Physics is in many ways the parent of the other natural sciences and its discoveries and laws continually affect their development. Its range and scope extend in space and time from subnuclear particles to the universe itself. The subfields of physics such as mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, atomic physics and quantum mechanics, to mention but a few, permeate all other scientific disciplines. People trained in physics are employed in industry, government, and educational systems where they find many challenges as teachers, researchers, administrators and in the rapidly developing area of scientific business.
The two main undergraduate programs in Physics at McGill are the Honours and the Major. The Honours program is highly specialized and the courses are very demanding. This program is appropriate for students who wish to make an in-depth study of the subject in preparation for graduate work and an academic or professional career in physics. The two joint honours, one in Mathematics and Physics and the other in Physics and Chemistry, are even more specialized and demanding. They are intended for students who wish to develop a strong basis in both physics and the other discipline and are intended as preparation for graduate work and a professional or academic career. Although these two programs have a bias for theoretical work, they are broad enough and strong enough to prepare students for further study in either experimental physics or respectively mathematics or chemistry. High standing in CEGEP or Freshman-year mathematics and physics is a requirement for admission to these Honours programs.
The Major program, on the other hand, offers a broad training in classical and modern physics and yet leaves room for the student to take a meaningful sequence of courses in other areas. It is intended primarily for students who wish to pursue careers in fields for which physics provides a basis. However, this program also provides a preparation for graduate studies.
It is possible for students to transfer from the Major program to the Honours program after the first year of studies; see Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Major Physics (60 credits).
There are also a number of other Major programs: Atmospheric Sciences and Physics, Physics and Computer Science, Physics and Geophysics, and Physiology and Physics, offered jointly with other departments, and a Minor program in Electrical Engineering, available only to students in the Physics Major program. In addition, there is a Minor in Physics and a core Physics component of the Liberal Science Program, for students less interested in a specialized education.
For those interested in a career as a high school science teacher, the concurrent program leading to both a B.Sc. and a B.Ed. degree provides several physics options. These combine physics courses from the Major and Minor programs with courses from either Biology or Chemistry and with Education courses. (For details, see Science or Mathematics for Teachers.)
Students from outside of the Province of Quebec will ordinarily register in the Science Freshman program. Physics offers two sequences of courses for this program: they are described below.
The list of pre- and corequisites is not absolute. In many cases permission of the Department may be sought to have a specific prerequisite waived. The procedure is to ask the professor in charge of the course to review the request for such a waiver. The prerequisites of the 100-level courses are described in the following section entitled Science Freshman Program.
Students interested in any of the Physics programs should contact the Department for an adviser.
A Science Major Concentration in Physics is available to students pursuing the B.A. & Sc. degree. This Major Concentration is described in the Bachelor of Arts and Science section of this publication; see Bachelor of Arts and Science > Physics (PHYS) for details.
IYS is a pregraduate work experience program available to eligible students and normally taken between their U2 and U3 years. For more information, see Industrial Practicum (IP) and Internship Year in Science (IYS).
The following programs are also available with an internship component:
Students entering McGill with a Quebec CEGEP profile in Science will normally begin their programs in Physics with courses at the 200-level.
Students without this profile should normally take courses PHYS 131 and PHYS 142 if they have previously taken physics at the high school level and should be taking differential calculus concurrently with PHYS 131 and integral calculus concurrently with PHYS 142. Those students who have not previously taken physics at the high school level and who intend to do programs in the Biological Sciences may instead take courses PHYS 101 and PHYS 102. All students are expected to have reasonable fluency in algebra, geometry and trigonometry at the high school level. If this is not the case, then MATH 112 should be taken concurrently with PHYS 101. Those for whom this is not necessary are advised to take MATH 139 concurrently with PHYS 101.
