integrated with SC/PHYS 4170 3.0.

PHYS 5800 3.0 Introduction to Biological Physics

This course will focus on applications of quantum physics in biology and medicine.
Integrated with SC/BPHS 4090 4.0.

PHYS 5801 3.0   Principles of Biophysics

This graduate level course will examine general principles in biophysics. A duality will be emphasized in terms of the interface between biology and physics: not only will the course explore how physics can inform us on topics in biology, but also how biology can guide us to find/understand new theories in physics.

PHYS 5850 3.0   Harmonic Analysis and Imaging

This course introduces the important integral transforms that are widely used in medical image reconstruction and processing. Topics includes the Radon transform and Fourier transform, sampling theory, image reconstruction in X-ray tomography, the principles of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), MRI image reconstructions, and advanced image reconstruction techniques (such as compressive sensing and wavelet transforms). Solutions to common imaging artifacts and image quality analysis will be addressed as well.

PHYS 6001 3.0   M.Sc. Research Evaluation

Progress in research is assessed annually.

PHYS 6010 3.0   Quantum Mechanics II

An introduction to scattering theory with an emphasis on potential scattering.

PHYS 6060 3.0   Advanced Topics in Theoretical Physics

This course is a detailed and advanced discussion of theoretical topics in physics.

PHYS 6070 3.0   Radiation Theory

This course deals with the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter, using classical, semi-classical, and quantum theories. One photon and multiphoton transitions, transition probabilities, natural line widths, coherent radiation fields and non linear optics are among topics discussed.

PHYS 6090 3.0   Advanced Topics in Astronomy

Discussion of one or more topics in astronomy in more detail and at a more advanced level than provided by regular course offerings. Specific topics will vary.

PHYS 6100.0   Advanced Topics in Solid State Physics

A more detailed and advanced discussion of the material of PHYS 5100.03.

PHYS 6110 3.0   Advanced Topics in Quantum Electronics

A more detailed and advanced discussion of the material of PHYS 5110.03.

PHYS 6120 3.0   Advanced Topics in Fluid Mechanics

A more detailed discussion of applications of the material of PHYS 5120.03. Particular emphasis is placed on systems of geophysical interest.

PHYS 6140 3.0   Advanced Topics in Particle Physics

This course is a continuation of the material in PHYS 5140.03. Non-Abelian gauge theories will be studied in some detail, namely the Weinberg-Salam model of weak interactions, quantum chromodynamics for the strong interaction and the SU(5) grand unified theory.
Prerequisite: PHYS 5140.03.

PHYS 6170 3.0   Selected Topics in Applied Optical Physics

Topics may change from year to year. Typical subject material may be selected from: design of advanced optical components; instruments and systems; detectors and instruments; the principles of laser radar (lidar); the interaction of laser radiation with materials; optical communication systems; advanced instrumentation for astronomy and space science.

PHYS 6180 3.0   Selected Topics in Biological Physics

Discussion of one or more topics in biological physics. Specific topics will vary.

PHYS 6190 3.0   Radio Interferometry

The theory and application of modern radio science and radio techniques in space exploration and space navigation. Topics include signal processing, radio astronomy fundamentals, Deep Space Network instrumentation, antenna theory, arrays, Very Long Baseline Interferometry, spacecraft navigation, radar systems, range, range rate and the radar equation.
Integrated with: SC/PHYS 4330 3.0.

PHYS 6200 1.0   Angular Momentum Coupling in Quantum Mechanics

Discussion of angular momentum coupling in quantum mechanics.

PHYS 6201 1.0   Basics of Stellar Dynamics

Theory and observation of stellar dynamics in spiral and elliptical galaxies.

PHYS 6202 1.0   Computational Physics

Computational physics project involving numerical methods and programming. Specific topics will vary.

PHYS 6203 1.0   Dark Energy

Observational evidence for and theoretical models of dark energy.

PHYS 6204 1.0   Elements of Quantum Scattering Theory

Discussion of one or more topics in quantum scattering theory. Specific topics will vary.

PHYS 6205 1.0   Physics of Particle Detectors

Discussion of the physics of particle interactions in matter and of the technologies used for particle detection. Specific topics will vary.

PHYS 6206 1.0   Strong Interactions

Discussion of the strong interactions of elementary particles.

PHYS 6207 1.0   Theoretical Motivations of Dark Matter

Motivations for dark matter in the context of theories at high energies.

PHYS 6208 1.0   Topics in Atom/Molecule-Laser Interactions

Discussion of one or more topics in atom/molecule-laser interactions. Specific topics will vary.

PHYS 6209 1.0   Weak Interactions

Discussion of the weak interactions of elementary particles.

PHYS 6210 1.0   Supernovae, Neutron Stars and Black Holes

Observations and their astrophysical interpretations of the explosive end stages of stellar evolution.

PHYS 6211 1.0   The Universe at Radio Wavelengths

Discussion of the role of radio astronomy in our understanding of the Universe, from probing hydrogen gas and stellar evolution to investigating energetic processes in quasars and the cosmic microwave background radiation as the remnant of the Big Bang.

PHYS 6212 1.0   Density Matrices and Spontaneous Decay in Atomic Physics

Review of Schrödinger treatments for few-level atomic systems. Discussion on spontaneous decay in atomic physics. Introduction of density matrices. Examples of using density matrices for describing atomic processes.

PHYS 6213 1.0   Selected Topics in Physics

This course covers a special topic in theoretical or experimental physics.

PHYS 6214 1.0   Selected Topics in Astronomy

This course covers a special topic in theoretical or observational astronomy.

PHYS 6215 1.0   Introduction to Design of Experiments for Scientists and Engineers

This course introduces students to the concepts of Statistical Design of Experiment and the tools used to design, conduct and analyse such experiments. Students have an opportunity to practice some of these techniques in a minimum of two laboratory experiments using catapults. Topics include data visualization; significant digits; uncertainty; precision; accuracy; foundation of the design and execution of experiments based on statistical principles; foundation of the results analysis; factorial designs with and without interactions; confidence intervals; hypothesis testing; simple and multiple linear regression.

PHYS 7001 3.0   Ph.D. Research Evaluation

Progress in research is assessed annually.