Department of Physics and Astronomy

Department of Physics and Astronomy

A Department of Physics was established at York University in 1964, initially at Glendon College and subsequently at the Keele campus in 1965, as one of the three major participants with Biology and Chemistry in the Interdisciplinary Science (IS) Program. Students were first admitted to master’s and doctoral degree Programs in Physics at York in 1968.

In 1981, following growth in the range of undergraduate majors and the eventual closure of the IS Program, a subsection of the Department was severed to form what has become the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering (ESSE) in the Lassonde School of Engineering. In the late 1980s, the Department decided to expand its presence in astronomy and astrophysics. The resulting growth in astronomical research activity led in 1991 to the introduction of official Streams of study in astronomy in both the undergraduate and graduate Programs. Soon after, to enhance the University's image in astronomy, the names of the Department and the Graduate Program were changed to Physics and Astronomy. In 2007, prompted both by growing appreciation of the relevance of physics to the life sciences and by decanal demands for growth in enrolments, the Department introduced its Undergraduate Program in Biophysics.

Below are listed the Chairs of the Department since its inception.

Chairs of the Department
Year
Chair
2020-
2015-2020
2014-2015
2009-2014
2008-2009
2005-2008
2004-2005
2002-2004
2001-2002
2000-2001
1998-2000
1997-1998
1994-1997
1989-1994
1979-1989
W. James Megaw
1969-1979
Robert Hobson
1965-1969
Ralph Nicholls
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