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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, 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 CLUMEQ 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 $21,400 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 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 18, 2013).

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:
  • GRE – recommended but not required

Application Deadlines

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
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 18, 2013).

Physiology

Physiology

Location

  • Department of Physiology
  • McIntyre Medical Sciences Building
  • 3655 Promenade Sir-William-Osler
  • Montreal, QC H3G 1Y6
  • Canada

About Physiology

The Physiology Department offers training leading to M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees. The scope of the ongoing research, and close connections with the McGill teaching hospitals, offer excellent opportunities for collaborations with hospital-based scientists. Research in the Department covers a broad range of topics from systems neuroscience to molecular and cellular biology. Interests include studies of nuclear and membrane receptors, transporters, channels, and signal transduction pathways, to the broader integration of physiological systems (cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, endocrine, immune, and central nervous systems) using an array of molecular and cellular approaches as well as quantitative techniques in data collection, analysis, and mathematical modelling by computational means. All graduate students in Physiology receive financial support. Any faculty member who agrees to supervise a student who does not hold a fellowship is obliged to provide financial support.

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Physiology (Thesis) (49 credits)
The M.Sc. program is intended for students from an academic background wishing to pursue careers in academia, industry, or in medicine. The multidisciplinary nature of the Department exposes students to a vast array of research interests and experimental approaches. Thesis work is available in a broad range of disciplines from molecular and cellular to systems physiology covering multiple organ systems. Students wishing to continue to the doctoral program have the option of transferring to the Ph.D., and waiving the M.Sc. thesis submission.
Master of Science (M.Sc.); Physiology (Thesis) — Bioinformatics (49 credits)
The intention of the Bioinformatics option is to train M.Sc. students to become researchers in this interdisciplinary field. This includes the development of strategies for experimental design, the construction of tools to analyze datasets, the application of modelling techniques, the creation of tools for manipulating of bioinformatics data, the integration of biological databases, and the use of algorithms and statistics. Students successfully completing the Bioinformatics option will be fluent in the concepts, language, approaches, and limitations of the field. The option consists of a number of interdisciplinary courses and a seminar designed to bring students from many backgrounds together and to provide a thorough overview of research in this field.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Physiology
The doctoral program is intended for students from a strong academic background wishing to pursue research-intensive careers in academia, industry, or in medicine. The multidisciplinary nature of the Department exposes students to a vast array of research interests and experimental approaches. Thesis work provides in-depth training in a broad range of disciplines from molecular and cellular to systems physiology covering multiple organ systems.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Physiology — Bioinformatics
The intention of the Bioinformatics option is to train Ph.D. students to become researchers in this interdisciplinary field. This includes the development of strategies for experimental design, the construction of tools to analyze datasets, the application of modelling techniques, the creation of tools for manipulating of bioinformatics data, the integration of biological databases, and the use of algorithms and statistics. Students successfully completing the Bioinformatics option will be fluent in concepts, language, approaches, and limitations of the field. The option consists of a number of interdisciplinary courses and a seminar designed to bring students from many backgrounds together and to provide a thorough overview of research in this field.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 17, 2013).

Physiology Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

Admission to the graduate program is based on an evaluation by the Graduate Student Admissions and Advisory Committee (GSAAC), and on being accepted by a research supervisor. Final acceptance is contingent upon approval of the recommendation of the applicant by Enrolment Services, from whom official notification will be received.

Candidates for the M.Sc. degree must hold a B.Sc. degree or its equivalent. Candidates who have completed an M.Sc. may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program. M.Sc. students interested in a Ph.D. may transfer to the Ph.D. program after 12–18 months, following successful completion of the comprehensive exam. The M.Sc. thesis requirement is then waived. Candidates with exceptional academic records may be considered to proceed directly to the Ph.D. degree from the B.Sc. degree.

The GRE General Test is required for anyone who does not have a degree from a North American university.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): minimum score of 600 on paper-based test (or 100 on the Internet-based test with each component score not less than 20). Only those whose mother tongue is English, who graduated from a North American institution (anglophone or francophone) or who completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at a foreign institution where English is the language of instruction are exempt from providing proof of competency in English.

A minimum CGPA of 3.2 or a GPA of 3.4 in the last two years is required for an application to be considered.

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.

Applications should be submitted as early as possible in order to facilitate processing. However, no applications will be considered after the application deadlines.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement
  • GRE – for applicants whose undergraduate degree is not from a North American university

Application Deadlines

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: June 1 Fall: March 15 Fall: Same as Canadian/International
Winter: Sept. 15 Winter: Sept. 15 Winter: Sept. 15
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A

Interested candidates should refer to the Department's website at www.medicine.mcgill.ca/physio for details regarding application procedures, as well as other important information.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 17, 2013).

