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Physics

Physics

Location

  • Department of Physics
  • Ernest Rutherford Physics Building
  • 3600 University Street
  • Montreal QC H3A 2T8
  • Canada
  • Telephone: 514-398-6485 (Graduate Information)
  • Fax: 514-398-8434
  • Email: graduate [dot] physics [at] mcgill [dot] ca
  • Website: www.physics.mcgill.ca

About Physics

The Department of Physics currently has a faculty of approximately 40 members, including several holders of Canada Research Chairs and many other prestigious named Chairs. Additionally, we host an impressive number of postdoctoral fellows and research associates and run one of the largest and most vibrant graduate programs in North America. The graduate student enrolment is currently approximately 150.

Faculty members in the Department of Physics are recognized internationally for their excellence. Our members have received national and international prizes and fellowships including Les Prix Du Quebec, Steacie Prize, Sloan Fellowships, NSERC, and others too many to list here. They are also in constant demand as reviewers and referees. Students who earn advanced degrees from the Department of Physics will not only get an excellent education, they will also receive valuable guidance and network contacts to help with subsequent career steps.

The Department offers full M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree programs in a wide range of disciplines including astrophysics, atmospheric physics, bio-physics, condensed-matter physics, high-energy physics, laser spectroscopy, material physics, non-linear dynamics, nuclear physics, statistical physics, and medical-radiation physics.

Although most of the teaching and research facilities are located in the Ernest Rutherford Physics Building, the Department has space and research facilities in the Wong Materials Science Centre, adjacent to the Rutherford Building on McGill's lower campus. Our groups also conduct research at laboratories around the world including Argonne, CERN, FermiLab, SLAC, and TRIUMF.

Departmental researchers enjoy technical support in the areas of engineering, electronics, and precision machining. The Department maintains an excellent conventional machine shop as well as the McGill Nanotools-Microfab facility. Most of the scientific computing is done with an extensive in-house network of powerful workstations and several Beowulf clusters.

Remote access to supercomputing sites in Canada and the United States is also possible including the McGill HPC super-computing facility which is a part of the nationwide network of High Performance Computing Installations in Quebec.

The Department of Physics currently guarantees financial support of $22,000 per year for every graduate student. This minimum level of support can be supplemented by winning one of McGill's large number of in-house scholarships, worth up to $25,000 per year. For details, see www.physics.mcgill.ca/grads/finance.html.

Graduate students in the Department of Physics come from many different countries and cultures from all over the world, providing a stimulating cosmopolitan atmosphere in the Department. This, coupled with the unique opportunities afforded by the city of Montreal, guarantees a quality of life that is second to none among Canadian universities. For graduate admission and application information, please visit www.physics.mcgill.ca/grads/application.html.

Fields of Research:

High-Energy Physics

Theoretical: The McGill high energy theorists have interests in a wide range of areas within quantum field theory, string theory, quantum gravity, and cosmology. Research areas of the high-energy theory faculty include applications of quantum field theory techniques to relativistic heavy ion collisions, baryogenesis, superstring cosmology, theory of cosmological perturbations, black hole physics, supergravity, three dimensional gravity, and various topics related to the physics and mathematics of superstring theory. The high-energy theorists have close connections to the nuclear theory group, the astrophysics group, the high-energy experimentalists, and to members of the Mathematics Department.

Experimental: The experimental high-energy physics group is engaged in a number of experiments at the research frontiers of the field, both in subatomic physics and in high-energy astrophysics. These include:

  • Electron-positron collisions: a group works on the BaBar experiment at SLAC and R&D for the proposed SuperB experiment at LNF in Italy, with specific interest in CKM matrix elements and physics beyond the Standard Model through studies of rare decays, and on R&D for a future International Linear Collider, with interest in calorimeter development.
  • Electron-proton collisions: a group is studying high-energy lepton-quark interactions using data from the ZEUS experiment at DESY in Hamburg, with interest in deep inelastic scattering and flavour production.
  • Hadron-hadron collisions: CDF and Dzero groups employ Fermilab's energy frontier Tevatron proton-antiproton accelerator to study top and bottom quarks and search for the Higgs boson. A group is also involved in major contributions to the next energy frontier at CERN's LHC, with work on the High Level Trigger for the ATLAS experiment.
  • High-energy particle astrophysics: ground-based gamma-ray astronomy using the newly commissioned VERITAS telescope array and development of the next-generation detector.

