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
- Bachelor of Science (BSc), honours or major
- Any degree, minor
Other degree options in the field of physics at Mount Allison:
- NEW! BSc honours, computer science and physics (pending MPHEC approval)
- BSc honours, 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.
Not sure about the difference between a major, a minor, and an honours?
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
Dr. Douglas Milburn ('86)
Bachelor of Science, physics
Co-founder, Advanced Glazings
Advanced Glazings was co-founded by Doug ('86) and Michelle ('87) Milburn in 1995 to develop, manufacture, and market sustainable and commercially viable technologies related to sunlight.
"The mathematics and physics honours provides a comprehensive overview of the core mechanisms of physics and math and you will leave with a broad understanding of the physical phenomena that undergird our very existence. The critical thinking and problem-solving skills that this degree develops will serve you in any field you wish to pursue. This program is best suited to someone who is inclined towards the quantitative sciences, and is up for a difficult, but nonetheless rewarding, challenge."
Andrew Moreira (’19)
Double honours math and physics, minor in international politics
“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.”
Victoria Loosemore ('14)
White Rock, BC
“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.”
Joshua Landry ('14)
Honours physics, minor in mathematics
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 astrophysics
Dr. David Fleming
Recipient of the Paul Paré Excellence Award, previously served as Chair of the Division of Medical and Biological Physics of the Canadian Association of Physicists, and as a Canada Research Chair