Mount Allison University Campus

Academic Calendar 2020-2021

Table of Contents

Physics

Physics seeks to describe the nature of the physical world. The most fundamental of the natural sciences, it forms an essential part of any serious program of study in any branch of science, and indeed, to an increasing degree in the modern world, it is important in any well-balanced curriculum for the non-scientist as well.

In the undergraduate program the development of fundamental concepts and mathematical formulation proceeds simultaneously in a selected series of courses in physics and mathematics, from the elementary ideas of classical mechanics through modern relativistic, quantum and nuclear theories.

Whether the student wishes to prepare for more advanced study in physics itself; for a career in applied areas such as photonics, materials science, or biomedical engineering; for a career in such fields as astronomy, space research, or oceanography; or simply wishes to be informed in an important area of scientific thought, he/she will be able to make an appropriate choice of courses from the list.

Disciplinary B.Sc. Programs

MINOR in Physics is 24 credits earned as follows:

3from PHYS 1041, 1051
3from MATH 1111
3from PHYS 1551
15from MATH 1121 or Physics, including 6 from the 3/4000 level, chosen in consultation with the Program Advisor.

Note:  Only one of PHYS 1021, 1031 and 1401 can be used on the Physics Minor

Note:  Students who complete the Minor in Applied Physics may not complete this Minor

MINOR in Applied Physics is 24 credits earned as follows:

3from PHYS 1041, 1051
6from PHYS 1551, 2801
3from MATH 1111
12from PHYS 1401, 3361, 3581, 3701, 3751, COMP 1631, 1731, MATH 1121, including 6 from the 3/4000 level, chosen in consultation with the Program Advisor

MINOR in Astronomy is 24 credits earned as follows:

9-12from PHYS 1021, 1031, 3001, 3021
3from PHYS 1041, 1051
9-12from BIOL 2811, 3021, CHEM 2111, 2211, 3251, GENS 1401, 3451, PHIL 1651, 2511, PHYS 1551, 3701, 3811, 4311, 4411, 4851, or maximum of 3 credits from BIOL 2701, COMP 1731, GENS 2431, MATH 2311, PHYS 2801
Note: Many of these courses have one or more prerequisite courses. Students should plan their sequence of courses in consultation with the Program Advisor.

Note:  At least 6 credits need to be from the 3/4000 level for this Minor.

MAJOR in Physics is 63 credits earned as follows:

6from PHYS 1051, 1551
6from CHEM 1001, 1021
3from BIOL 1001, BIOL 1501, BIOC 1001, GENS 1401, PSYC 1001 or PSYC 1011
3from COMP 1631, MATH 2221
12from MATH 1111, 1121, 2111, 2121
21from PHYS 2251, 2801, 3101, 3451, 3701, 3811, 4411
12from Physics with at least 9 at the 3/4000 level

Note: Students pursuing a Major in Physics may be allowed to substitute PHYS 1041 for PHYS 1051 with permission of the Department

HONOURS in Physics is 87 credits earned as follows:

51credits as in the first six lines of the Major
6from PHYS 4990
6from PHYS 3201, 3821
3from MATH 3141
3from MATH 2221, 3131, 3161, 3221, 3411
3from Physics at any level, chosen in consultation with the Program Advisor
3from Physics at the 3/4000 level, chosen in consultation with the Program Advisor
6from Physics at the 4000 level, chosen in consultation with the Program Advisor
6from Physics or Mathematics at the 3/4000 level

Note: Students pursuing Honours in Physics may be allowed to substitute PHYS 1041 for PHYS 1051 with permission of the Department

Interdisciplinary B.Sc. Program

B.Sc. HONOURS in Mathematics and Physics is 90 credits earned as follows:

3from BIOL 1001, BIOL 1501, BIOC 1001, GENS 1401, PSYC 1001 or PSYC 1011
18from MATH 1111, 1121, 2111, 2121, 2211, 2221
3from COMP 1631
6from CHEM 1001, 1021
12from PHYS 1051, 1551, 2251, 2801
3from MATH/PHYS 3451
9from MATH 3111, 3211, 3311
6from MATH 3141, 3161
6from MATH 3131, 3151, 3221, 3231, 3411, 3531, 4111, 4121, 4311, PHYS 4101, 4201, 4311, 4831, 4851, 4911; only 3 credits may be selected from the listed Physics courses
18from PHYS 3101, 3201, 3701, 3811, 3821, 4411
6from PHYS 4990

Note: Students pursuing Honours in Mathematics and Physics may be allowed to substitute PHYS 1041 for PHYS 1051 with permission of the Department

PHYSICS COURSES

Note:  The listing of a course in the Calendar is not a guarantee that the course is offered every year.