Students at the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels are offered a strong program of research in a challenging and rapidly advancing field. Short term master's projects are based mainly on instrumentation or data analysis conducted on campus, while Ph.D. research may involve an extended stay at one of the world's major research laboratories.

Nuclear Physics

Theoretical: Current research programs include transport equations for heavy ion collisions at intermediate energy; nuclear equation of state from heavy ion collisions; fragmentation at intermediate energy; electromagnetic probes in relativistic heavy ion collisions; effective Lagrangians for hadronic systems at finite temperature; and Quark-Gluon Plasma, QCD.

Experimental: Current research programs in experimental nuclear physics at McGill are focused on two main axes:

  • The study of heavy-ion reactions at relativistic energies to determine the properties of nuclear matter at high temperatures and density. This program is being performed at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, and at the Large Hadron Collider facility at CERN.
  • The study of ground state properties of unstable nuclei using laser spectroscopy techniques and ion traps. This work is being carried out using the Canadian Penning trap facility at the Argonne National Laboratory and at the accelerator ISOLDE (CERN), and the ISAC facility at TRIUMF.

Furthermore, the Nuclear Physics Group has an active in-house research program that applies the ion trap and laser techniques to the detection of trace quantities of material and contaminants, and to ion spectroscopy.

Condensed Matter Physics

Theoretical: Current research programs involve the nonequilibrium, ab-initio modelling of molecular and nanoelectronic systems and devices; the study of quantum effects in interacting mesoscopic electron systems; nonequilibrium phenomena in extended systems; and applications of statistical mechanics to problems in biophysics.

Experimental: Current research programs involve the study of the time evolution of non-equilibrium systems via x-ray diffraction, fundamental quantum properties of strongly correlated systems at temperatures very near absolute zero, macromolecular interactions in living cells using single-photon and two-photon imaging, molecular electronics and nanoelectronic systems by scanning probe microscopy, dynamics and mechanical properties of soft matter systems and spatial organization and dynamics in living cells, mechanical behaviour of very small systems by high-resolution force microscopy, electronic properties that emerge at the limits of miniaturization and quantum computing, and nuclear methods to study interactions in magnetic materials that lead to exotic magnetic ordering behaviour. This includes studies of novel materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, unconventional superconductors, guantum dots, heterostructures, amorphous systems, and spin glasses.

Astrophysics

Research in the astrophysics group covers a wide range of topics including cosmology, galaxy formation, high-energy astrophysics, and extrasolar planets. This involves observations at all wavelengths, from gamma rays and X-rays to sub-mm, infrared and radio, using international observatories in space and on the ground. Experimental groups at McGill are involved in development and operation of ground-based high-energy gamma-ray observatories, and cosmic microwave background experiments. Theoretical work includes studies of how astrophysics and observational cosmology can experimentally determine the most important properties of dark matter and dark energy, studies of the diverse physics of neutron stars, and extrasolar planet formation.

Nonlinear Variability in Geophysics

This group studies nonlinear dynamical processes in the atmosphere and other geophysical systems, especially those associated with turbulent, chaotic, and extremely variable behaviour. Emphasis is placed on multifractal analysis and modelling as well as the development of new theories and techniques covering wide ranges of scale in time and space. Data from a variety of in situ and remotely sensed sources are used. This includes satellite data of the Earth's atmosphere and surface as well as high-quality precipitation data from the McGill Radar Weather Observatory.

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Physics (Thesis) (45 credits)
McGill graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry as well as in government. Our former students teach in colleges and universities world-wide and others have research positions in governmental and industrial laboratories. Still others work in the financial sector or as entrepreneurs making good use of the analytic and quantitative problem-solving skills acquired during their education as physicists. Consult the Department for more information about this program.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Physics
McGill graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry as well as in government. Our former students teach in colleges and universities world-wide and others have research positions in governmental and industrial laboratories. Still others work in the financial sector or as entrepreneurs making good use of the analytic and quantitative problem-solving skills acquired during their education as physicists. Consult the Department for more information about this program.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 22, 2014).

Physics Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

M.Sc.

The normal requirement is a B.Sc. in Physics or equivalent, with high standing.

Ph.D.

