Physics Courses

Physics MSc and PhD Courses

The graduate courses offered by the Department of Physics fall into the following categories:

Topics in Quantum and High Energy Physics
Topics in Condensed Matter Physics
Topics in Theoretical Physics
Topics in Biomedical Physics
Topics in Applied Physics

Topics in Quantum and High Energy Physics

Description: This course reviews the mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics, Heisenberg, Schroedinger, and interaction representations; time-dependent perturbation theory and the golden rule; collision theory, Born approximation, T-matrix and phase shifts; angular momentum theory: eigenvalues and eigenvectors, spherical harmonics, rotations and spin, additions theorems and their applications.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: The following applications are examined: non-relativistic theory - systems of identical particles, second quantization, Hartree-Fock theory, as well as path integral formulation of quantum mechanics; relativistic theory: Dirac and Klein-Gordon equations, positron theory, propogator theory and their applications; field quantization, radiative effects, Dirac and Majorana spinors, Noether’s theorem.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:

Description: This course discusses symmetries and groups; antiparticles; electrodynamics of spinless particles, the Dirac equation and its implications for the electrodynamics of spin 1/2 particles. A general discussion of loops, renormalization and running coupling constants, hadronic structure and partons, is used to introduce the principles of Quantum Chromodynamics and Electroweak Interactions. The course concludes with an exposition of gauge symmetries, the Weinberg-Salam model, and Grand Unification.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:

Description: This course reflects the research interests of the physics faculty in quantum physics and/or those of the graduate students working with them.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:

Description: This course reflects the research interests of the physics faculty in high energy physics and/or those of the graduate students working with them.

Component(s): Lecture

Topics in Condensed Matter Physics

Description: In this course, students are introduced to the quantum theory of solids and their properties. Drude and Sommerfeld theory of metals, crystal lattices, reciprocal lattice, electron levels in periodic potentials, band theory and Fermi surface, tight-binding method,
semi-classical model of electron dynamics in metals, relaxation-time approximation are also explored. Vibrations of crystals (phonons), heat conductivity, homogeneous semiconductors (p-n junctions) are discussed. Selected topics may include magnetism,
magneto-transport, or the role of topology in solids.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: is course offers an introduction to the problem of many-electron interactions by introducing second quantization notation and mean-field theory as an approximation to solve complex many-body problems. Quantum phases like magnets and
superconductors are studied using mean-field theory along with associated phase transitions. The course introduces the semi-classical and quantum theory of transport in quantum systems (Boltzmann's and Landauer's equations). Selected topics may include collective excitations, 2D Dirac materials, or integer and fractional quantum Hall effects.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course reflects the research interests of the physics faculty in condensed matter physics and/or those of the graduate students working with them.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:

Description: This module is intended for engineering students wishing to take physics courses while satisfying their credit requirements. It should be taken concurrently with the respective 3-credit physics course (PHYS 639); it includes additional material and assignments.

Component(s): Reading

Topics in Theoretical Physics

Description: This course covers statistical ensembles (micro, macro, and grand canonical); introduces Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac, and Bose-Einstein distributions for the microstates and their applications, and formulates a statistical treatment of the laws of thermodynamics. These concepts are applied to classic problems like black-body radiation, thermodynamics of free electrons, and phase transitions involving ferromagnetism and the Ising model. It covers fluctuations and Onsager relations, Nyquist's theorem, Brownian motion and the diffusion equation, and selected topics on transport.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:

Description: This course covers generalized coordinates, Lagrange’s equations, method of Lagrange multipliers, variational formulation, Hamilton’s equations of motion, canonical transformations, Hamilton-Jacobi theory, special theory of relativity, Einstein’s axioms, Lorentz transformations, form invariance and tensors, four-vectors, gravity.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:

Description: This course covers the electrostatic boundary-value problem with Green’s function, Maxwell’s equations, energy-momentum tensor, guided waves, dielectric wave-guides, fibre optics, radiation static field, multipole radiation, velocity and acceleration field, Larmor’s formula, relativistic generalization, radiating systems, linear antenna, aperture in wave guide, scattering, Thompson scattering, Bremsstrahlung, Abraham-Lorentz equation, Breit-Wigner formula, Green’s function for Helmholtz’s equation. Noether’s theorem.

Description: Linear stability analysis and limitations, modulated waves and nonlinear dispersion relations, Korteweg-de Vries, sine-Gordon, and nonlinear Schrödinger equations. Hydro-dynamic, transmission-line, mechanical, lattice, and optical solitions. Applications in optical fibres, Josephson junction arrays. Inverse scattering method, conservation laws.

Description: This course reflects the research interests of the Physics faculty in theoretical physics and/or those of the graduate students working with them.

Component(s): Lecture

Topics in Biomedical Physics

Description: This course examines several aspects of the stability of protein structures including bonding and nonbonding interactions, energy profiles, Ramachandran plot, stabilization through protonation-deprotonation, interaction of macromolecules with solvents, the thermodynamics of protein folding, and ligand binding. The Marcus-theory of biological electron transfer is discussed. The course also introduces the students to several modern biophysical techniques such as electronic spectroscopies (absorption, fluorescence), X-ray absorption spectroscopy, NMR and EPR spectroscopy, IR and Raman spectroscopy, circular dichroism, and differential scanning calorimetry. Students further develop an in-depth knowledge of the course material through an individual project.

Component(s): Lecture

Prerequisite/Corequisite: Enrolment in a Science or Engineering program is required.