Medical Physics

Programs | Application Procedures and Deadlines

Medical Physics

Location

  • Medical Physics Unit
  • Montreal General Hospital
  • Livingston Hall, Room L5-113
  • 1650 Cedar Avenue
  • Montreal, QC H3G 1A4
  • Canada
  • Telephone: 514-934-1934 ext. 44158
  • Fax: 514-934-8229
  • Email: mak [at] medphys [dot] mcgill [dot] ca
  • Website: www.medphys.mcgill.ca

About Medical Physics

The Medical Physics Unit offers an M.Sc. in Medical Radiation Physics. Facilities are available for students to undertake a Ph.D. in Medical Physics through the Department of Physics.

The Unit is a teaching and research unit concerned with the application of physics and related sciences in medicine, especially (but not exclusively) in radiation medicine; i.e., radiation oncology, medical imaging, and nuclear medicine.

The research interests of members of the Unit include various aspects of medical imaging, including 3D imaging, the development of new imaging modalities, and applications of imaging in radiation therapy; radiation dosimetry, Monte Carlo numerical simulation techniques; nuclear cardiology; and applications of radiation biology to therapy.

The M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs in Medical Physics are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs, Inc., sponsored by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), the American College of Medical Physics (ACMP), the American College of Radiology (ACR), and the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine (CCPM).

Master of Science (M.Sc.); Medical Radiation Physics (Thesis) (60 credits)

This two-year program provides a comprehensive introduction to the academic, research, and practical aspects of physics applied to radiation medicine. Students may go on to careers in clinical service as medical physicists in research-oriented hospital settings after clinical residency training; may consider development careers in industry in radiation therapy, diagnostic radiology, or nuclear medicine or nuclear energy; in governmental organizations as radiation safety experts, etc.; or pursue academic careers in university, industry, or government organizations. Our graduate programs are accredited by CAMPEP (Commission for Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs). Medical physicists must go through CAMPEP training (M.Sc. or Ph.D., followed by a residency training) to be eligible to sit certification exams. Certification is becoming a mandatory requirement for eligibility to practise in a clinical environment. The McGill M.Sc. program is research oriented, which has the additional advantage that the roads toward a Ph.D., followed by academic, industry, or clinical careers, are wide open. The practical and laboratory sections of the program are conducted in various McGill teaching hospitals.

The program comprises:

  1. didactic courses in radiation physics, radiation dosimetry, the physics of nuclear medicine and diagnostic radiology, medical imaging, medical electronics and computing, radiation biology, and radiation hazards and protection;
  2. seminars in radiation oncology, diagnostic radiology, and miscellaneous aspects of medical physics, e.g., lasers;
  3. laboratory courses in radiation dosimetry and medical imaging;
  4. an individual research thesis.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 17, 2013).

Medical Physics Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

Candidates applying to the M.Sc. program must normally hold a B.Sc. degree (honours or major) in Physics or Engineering, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0/4.0 (minimum of 70%).

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.

For information regarding the application procedure please go to the Medical Physics Unit admissions website at www.medphys.mcgill.ca and click on Academic and then Admissions Information.

Only complete applications will be considered.
Note: When completing the online application, the following information should be entered in the “Program Information” section to ensure that the application is routed to the correction department:
  • “Program 1” = MSc Med Radiation Physics-T
  • “Major” = Medical Radiation Physics-T
  • “Dept” = Medical Physics Unit

Supporting Documents: All supporting documentation must be uploaded to the online application; any documents sent by mail will be considered unofficial and missing from the application. For detailed instructions on how to upload required supporting documents, please see: www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/ready#docs.

Transcripts: All transcripts and degree certificates in a language other than English or French must be uploaded to the application in both the original language version and an officially certified English or French language version. If the applicant is accepted, original documents must be presented to the University prior to registration.

English Language Proficiency: 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 by a TOEFL, iBT, or IELTS. The original test report must be sent electronically by the testing centre to McGill University; to ensure successful transmission, the student's name given to the testing centre must be identical to the name used for the McGill online application, otherwise the electronic result will not be applied to the McGill application.
Note: McGill institution code = 0935; Medical Physics Unit = 99 (department not listed).

The test must have been taken within the two years prior to date of application review, i.e., not prior to May 01, 2012 for a graduate application to McGill for Fall 2014. Applicants from some countries are exempt from providing evidence of English language proficiency. For more information, see www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare/international/proficiency.

Reference Letters: In order for referees to receive an automated email with instructions to upload their recommendation, applicants must include referees' institutional email addresses in the online application, i.e., addresses such as Gmail or Yahoo will not be accepted.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:
  • GRE is not required for the Medical Physics M.Sc. program.
  • Applicants must either complete the “Applicant Statement” portion of the online application, or alternatively, may submit a one-page Personal Statement.

Application Deadlines

Students are admitted to the M.Sc. program only to start in the Fall term (in September) of a given academic year. Applications must be completed by January 15, 2014 to be considered for the Fall 2014 term. The online application for Fall 2014 will be available by the end of September 2013.

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15 Fall: Jan. 15
Winter: N/A Winter: N/A Winter: N/A
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 17, 2013).

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