Note:  Students must obtain a grade of at least C- in all courses used to fulfill prerequisite requirements. Otherwise, written permission of the appropriate Department Head or Program Co-ordinator must be obtained.

Solar System Astronomy

This course introduces observational and solar system astronomy. Topics include observational astronomy, celestial mechanics, solar system patterns, theories of origin, radiometric dating, processes which transform planet surfaces, planetary atmospheres, comets, asteroids, meteoroids, and the search for life beyond Earth. It considers extrasolar planetary systems in the context of theories of solar system formation. [Note 1: In addition to daytime lab periods all students will need to be present at a number of night time observing periods at the university observatory.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 1.5 Hours)

Stars, Galaxies and the Universe

This course introduces stellar and galactic astronomy as well as cosmology. Topics include optics and telescopes, atomic structure and spectra, the sun, stellar types and evolution, stellar remnants (black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs), quantum and relativistic ideas, galaxies, and dark matter and energy. [Note 1: In addition to daytime lab periods all students will need to be present at a number of night time observing periods at the university observatory.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 1.5 Hours)

Physics for the Life Sciences

This algebra-based course introduces and describes from a Physics perspective the many physical processes involving living organisms. Topics include biomechanics, kinesiology, energy and the body, fluid flow, electrical signaling, electrocardiography and electroencephalography, sound and hearing, light and vision, microscopy, and imaging of brain function. [Note 1: This course is designed for students planning to major in a life science.] (Format: Integrated Lecture/Collaborative Learning/Laboratory 6 Hours) (Exclusion: PHYS 1051)

General Physics I

This algebra-based course introduces classical physics together with some aspects of modern physics. Topics include kinematics, dynamics, work and energy, momentum in one dimension, fluid mechanics, waves and sound, DC circuit electricity, geometrical and physical optics, and black body radiation, and atomic spectra. [Note 1: Students enrolling in Physics 1051 should normally have completed a university preparatory level course in Mathematics.] (Format: Integrated Lecture/Collaborative Learning/Laboratory, 6 Hours)(Exclusion: PHYS 1041)

The Physics of Music and Sound

This course explores various aspects of music production, sound transmission, and sound perception. Topics include: simple harmonic motion, waves and sound, standing waves, spectral analysis, the human ear and voice, auditorium acoustics, and woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. It also introduces basic mathematical analysis. (Format: Integrated Lecture and Laboratory 3 Hours)

General Physics II

Prereq: 3 credits from MATH 1111, 1151; 3 credits from PHYS 1041, 1051; or permission of the Department
This calculus-based course introduces further issues in classical and modern physics. Topics include time-dependent acceleration, gravitation, rotational motion, angular momentum, simple harmonic motion, electric forces, fields and potentials, magnetism, and electromagnetic induction. The course also introduces special relativity, nuclear reactions, particle physics, and cosmology. (Format: Integrated Lecture and Laboratory, 6 Hours)

Special Topic in Physics

This course either focuses on topics not covered by the current course offerings in a department or program or offers the opportunity to pilot a course that is being considered for inclusion in the regular program. [Note 1: Prerequisite set by Department/Program when the topic and level are announced. Note 2: When a Department or Program intends to offer a course under this designation, it must submit course information, normally at least three months in advance, to the Dean. Note 3: Students may register for PHYS 1991 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Variable)

Classical Waves

Prereq: PHYS 1551; MATH 1121; or permission of the Department
In this course the study of free, forced and damped harmonic oscillator is followed by a treatment of discrete coupled oscillators in one dimension. This is then generalized to the study of traveling and standing waves in continuous media. Ideas of Fourier components of signals are introduced. A number of examples will be taken from physical optics, and the topics in this course provide the theoretical basis for understanding modern photonic devices. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours)