The normal requirement is an M.Sc. in Physics or equivalent. On the recommendation of the Departmental Graduate Committee, fast-tracking from the M.Sc. program into the Ph.D. program may be granted after one year, if:

  • the student has fulfilled the M.Sc. coursework requirements, or;
  • the Committee determines that the student qualifies based on the student's academic record.

All students who transfer to the Ph.D. program are required to fulfil Ph.D. coursework requirements in addition to the courses taken as an M.Sc. candidate.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance will be offered to students in the form of a bursary, and teaching and research assistantships. For new students, financial support will be offered at the time of acceptance. Forms are given and filled out on registration day.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:

Application Deadlines

The application deadlines listed here are set by the Department of Physics and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15
Winter: Sept. 15 Winter: Sept. 15 Winter: Sept. 15
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 22, 2014).

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Location

  • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • McConnell Engineering Building, Room 602
  • 3480 University Street
  • Montreal QC H3A 0E9
  • Canada
  • Telephone: 514-398-7344 or 514-398-1406
  • Fax: 514-398-4470
  • Email: grad [dot] ece [at] mcgill [dot] ca
  • Website: www.mcgill.ca/ece

About Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department offers programs of graduate studies leading to a degree of Master of Engineering (thesis or project/non-thesis) or Doctor of Philosophy.

The research interests and facilities of the Department are very extensive, involving more than 50 faculty members and 300 postgraduate students. The major activities are divided into the following groups: Bio-Electrical Engineering; Telecommunications and Signal Processing; Systems and Control; Integrated Circuits and Systems; Nano-Electronic Devices and Materials; Photonics Systems; Computational Electromagnetics; Power Engineering; Intelligent Systems; and Software Engineering. The Department is equipped with state-of-the-art experimental laboratories and there are numerous multidisciplinary research projects, so students are provided with an ideal environment to develop new technologies, discover novel phenomena, and design revolutionary devices.

Research Facilities

The Department has extensive laboratory facilities for all its main research areas. In addition, McGill University often collaborates with other institutions for teaching and research.

  • The laboratories for research in Robotics, Control, and Vision are in the Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM).
  • Telecommunications laboratories focus their work on signal processing, broadband communications, and networking; these laboratories form part of the Centre for Advanced Systems and Communications (SYTACom), a McGill University Research Centre devoted to fostering innovation in the area of communications systems and technologies via advanced research and training of highly qualified personnel.
  • The Integrated Circuits and Systems Laboratory (ICaS) supports research in FPGAs, MEMS, micro- and nano-systems, VLSI architectures for digital communications and signal processing, mixed signal, RF, and microwave integrated circuits and components, simulation of integrated circuits and microsystems, integrated antennas, design for testability, reconfigurable computing, high-speed circuits, and packaging.
  • Antenna and microwave research, and optical fibre and integrated optics research are carried out in a fully equipped facility.
  • The Photonics Systems laboratory includes continuous wave and femtosecond Ti: Sapphire lasers, diode lasers, extensive optics and optomechanics, and sophisticated electronic and imaging equipment.
  • Solid state facilities include measurement equipment for magnetic and electric properties of materials, vacuum deposition, and RF sputtering systems.
  • The Computational Electromagnetics Laboratory provides tools for numerical analysis, visualization, interface design, and knowledge-based system development.
  • There is also a well-equipped laboratory for power electronics and power systems research.

The Department has extensive computer facilities. Most research machines are networked, providing access to a vast array of hardware. In addition, McGill University is linked to the Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal (CRIM) and the University Computing Centre.

There are three other universities in Montreal: Concordia University is the other English-language university; l’Université de Montréal, and its affiliated school of engineering, l’École Polytechnique, is the largest francophone university; l’Université du Québec has a campus in Montreal and in major towns throughout the province.

The proximity of these schools to McGill University ensures that a rich array of courses is available to suit individual needs. McGill also collaborates on research projects with many organizations such as l’Institut de recherche d’Hydro-Québec (IREQ) and l’Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS).

Financial Support

Graduate Assistantships: The Department awards several graduate assistantships to qualified full-time graduate students. These are normally funded from research grants or contracts awarded to individual faculty members. In return, the graduate assistant is expected to perform research-related tasks assigned by the professor from whose grant the assistantship is paid. A good part, but not necessarily all, of this work can be used for preparing a thesis. There is no special application form for graduate assistantships; all applicants who indicate a need for support on their application forms will be considered.

