Office of the Registrar
Faculty of Science (2011/2012)
8.9 Physics and Physical Oceanography

The following undergraduate programs are available in the Department:

  1. Applied Mathematics and Physics Joint Honours

  2. Applied Mathematics and Physics Joint Major

  3. Biochemistry and Physics Joint Honours

  4. Chemistry and Physics Joint Honours

  5. Computer Science and Physics Joint Honours

  6. Computer Science and Physics Joint Major

  7. Earth Sciences and Physics Joint Honours

  8. Earth Sciences and Physics Joint Major

  9. Geophysics and Physical Oceanography Joint Honours

  10. Honours in Environmental Physics

  11. Honours in Physics

  12. Major in Environmental Physics

  13. Major in Physics

  14. Minor in Physics

    Details of these joint programs are given after the Regulations for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science. Other joint programs may be arranged in consultation with the departments concerned.

    Physics and Physical Oceanography course descriptions are found at the end of the Faculty of Science section under Course Descriptions, Physics and Physical Oceanography.

    Notes:

    1. The attention of students intending to follow any one of the programs listed above is drawn to the UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS - General Academic Regulations (Undergraduate), governing the appropriate degree. Additional Departmental requirements are given below.

    2. Faculty advisors are available to provide advice to students who are registered in, or who are considering registering in, any of the programs. Students are urged to consult with these advisors at their earliest opportunity in order to ensure that they select appropriate courses and programs. Students with credits in Physics courses which are not listed in this calendar should consult with the Department.

    3. The six course stream consisting of Physics 1020, 1021, 1051, 2053, 2055, 2750, and 2820 or alternatively the seven course stream of Physics 1020, 1050, 1051, 2053, 2055, 2750, and 2820 is intended to provide a cohesive overview of Physics for potential Physics majors.

    4. Physics 1050 is open to and recommended for students who have completed Level II Physics, Level III Physics and Level III Advanced Mathematics. Mathematics 1000 must be taken at the same time as, or be completed prior to, taking Physics 1050. Students who have completed Mathematics 1090 and Physics 1050 are required to complete Mathematics 1000 before registering for Physics 1051.

    5. Physics 1020 is intended for students who do not qualify for Physics 1050, and while it may be taken by students who have no background in Physics it is recommended that students wishing to take Physics 1020 should have completed at least one of Level II and Level III Physics. Students who complete Physics 1020 and Mathematics 1000 are eligible for admission to Physics 1051. Students may receive credit for only one of Physics 1050 and 1020.

    6. Students who have successfully completed Advanced Placement courses in both Physics and Mathematics will normally be eligible for direct entry into Physics 1051, 2053 and 2750, all of which are offered in the Fall semester. Such students are advised to consult the Department.

    7. Where circumstances warrant, any prerequisites listed below may be waived by the Head of the Department.

    8. Supplementary examinations will be allowed in certain Physics courses which have written final examinations. Students should refer to the Faculty of Science Degree Regulations for details.

8.9.1 Minor in Physics

A minor in Physics will consist of 24 credit hours in Physics courses which must include Physics 1050 (or 1020), 1051, 2053, 2055, 2750, 2820. Only 6 credit hours at the 1000 level can be used to fulfill the 24 credit hours. For those students whose major is Chemistry or Biochemistry, the 24 credit hours in Physics will not include 2053.

For Electrical Engineering students, 24 credit hours in Physics which must include Physics 1050 (or 1020), 1051, 2750, 3000, and 3550 with an additional 9 credit hours selected from Physics 2820, 3600, 3750, 3751, 3800, 4000, 4220, 4600 or other 3000 or 4000 level courses subject to approval by the Head of Physics and Physical Oceanography and the Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

8.9.2 Major in Physics
  1. English 1080 and English 1110 (or equivalent).

  2. Chemistry 1050 and 1051 (or Chemistry 1010, 1011, and 1031).

  3. Mathematics 1000 and 1001.

  4. Mathematics 2000, Mathematics 2050 and Mathematics 3260

  5. Physics 1050 (or 1020) and 1051.

  6. Physics 2053, 2055, 2750, 2820, 3220, 3400, 3500, 3750 and 3900.

  7. An additional 12 credit hours in physics courses numbered 3000 or higher which shall include at least 6 credit hours selected from the courses numbered Physics 3000, 3150, 3300, the former 3410, 3550, 3600, 3751.

  8. Physics 3810 or Mathematics 3202.

Mathematics 1001, 2000 and 2050 are prerequisites to many Physics courses and should be completed by the end of second year. Mathematics 3260 is co-requisite to Physics 3220 and should be completed before the winter of the third year. Those who intend to make a career in Physics should note that additional Physics courses are strongly recommended. Mathematics 2051 and Computer Science 1510 or 2602 are also recommended.

8.9.3 Honours in Physics
  1. English 1080 and English 1110 (or equivalent).

  2. Chemistry 1050 and 1051 (or Chemistry 1010, 1011, and 1031).

  3. Mathematics 1000 and 1001.

  4. Computer Science 1510.

  5. Mathematics 2000, 2050 and 3260.

  6. Physics 1050 (or 1020) and 1051.

  7. Physics 2053, 2055, 2750, 2820, 3220, 3230, 3400, 3500, 3600, 3750, 3820, 3900, 4400, 4500, 4820, 4850, 4900, 490A/B.

  8. Physics 3810 or Mathematics 3202.

  9. An additional 12 credit hours in physics courses numbered 3000 or higher which shall include at least 6 credit hours selected from physics courses numbered 4000 or higher.