Data Acquisition and Analysis

Prereq: MATH 1111; 3 credits from PHYS 1041, 1051; or permission of Department
This course provides techniques and software tools that assist in the use of computers to enhance work in science. It introduces basic methodology for data manipulation such as error analysis, statistical analysis of data, linear regression, graphing, aspects of simulation, digitization, interfacing and data acquisition. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours)

Special Topic in Physics

This course either focuses on topics not covered by the current course offerings in a department or program or offers the opportunity to pilot a course that is being considered for inclusion in the regular program. [Note 1: Prerequisite set by Department/Program when the topic and level are announced. Note 2: When a Department or Program intends to offer a course under this designation, it must submit course information, normally at least three months in advance, to the Dean. Note 3: Students may register for PHYS 2991 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Variable)

Astrophysics

Prereq: PHYS 1551; PHYS 1031; or permission of the Department
This course introduces a mathematical approach to the study of the universe. Topics include: celestial mechanics, stellar spectra, Hertzsprung-Russell diagrams, star formation, stellar evolution, stellar deaths and remnants, galaxy types and evolution, large-scale structure, and an introduction to cosmology and general relativity. [Note 1: In addition to daytime lab periods all students will need to be present at a number of night time observing periods at the university observatory.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours)

Life in the Universe

Prereq: Second-year standing; 3 credits from PHYS 1021, 1031; or permission of the Department
This course will examine issues concerning the origin, evolution and survival of life in the universe from an astrophysical perspective. Topics covered include cosmology and the origin and evolution of the universe, solar system origin, detection of extrasolar planets, what is life and what conditions are necessary to sustain it, searches for life in the solar system, habitable zones, complex organics in extraterrestrial materials, delivery of organics to the primordial and current Earth and other planets, astrophysical threats to life on Earth, life in space, and searches for extraterrestrial intelligence. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours)

Electricity and Magnetism

Prereq: PHYS 1551; MATH/PHYS 3451; MATH 2111; MATH 2121; or permission of the Department
This course commences the formal treatment of electricity and magnetism. The electric field and potential of point-like and continuous charge configurations are calculated. Certain special techniques such as the method of images and multipole expansion are introduced. Magnetostatics, Lorentz force, and magnetic induction are discussed. The electric and magnetic fields in matter are also examined leading to the derivation of Maxwell's equations. This course covers vector analysis, differential calculas, and integral calculus as needed. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory/Problem Solving 3 Hours)

Statistical Mechanics

Prereq: PHYS 2251; MATH 2111; or permission of the Department
This course examines the connections between the macroscopic thermodynamic properties of a system, such as pressure and temperature, and the microscopic details, such as the behavior of the atoms and molecules that make up the system. Starting from the number of accessible states and its relation to entropy, the familiar thermodynamic relations are derived. Maxwell-Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein, and Fermi-Dirac distributions are discussed along with the conditions under which they apply. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

Advanced Physical Chemistry

Prereq: CHEM 2211; or 6 credits from PHYS 3701, 3821; or permission of the Department
This course examines physical and chemical applications of kinetics, including those related to reaction mechanisms and dynamics. Specific topics include: experimental methods in kinetics; introduction to quantum mechanics needed to understand chemical kinetics; the potential energy surface (PES) for a chemical reaction and the effects of different features of the PES on the rate of chemical reactions; the effects of zero point energy and quantum tunneling on reaction rates. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed with CHEM 3231 and may therefore count as 3 credits in either discipline.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours) (Exclusion: CHEM 3221; any version of CHEM 3231 previously offered with a different title)

Digital Signal Processing and Electronics

Prereq: COMP 1631; PHYS 1551; or permission of the Department
This course introduces students to digital electronic circuits and digital signal processing, with a focus of understanding current applications and concepts. Topics include: transistors, digital logic gates, Boolean algebra, logic circuit design, latches and flip-flops, counting circuits, adder circuits, digital logic families, digital sampling, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion, Fourier Transforms, correlation and convolution, noise, digital filtering, and digital image processing. Students will gain hands-on experience working with integrated circuits and micro-controllers. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed with COMP 3361 and may therefore count as three credits in either discipline.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours)