|John E. Crawford; B.A., M.A.(Tor.), Ph.D.(McG.)|
|Subal Das Gupta; B.A., M.Sc.(Calc.), Ph.D.(McM.) (William C. Macdonald Emeritus Professor of Physics)|
|Nicholas DeTakacsy; B.Sc., M.Sc.(Montr.), Ph.D.(McG.)|
|Harry C.S. Lam; B.Sc.(McG.), Ph.D.(MIT)|
|M.P. Langleben; B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.(McG.), F.R.S.C.|
|Jonathan K.P. Lee; B.Eng., M.Sc., Ph.D.(McG.)|
|Tommy S.K. Mark; B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.(McG.) (William C. Macdonald Emeritus Professor of Physics)|
|Robert B. Moore; B.Eng., M.Sc., Ph.D.(McG.)|
|Popat M. Patel; B.Sc., M.Sc.(Manc.), Ph.D.(Harv.)|
|Douglas G. Stairs; B.Sc., M.Sc.(Qu.), Ph.D.(Harv.) (William C. Macdonald Emeritus Professor of Physics)|
|John O. Strom-Olsen; B.A., M.S., Ph.D.(Cant.)|
|Martin J. Zuckermann; M.A., D.Phil.(Oxf.), F.R.S.C. (William C. Macdonald Emeritus Professor of Physics)|
|Jean Barrette; B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.(Montr.)|
|Robert Brandenberger; Dipl., A.M., Ph.D.(Harv.) (Canada Research Chair)|
|James M. Cline; B.Sc.(Calif.), M.Sc., Ph.D.(Cal. Tech.)|
|François Corriveau; B.Sc.(Laval), M.Sc.(Br. Col.), Docteur Sc.Nat.(Zurich)|
|Charles Gale; B.Sc.(Ott.), M.Sc., Ph.D.(McG.) (James McGill Professor)|
|Martin Grant; B.Sc.(PEI), M.Sc., Ph.D.(Tor.), F.R.S.C. (James McGill Professor)|
|Peter Grutter; Dipl., Ph.D.(Basel) (James McGill Professor)|
|Hong Guo; B.Sc.(Sichuan), M.Sc., Ph.D.(Pitt.), F.R.S.C. (James McGill Professor)|
|David Hanna; B.Sc.(McG.), M.A., Ph.D.(Harv.) (William C. Macdonald Professor of Physics)|
|Richard Harris; B.A.(Oxf.), D.Phil.(Sus.)|
|Victoria Kaspi; B.Sc.(McG.), M.A., Ph.D.(Prin.) (Canada Research Chair ) (Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology)|
|Shaun Lovejoy; B.A.(Cant.), Ph.D.(McG.)|
|Kenneth J. Ragan; B.Sc.(Alta.), D.Sc.(Geneva) (William C. Macdonald Professor of Physics)|
|Dominic H. Ryan; B.A., Ph.D.(Trin. Coll.)|
|Mark Sutton; B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.(Tor.) (Ernest Rutherford Professor of Physics)|
|Jorge Vinals; B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.(Barcelona) (Canada Research Chair)|
|Aashish Clerk; B.Sc.(Tor.), Ph.D.(C'nell) (Canada Research Chair)|
|Andrew Cumming; B.A.(Camb.), Ph.D.(Calif., Berk.)|
|Michael Hilke; B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.(Geneva)|
|Sangyong Jeon; B.Sc.(Seoul), M.Sc., Ph.D.(Wash.)|
|Guy Moore; B.Sc.(Calif.), Ph.D.(Prin.)|
|Steve Robertson; B.Sc.(Calg.), M.Sc., Ph.D.(Vic., BC)|
|Brigitte Vachon; B.Sc.(McG.), Ph.D.(Vic., BC) (Canada Research Chair)|
|Andreas Warburton; B.Sc.(Vic., BC), M.Sc., Ph.D.(Tor.)|
|Paul Wiseman; B.Sc.(St. FX), Ph.D.(W. Ont.) (joint appoint. with Chemistry)|
|Keshav Dasgupta; B.Sc., M.Sc.(Indian IT), Ph.D.(Tata)|
|Matt Dobbs; B.Sc.(McG.), Ph.D.(Vic., BC) (Canada Research Chair)|
|Guillaume Gervais, B.Sc.(Sherb.), M.Sc.(McM.), Ph.D.(North. Univ.)|
|Gil Holder; B.Sc., M.Sc.(Qu.), Ph.D.(Chic.) (Canada Research Chair)|
|Maria Kilfoil; B.Sc.(New Br.), M.Sc., Ph.D.(Nfld.)|
|Alex Maloney; B.Sc., M.Sc.(Stan.), Ph.D.(Harv.)|
|Walter Reisner; B.Sc.(Reed), Ph.D.(Prin.)|
|Bob Rutledge; B.Sc.(USC), Ph.D.(MIT)|
|Brad Siwick; B.A.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.(Tor.) (Canada Research Chair)|
|Tracy Webb; B.Sc.(Tor.), M.Sc.(McM.), Ph.D.(Tor.)|
|Z. Altounian; B.Sc., M.Sc.(Cairo), Ph.D.(McM.)|
|F. Buchinger; Dipl.(Mainz), Ph.D.(Joh. Gutenberg U.)|
|G. Brouhard (Biology)|
|M. Chacron (Physiology)|
|K. Gehring (Biochemistry)|
|P. Hayden (Computer Science)|
|M. Mackey (Physiology)|
|J. Nadeau (Biomedical Engineering)|
|E. Podgorsak (Radiation Oncology)|
|D. Rassier (Kinesiology & Physical Education)|
|D. Ronis (Chemistry)|
|J. Seuntjens (Medical Physics)|
