Professor and Head of the Department J. Whitehead

The following Departmental Regulations are supplementary to the General Regulations governing the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees. A thorough familiarity with the latter Regulations should be regarded as the prerequisite to further reading in this section.

The Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography compiles, and regularly reviews, a brochure which contains reasonably detailed descriptions of currently active research projects, as well as a comprehensive listing of recent research publications, and other material which may be of interest to prospective graduate students.


The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is offered in Atomic and Molecular Physics, in Physical Oceanography, and in Condensed Matter Physics.

1. A program of study for the Ph.D. degree in Atomic and Molecular Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, or Physical Oceanography shall normally include a minimum of nine graduate credit hours, beyond those required for the M.Sc. degree. However, depending on the student's background and area of specialization, more or fewer graduate and/or undergraduate courses may be required.

2. A Comprehensive Examination (as prescribed under General Regulation H) shall be an oral one, and may include the presentation of a written research proposal.


In accordance with Senate's Policy Regarding Inactive Courses, courses which have not been offered in the previous three academic years and which are not scheduled to be offered in the current academic year have been removed from the following listing. For information about any of these inactive courses, please contact the Head of the Department.

A selection of the following graduate courses will be offered to meet the requirements of candidates, as far as the resources of the Department will allow:

6000. Condensed Matter Physics I
6001. Condensed Matter Physics II
6002. Superconductivity
6003. Path Integral Techniques in Condensed Matter Physics
6010-19. Special Topics in Condensed Matter Physics
6040. Biophysics
6060-69. Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Areas
6200. Nonlinear Dynamics
6308. Ocean Dynamics I
6309. Ocean Dynamics II
6310. Physical Oceanography
6313. Physical Fluid Dynamics
6315. Polar Oceanography
6316. Ocean Measurements and Data Analysis
6317. Ocean Acoustics
6318. Numerical Modeling
6319. Climate Dynamics
6320. Turbulence
6321. Coastal Oceanography
6322. Stratified Fluids
6323. Stability Theory
6324. Models in Ocean Ecology
6360-69 (excluding 6363). Special Topics in Physical Oceanography
6400. Statistical Mechanics
6402. Theory of Phase Transitions
6403. Stochastic Processes, Time-Dependent and Non-Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics
6502. Electrodynamic
6363. Laboratory Experiments in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
6721. Molecular Spectroscopy
6722. Light Scattering Spectroscopy
6740. Physics of Atomic Collisions
6760-69. Special Topics in Atomic and Molecular Physics
6800. Group Theory
6810-19. Special Topics in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics
6850. Quantum Mechanics I
6851. Quantum Mechanics II
6910-19. Special Topics in Experimental and Applied Physics



Present Course Former Course Present Course Former Course
6000 6050 6321 6303
6002 6822 6321 6304
6003 6820 6323 6303
6200 6821 6402 6401
6308 6312 6403 6401
6309 6311 6403 6824
6313 6301 6502 6500
6001 6051 6318 6304
6316 6302 6502 6501
6317 6823 6722 6790

Members of the department carry out research in several areas of experimental and theoretical physics, including atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter physics, physical oceanography, theoretical geophysics and applied nuclear physics. In atomic and molecular physics, there are experimental programmes in collision-induced infrared ab-sorption spectroscopy, electron emission spectroscopy of simple molecules, molecular ions and free radicals, laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy, and theoretical work on atomic and molecular collisions. The work in condensed matter physics includes experimental programmes in solid state nuclear magnetic resonance on systems of biophysical interest, Raman spectroscopy of lipid bilayers and membranes, studies of phase transitions using Brillouin and Raman spectroscopy, studies of instabilities and pattern formation in simple fluid dynamical systems, and spectroscopic studies of molecular crystals. Theoretical condensed matter physics research in-volves studies of magnetism, superconductivity, and the statistical mechanics of polymers and lipid bilayers. The Physical Oceanography group carries out field and laboratory research on several projects which take advantage of Newfoundland's unique oceanographic environment, using acoustic and other remote sensing techniques. These include studies of circulation on the Newfoundland and Labrador shelves, Labrador current dynamics, fjord dynamics, sub-marine canyons and sediment transport dynamics in the nearshore zone and on the shelf. Theoretical oceanographic studies involve the modelling of ocean circulation, gravity wave phenomena and other aspects of ocean dynamics. Research in theoretical geophysics is concentrated on whole-Earth dynamics, with special emphasis on the physics of the liquid core (the Earth's "third ocean") as inferred from its wave spectrum and the associated momentum transfer to the deformable solid parts of the Earth. In nuclear physics, research is done on the atmospheric concentrations of radioactive elements and on dosimetry for medical applications.

NOTE: For Geophysics, see EARTH SCIENCES

Last modified on May 21, 2002 by MaryJane Puxley

Up to Calendar Table of Contents

Back to Registrar's Office Home Page