Methods of Mathematical Physics

Prereq: MATH 2111; 3 credits from MATH 2121, PHYS 2251; or permission of the Department
This course provides students with a selection of mathematical skills needed in more advanced physics courses. It introduces frequently utilized mathematical methods in theoretical physics in close connection with physics applications. Topics include vector and tensor analysis, use of special functions, operators and eigenvalue problems. Fourier analysis, and complex variable techniques. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed with MATH 3451 and may therefore count as three credits in either discipline.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours)

Medical Physics

Prereq: PHYS 1551; or permission of the Department
This course considers fundamental concepts of ionizing radiation, diagnostic applications of medical physics, and therapeutic applications of medical physics. Diagnostic topics include x-rays, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, and nuclear medicine. Therapeutic topics include radiation generators, absorbed dose calculations, dose measurement, and brachytherapy. [Note 1: This course is intended both for physics students who are considering a career in medical physics or in the field of medicine, and for students in other programs with similar interests.] (Format: Integrated Lecture and Laboratory 3 Hours)

Thermodynamics

Prereq: PHYS 2801; MATH 2111; or permission of the Department
The objective of the course is to develop a clear and broad understanding of the First and Second Law of Thermodynamics, with application to a wide range of problems. Topics include: the general energy equation, First Law, Second Law, entropy, limiting-cycle efficiencies, irreversibility and availability, steam power plant, refrigeration and gas engine applications. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours)

Energy Production and The Environment

Prereq: PHYS 1551; CHEM 1021; or permission of the Department
This course examines different aspects of energy harvesting, storage, and transmission with particular emphasis on the environmental impacts, sustainability, and development of renewable energy resources. It also introduces modern technologies based on the development of novel materials. Specific technologies and topics may include: wind power, photovoltaic generation, solar energy, nuclear fission, and fusion, hydroelectric, combustion based fuel generation, tidal energy and fuel cells. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed with CHEM 3751 and may therefore count as 3 credits in either discipline.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours)

Modern Physics

Prereq: PHYS 2251; or permission of the Department
This course considers the two major revolutionary ideas of modern physics, special relativity and quantum mechanics. It considers Lorentz transformations, length contraction and time dilation, and relativistic mass and momentum, and introduces four-vector notation. It also examines evidence for quantization along with early models for atoms and discusses De Broglie's hypothesis for the wave nature of matter. Other topics include the Schrodinger equation and its solutions for some basic systems. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours)

Quantum Mechanics

Prereq: PHYS 3811; MATH/PHYS 3451; or permission of the Department
This course is an introduction to formal quantum mechanics. It covers time-independent quantum mechanics in one dimension with various potentials, including the harmonic oscillator, the delta function, the free particle, and the finite square well. Hilbert spaces and generalized statistical interpretations are discussed. The course concludes with an examination of quantum mechanics in three dimensions, including the hydrogen atom and an introduction to the general theory of angular momentum. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

Special Topic in Physics

This course either focuses on topics not covered by the current course offerings in a department or program or offers the opportunity to pilot a course that is being considered for inclusion in the regular program. [Note 1: Prerequisite set by Department/Program when the topic and level are announced. Note 2: When a Department or Program intends to offer a course under this designation, it must submit course information, normally at least three months in advance, to the Dean. Note 3: Students may register for PHYS 3991 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Variable)

Electromagnetic Theory

Prereq: PHYS 3101; 3 credits from PHYS 2251, MATH 2121; or permission of the Department
This course introduces the following topics: electromagnetic wave equations in vacuum and materials; conservation of energy, momentum, and angular momentum for electromagnetic fields; retarded potentials and the electromagnetic fields of moving point charges; radiation by oscillating electric and magnetic dipoles and accelerating point charges; and the relativistic formulation of Maxwell's equations. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

Solid State Physics

Prereq: PHYS 2251; or permission of the Department
This course studies the various quantized models used to describe the thermal, electrical, optical and electromagnetic properties of solids. It also analyses conductors, semi-conductors and insulators. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours)

