Physics seeks to describe the nature of the physical world. It includes the study of everything from subatomic particles to the essence of the universe as a whole.
Physics plays a central role in most technological developments in the modern world, as well as in the theoretical foundation for most other areas of science.
Faculty: Faculty of Science
Degree options: BSc honours or major; Any degree, minor
Other degree options in the field of physics at Mount Allison:
- BSc honours in mathematics and physics
- Any degree, minor in applied physics
- Any degree, minor in astronomy
In the Mount Allison physics program, the development of fundamental concepts and mathematical formulation proceeds simultaneously in a selected series of courses in physics and mathematics.
The physics program also prepares you for more advanced study in applied areas such as photonics, materials science, or biomedical engineering; or for a career in such fields as astronomy, space research, or oceanography.
A key feature of the Mount Allison physics department is the experiential learning approach used in many courses – students learn through collaborative, hands-on activities.
Introductory physics involves a combination of mini-lectures, lab work, and collaborative learning experiences, covering subjects like:
- general physics
- physics for the life sciences
- physics of music and sound
- classical waves
- date acquisition and analysis
While in upper years you may choose to pursue studies in subjects like:
- quantum mechanics
- electricity and magnetism
- statistical mechanics
- advanced physical chemistry
- medical physics
- nuclei and fundamental particles
- solid state physics
- energy production and the environment
- modern optics
You are also encouraged to carry out independent research through work on your thesis or summer projects and to become involved in faculty research as research assistants.
Find a list of physics courses in the academic calendar – physics.
Popular career paths for physics graduates include:
- aerospace/biomedical engineer
- air traffic controller
- artificial intelligence developer
- equipment developer/designer
- robotics technician
- business systems analyst
- technical sales representative
“I would recommend the program to anyone who
enjoys problem solving, hands-on
type experiments, and applied
mathematics. Anyone with an interest in the weird workings of nature
would love the physics program.”
Honours physics, minor in mathematics (’14)
“You’ll learn everything from how to derive the Schrödinger equation to Einstein’s theory of special relativity, to the reason my glass casserole dish shattered after it was transferred from my oven directly into the cold sink (thermodynamically speaking of course). If you want to take physics, a keen interest in the universe and the laws that govern it are the only prerequisites necessary, although a strong background and interest in mathematics is also helpful.”
Honours physics (’14)
White Rock, BC
Physics students have access to:
- an integrated laboratory-classroom for experiential learning
- an optics lab and darkroom
- a digital videography facility
- astronomy, astrophysics, thermodynamic and fluids, and electronics and signal processing labs
- the Mount Allison Gemini Observatory
Students play integral roles in research at Mount Allison, with students employed each summer to work on physics research projects. Honours students, or students seeking summer research opportunities can approach faculty members for research groups that interests them. They include:
- experimental subatomic physics
- theoretical particle physics
- materials science
- medical physics
- stellar astronomy