|T. Szkopek (Electrical & Computer Engineering)|
|F. Verhaegen (Oncology & Medical Physics)|
|Curator (Rutherford Museum and McPherson Collection)|
|Jean Barrette; B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.(Montr.)|
The 18-credit Minor permits no overlap with any other programs. It contains no Mathematics courses, although many of the courses in it have Math pre- or corequisites. It will, therefore, be particularly appropriate to students in Mathematics, but it is also available to any Science student with the appropriate mathematical background. Students in certain ...
For more information, see Minor Physics (18 credits).
[Program registration done by Student Affairs Office] The Minor program does not carry professional recognition. Only students who satisfy the requirements of the Major Physics are eligible for this Minor. Students registered for this option cannot count PHYS 241 towards the requirements of the Major in Physics, and should replace this course by another Physics ...
For more information, see Minor Electrical Engineering (24 credits).
For more information, see Liberal Program - Core Science Component Physics (48 credits).
For more information, see Major Physics (60 credits).
This joint program in Physics and Geophysics provides a firm basis for graduate work in geophysics and related fields as well as a sound preparation for those who wish to embark on a career directly after the B.Sc.
For more information, see Major Physics and Geophysics (69 credits).
The Major Physics and Computer Science is designed to give motivated students the opportunity to combine the two fields in a way that will distinguish them from the graduates of either field by itself. The two disciplines complement each other, with physics providing an analytic problem-solving outlook and basic understanding of nature, while computer science ...
For more information, see Major Physics and Computer Science (66 credits).
Students entering this program for the first time should have high standing in mathematics and physics. In addition, a student who has not completed the equivalent of MATH 222 must take it in the first term without receiving credit toward the 78 credits required in the Honours program. A student whose average in the required and complementary courses in any ...
For more information, see Honours Physics (78 credits).
This is a specialized and demanding program intended for students who wish to develop a strong basis in both Mathematics and Physics in preparation for graduate work and a professional or academic career. Although the program is optimized for theoretical physics, it is broad enough and strong enough to prepare students for further study in either experimental ...
For more information, see Honours Mathematics and Physics (81 credits).
This is a specialized and demanding program intended primarily, although not exclusively, for students with a theoretical bias who are interested in working in fields of study at the crossroads of physical chemistry and physics. The program will prepare students for either theoretical or experimental graduate work in departments where there is an emphasis on such ...
For more information, see Honours Physics and Chemistry (80 credits).
See Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC). This program provides a firm basis for graduate work in atmospheric science and related fields as well as a sound preparation for those who wish to embark on a career directly after the B.Sc. Students should consult undergraduate advisers in both departments.
See Physiology (PHGY). This program provides a firm basis for graduate work in bio-physics and other interdisciplinary fields involving the physical and biological sciences.