Teaching Assistantships: Graduate students, with the approval of their supervisors, may also undertake teaching assistantships for additional remuneration. These are awarded at the beginning of the term. The Department can make no prior commitments.

Graduate students can also receive financial aid through fellowships, loans, or bursaries. For more information, please refer to www.mcgill.ca/gps/funding/students-postdocs, or contact:

  • Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, McGill University
  • James Administration Building, Room 400
  • 845 Sherbrooke Street West
  • Montreal QC, H3A 0G4
Master of Engineering (M.Eng.); Electrical Engineering (Thesis) (46 credits)
The Master of Engineering degree (thesis option) involves six graduate courses and an externally examined thesis. This program is research oriented and the thesis is expected to involve a thorough examination of a topic of current interest in the research area within the Department. Undertaking this program at McGill University provides students with an opportunity to conduct intensive research under the supervision of researchers who are leaders in their field. The program is an ideal preparation for a Ph.D. degree or an industrial research career.
Master of Engineering (M.Eng.); Electrical Engineering (Thesis) — Computational Science and Engineering (47 credits)
This program is under review for 2014–2015 and may not be offered. Please inquire.
Master of Engineering (M.Eng.); Electrical Engineering (Non-Thesis) (47 credits)
The Master of Engineering degree (project option) involves nine graduate courses and an internally examined research project. The program is oriented more toward professional development than the thesis option. The project is of significantly less scope than a thesis, and includes options such as a technical review, a design project, or a small-scale research project. Undertaking nine courses provides students with a very solid background in electrical and computer engineering, both in terms of breadth across the entire field and depth in the area of specialty. Graduates frequently pursue careers in research and development. A part-time program is possible.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Electrical Engineering
The Ph.D. degree recognizes a significant novel research contribution that is described in an externally examined thesis. Students who are admitted to this program normally have a master's degree. Research is conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. The Department provides an excellent environment for conducting research, with supervision by internationally renowned researchers and access to state-of-the-art experimental facilities. Graduates from the program most commonly pursue research and teaching careers in academia or research careers in industrial labs.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 22, 2014).

Electrical and Computer Engineering Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

English Proficiency Requirement: Applicants to graduate studies whose mother tongue is not English, and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone), must submit documented proof of competency in English. Accepted English language tests and minimum test score requirements can be found on our website: www.mcgill.ca/ece/admissions/graduate/process. Official results must be received before the application deadlines.

GRE Requirement: Applicants who have not completed a degree (undergraduate or graduate) in Canada must provide a GRE score on the General Aptitude Test. Applicants must achieve a combined score of at least 1100 on the verbal and quantitative sections and a minimum score of 3.5/6.0 on the analytical writing assessment section of the GRE General Test, or score at least 145/170 on the verbal section, 155/170 on the quantitative section and 3.5/6.0 on the analytical writing assessment of the GRE Revised General Test.

M.Eng. Degree (Admission Requirements)

The applicant must be the graduate of a recognized university and hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent, as determined by McGill, in Electrical or Computer Engineering or a closely allied field. An applicant holding a degree in another field of engineering or science will be considered but a Qualifying year may be given to make up any deficiencies. The applicant must have a high academic achievement: a standing equivalent to a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 out of 4.0, or a GPA of 3.2 out of 4.0 for the last two full-time academic years. Satisfaction of these general requirements does not guarantee admission. Admission to graduate studies is limited and acceptance is on a very competitive basis.

Ph.D. Degree (Admission Requirements)

In addition to satisfying the requirements for the M.Eng. program, candidates must hold a suitable master's degree from a recognized university. The applicant must have a high academic achievement: a standing equivalent to a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 out of 4.0. Satisfaction of these general requirements does not guarantee admission. Admission to graduate studies is limited and acceptance is on a very competitive basis.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

The Department accepts most of its graduate students for September; the chance of acceptance for January is significantly lower.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:

Application Deadlines

The application deadlines listed here are set by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at www.mcgill.ca/gps/contact/graduate-program.

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15
Winter: Oct. 15 Winter: Sept. 15 Winter: Same as Canadian/International
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A

All supporting documents must be uploaded to the online application system (uApply) by the application deadlines.

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2014-2015 (last updated Jul. 22, 2014).

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