  10. Fifteen credit hours in applicable elective courses

Note:

Certain of the graduate courses may be taken in the final year of the Honours Program with the permission of the Head of the Department.

Only 6 credit hours at the 1000 level in each of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics can be used to fulfil the 120 credit hours required for the Honours program. The inclusion of Mathematics 1090, the sequence of Physics 1020, 1021, and 1051 or the substitution of Chemistry 1010, 1011 and 1031 for Chemistry 1050 and 1051 will each increase the number of credit hours required for the Honours Physics program by three.

An Honours thesis is to be presented on work undertaken by the candidate under the guidance of a Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography faculty member. The thesis comprises the 6 credit hour course Physics 490A/B. Students should seek departmental advice regarding a thesis project no later than the winter preceding the semester in which the project will be started.

The Honours Physics program in and beyond the third year requires a familiarity with computer programming and numerical analysis. In choosing electives for this program, the Department recommends that students supplement the prescribed program with the following courses Computer Science 2602 and 3731 (or Mathematics 2130 and 3132). Mathematics 2051 and 3000 are also suitable electives. For specific courses and recommendations about electives, consultation with a faculty advisor in the Department is suggested.

The Department recommends that students wishing to complete the Honours Physics program in 120 credit hours follow the schedule given below. This schedule is intended for students who qualify for Physics 1050 and 1051. Other suggested course schedules are available from the Head of the Department.

Recommended Course Schedule - Honours Physics Program

Year

Semester I

Semester II

I

II

III

IV

  • Physics 4900
  • Physics 4850
  • Physics 490A
  • Physics Elective
  • Elective
8.9.4 Major in Environmental Physics
  1. English 1080 and English 1110 (or equivalent)

  2. Chemistry 1050 and 1051 (or Chemistry 1010, 1011, and 1031)

  3. Mathematics 1000 and 1001

  4. Mathematics 2000, Mathematics 2050, Mathematics 3202, Mathematics 3260

  5. Physics 1050 (or 1020) and 1051

  6. Physics 2053, 2055, 2750, 2820, 3220, 3820, 3300, 3340, 4340

  7. Physics 3400 or 3500

  8. Earth Sciences 1000, 1002, 2502, 3170, 3172

  9. Geography 2102, 2195, 3120

  10. Biology 2120, 2600

The Major degree offers students a fair degree of latitude in choosing electives, students are encouraged to take electives from Geography and Earth Sciences: of particular merit would be any of Earth Sciences 3600, 3611 or 4105.

8.9.5 Honours in Environmental Physics
  1. English 1080 and English 1110 (or equivalent)

  2. Chemistry 1050 and 1051 (or Chemistry 1010, 1011, and 1031)

  3. Mathematics 1000 and 1001

  4. Mathematics 2000, Mathematics 2050, Mathematics 3202, Mathematics 3260

  5. Physics 1050 (or 1020) and 1051

  6. Physics 2053, 2055, 2750, 2820, 3220, 3300, 3340, 3820,4205, 4300, 4340, 4820, 490A/B

  7. Physics 3400 or 3500

  8. Earth Sciences 1000, 1002, 2502, 3170 and 3172

  9. Geography 2102, 2195, 3120

  10. Biology 2120, 2600

An honours thesis is to be presented on work undertaken by the candidate under the guidance of a Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography faculty member. The thesis comprises the 6 credit hour course Physics 490A/B. Students should seek departmental advice regarding a thesis project no later than the winter preceding the semester in which the project will be started.

The Department recommends that students wishing to complete the Honours Environmental Physics program in 120 credit hours follow the schedule given below. This schedule is intended for students who qualify for Physics 1050 and 1051. Other suggested course schedules are available from the Head of the Department.

Those courses in which a grade of “B” or better or an average of 75% or higher are required, as specified in Clause 6.a. of the Regulations for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science, are 45 credit hours in Physics courses, and 15 credit hours in other courses (beyond the 1000 level) selected from the specified program courses in Earth Sciences, Geography and Biology.

Recommended Course Schedule - Honours Environmental Physics Program

Year

Semester I

Semester II

I

II

III

IV

Credit Restrictions for Present Physics Courses with Former Courses Table

Credit May Be Obtained For Only One Course From Each of The Pairs of Courses Listed in This Table

Present Course

Former Course

Present Course

Former Course

1020

1200

1051

2050

1021

1201

1051

1061

1051

1052

3750

3700

2820

2200

3750

3850

2053

2450

490A/B

4990

2055

2550

1051

2054

2750

2700

1051

2550

3220

3200

4400

3410

3230

2210

4820

3821

4900

3920

Physics 1021 and the former Physics 1201 will be considered equivalent for prerequisite purposes. Physics 1051 and 2820 will be considered equivalent to the former Physics 1054 and 2054 for prerequisite purposes. Physics 1051 and the former Physics 1052 and 2050 will be considered equivalent for prerequisite purposes.

Not all courses are offered every year. Students should check with the Department prior to registration to plan programs.