Description: This course addresses important concepts of quantitative systems physiology and the physical bases of physiological function in different organ systems. The student becomes familiar with the structure and functional principles of the main physiological systems, and how to quantify them. These include the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular systems. Important biophysical principles and quantitative physiological methods are presented. Topics may include the biophysics of muscle contractions, fluid dynamics in the cardiovascular system, respiration gas exchange and neuronal communication, and how the biophysics of neuronal communications can be used to image brain activity. Students develop in-depth knowledge of how to apply these principles to a specific system through an individual project.

Component(s): Lecture

Prerequisite/Corequisite: Enrolment in a Science or Engineering program is required.

Description: This course aims to introduce the physical principles associated with important medical imaging techniques used in medicine and in neuroscience research. The objective is to cover the whole imaging process in detail starting from the body entities to be imaged (e.g. structure, function, blood flow, neuronal activity), to the physical principles of data acquisition and finally the methods used for image data reconstruction. Important imaging modalities such as X-ray and computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, electrophysiology and optical imaging techniques are presented. Students develop an in-depth understanding of how to apply this knowledge for a specific imaging modality through an individual project.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This module is intended for engineering students wishing to take physics courses while satisfying their credit requirements. It should be taken concurrently with the respective 3-credit physics course (PHYS 667); it includes additional material and assignments.

Component(s): Reading

Description: This course reflects the research interests of the physics faculty in biophysics and/or those of the graduate students working with them.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This module is intended for engineering students wishing to take physics courses while satisfying their credit requirements. It should be taken concurrently with the respective 3-credit physics course (PHYS 669); it includes additional material and assignments.

Component(s): Reading

Description: This course reflects the research interests of the physics faculty in biomedical physics and/or those of the graduate students working with them.

Component(s): Lecture

Topics in Applied and Computational Physics

Description: This module is intended for engineering students wishing to take physics courses while satisfying their credit requirements. It should be taken concurrently with the respective 3-credit physics course (PHYS 679); it includes additional material and assignments.

Component(s): Reading

Description: This course reflects the research interests of the Physics faculty in Applied Physics and/or those of the graduate students working with them.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This module is intended for engineering students wishing to take physics courses while satisfying their credit requirements. It should be taken concurrently with the respective 3-credit physics course (PHYS 689); it includes additional material and assignments.

Component(s): Reading

Description: This course reflects the research interests of the physics faculty in high energy physics and/or those of the graduate students working with them.

Component(s): Lecture

Master’s Seminar, Thesis, and Comprehensive Examination Courses

Description: Students must give one seminar in the field of their research and participate in weekly scientific writing and oral communication workshops. This course should be taken when a significant portion of the thesis is completed, but before the thesis is submitted. Writing a proposal (for a small grant or external scholarship) is part of the requirements for this course. The course in evaluated on a pass/fail basis. No substitution is permitted.

Component(s): Seminar; Workshop

Description: he thesis must represent the results of the student's original research work undertaken after admission to this program. Work previously published by the student may be used only as introductory or background subject matter. The thesis is examined by a
supervisory committee. The thesis may be based on a study of a significant problem in physics or a research project conducted as part of the student’s employment. Permission to submit a thesis in the latter category is granted in the event that: a. the student’s
employer furnishes written approval for the pursuit and reporting of the project; b. the student has research facilities which, in the opinion of the physics graduate studies committee, are adequate; c. arrangements can be made for supervision of the project by a
faculty member of the Department of Physics; d. in all but exceptional cases, the student has direct supervision by a qualified supervisor at the site of the student’s employment. The supervisor must be approved by the physics graduate studies committee. A written working agreement between the supervisor and the university are required; e. the proposed topic for the thesis, together with a brief statement outlining the proposed method of treatment, is approved by the physics graduate studies committee.

Component(s): Thesis Research

PhD Seminar, Thesis, and Comprehensive Examination Courses

Description: Students must present one pedagogical seminar on a topic from physics to an advanced-level undergraduate student audience. This course is evaluated on a pass/fail basis. No substitution is permitted.

Component(s): Seminar

Description: Students must give one seminar in the field of their research and participate in weekly scientific writing and oral communication workshops. This course should be taken when a significant portion of the thesis is completed, but before the thesis is submitted. Writing a proposal (for a small grant or external scholarship) is part of the requirements for this course. The course in evaluated on a pass/fail basis. No substitution is permitted.

Component(s): Seminar; Workshop

Description: The purpose of this course is to satisfy the department that the student is sufficiently prepared, in terms of background and ability, to pursue the research required for a PhD. Each student is required to prepare a written project in his/her field of research. The topic is general, and not part of the thesis work. The oral examination is based on the contents of this report. The Graduate Program Committee appoints an examination committee in consultation with the thesis supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for the subject chosen and also acts as a member of the examining committee for the oral presentation. The comprehensive examination must be completed within four months after the candidate's initial registration in the PhD program.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • The grade for this course is a Pass or Fail. In case of failure in the first attempt, only one more attempt is allowed to take place

Prerequisite/Corequisite:

A student who has passed the comprehensive examination is admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree. The student is allowed to continue working on a research project under the direction of a faculty member of the department only after passing the comprehensive examination.

Description: The research is in areas which reflect the interests of the faculty and the facilities of the department. The thesis must make a distinct and original contribution to knowledge, and be presented in acceptable literary form.

Component(s): Thesis Research

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