Modern Optics

Prereq: PHYS 2251; PHYS 2801; PHYS 3101; or permission of the Department
This course provides an advanced treatment of a number of topics in modern optics with particular emphasis on topics of industrial and research importance. A brief treatment of geometric optics will concentrate on the design of optical systems. Topics in physical optics may include dispersion in materials, production and properties of polarized light, interference, diffraction in the Fresnel and Fraunhofer limits, Fourier optics, holography and an introduction to quantum optics. Applications of this theoretical background will be made in such areas as fibre-optic transmission, photonic devices, thin film coatings, and electrochromic devices. There will also be some considerations of electro-optical devices such as lasers, charge coupled device detectors, image intensifiers and photodiodes. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours, Laboratory 3 Hours)

Classical Mechanics and Relativity

Prereq: PHYS 3811; MATH/PHYS 3451; or permission of the Department
This course covers three-dimensional dynamics of both particles and rigid bodies using various coordinate systems. The course focuses on an introduction to Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms, followed by application of these approaches to problems in constrained motion. Other topics covered include motion in resistive fluids, planetary orbits, motion in accelerated reference frames and the inertia tensor. The latter part of the course provides an introduction to general relativity including spacetime invariants, metric and metric tensor, the field equations and tests of general relativity. (Format: Integrated Lecture/ Laboratory, 6 Hours)

Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Prereq: CHEM 3231; or 6 credits from PHYS 3821, MATH 2221; or permission of the Department
This course extends the study of principles of quantum mechanics, comparing properties of continuous and discrete representations. It also develops time-independent perturbation theory for first order, second order, and degenerate cases and treats small perturbations through direct diagonalization of large matrices. This course examines variational principle, central force problems, elements of scattering theory, and the addition of quantized angular momenta. The course concludes with applications of quantum mechanics in molecules, aspects of relativistic quantum mechanics, time dependence in quantum and quantum statistics. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed with CHEM 4831 and may therefore count as 3 credits in either discipline.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours)

Fundamental Particles

Prereq: PHYS 3821; or permission of the Department
This course introduces the standard model of elementary particle physics.It examines the classification of the building blocks of matter into leptons, quarks, and gauge bosons. Mesons, baryons, and their properties based on symmetry and conservation principles are discussed, along with Feynman diagrams, quantum electrodynamics, and the weak and strong interactions.

Current Topics in Physics

Prereq: PHYS 3811; or permission of the Department
This course will introduce students to current topics and trends in physics which are not represented in other courses in the curriculum. This will be a seminar format course with sessions led by students, faculty and guest speakers. A key part of the course will be development of skills for identification and critical evaluation of primary literature in physics. (Format: Seminar)

Independent Study in Physics

This course permits senior students, under the direction of faculty members, to pursue their interest in areas not covered, or not covered in depth, by other courses through a program of independent study. [Note 1: Permission of the Department/Program Advisor. Students must obtain consent of an instructor who is willing to be a supervisor and must register for the course prior to the last day for change of registration in the term during which the course is being taken. Note 2: A program on Independent Study cannot duplicate subject matter covered through regular course offerings. Note 3: Students may register for PHYS 4950/51 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Independent Study)

Independent Study in Physics

This course permits senior students, under the direction of faculty members, to pursue their interest in areas not covered, or not covered in depth, by other courses through a program of independent study. [Note 1: Permission of the Department/Program Advisor. Students must obtain consent of an instructor who is willing to be a supervisor and must register for the course prior to the last day for change of registration in the term during which the course is being taken. Note 2: A program on Independent Study cannot duplicate subject matter covered through regular course offerings. Note 3: Students may register for PHYS 4950/51 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Independent Study)

Honours Thesis

Normally, a student electing this course is expected to accomplish work equivalent to any fourth year course. Students are encouraged, but not required, to work on the project in the Department during the summer immediately preceding the senior year. The topic often involves experimental work, but must have a theoretical component. (Format: Independent Study/Thesis)

Special Topic in Physics

This course either focuses on topics not covered by the current course offerings in a department or program or offers the opportunity to pilot a course that is being considered for inclusion in the regular program. [Note 1: Prerequisite set by Department/Program when the topic and level are announced. Note 2: When a Department or Program intends to offer a course under this designation, it must submit course information, normally at least three months in advance, to the Dean. Note 3: Students may register for PHYS 4991 more than once, provided the subject matter differs.] (Format: Variable)