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Physics And Astrophysics

Faculty List

  • P. Artymowicz, M.Sc. (Warsaw University), Ph.D. (N. Copernicus Astron. Center, Polish Academy of Sciences), Professor
  • J. Bayer Carpintero, B.Sc. (Los Andes, Bogota), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Toronto), Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
  • C.C. Dyer, B.Sc. (Bishop's), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Toronto), Professor Emeritus
  • W.A. Gough, B.Sc. (Waterloo), M.Sc. (Toronto), Ph.D. (McGill), Professor
  • A. Jacobs, B.A.Sc., B.Sc. (Waterloo), Ph.D. (Illinois), Professor Emeritus
  • J.D. King, B.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Saskatchewan), Professor Emeritus
  • G. Lorincz, B.Sc., M.Sc. (Toronto), Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
  • J.P. Lowman, B.Sc. (Toronto), M.Sc., Ph.D. (York, Canada), Professor
  • K. Menou, B.Sc. (Angers), M.Sc. (Toulouse), Ph.D. (Paris XI), Associate Professor
  • J.M. Perz, B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Cantab), Professor Emeritus
  • H. Rein, M.A.St. (Cambridge), Ph.D (Cambridge) Assistant Professor
  • S. Tawfiq, B.Sc., M.Sc. (Al-Mustansiriyah), Ph.D. (Trieste, Italy), Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
  • D. Valencia, B.Sc., M.Sc. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Harvard), Assistant Professor
  • M. Wells, B.Sc., Ph.D (Australian National) Associate Professor

Physics is the study of the basic laws that govern how material objects move and influence each other. Astrophysics is the application of the principles of Physics to the study of objects in the universe and their interactions and evolution, thus covers the study of objects such as planets, stars, galaxies, black holes, and the universe as a whole, known as cosmology. The laws of Physics can accurately describe the effect of a star on the motion of a planet, or of the Earth on the motion of a satellite, the effect of a molecule on a nearby atom, or of an atomic nucleus on an electron. Although Newton's laws of motion adequately describe some of these situations, in most cases it is necessary to apply the more recently discovered refinements of these laws - quantum mechanics and Einstein's theories of special and general relativity, together with the understanding of electric and magnetic effects so beautifully synthesized in Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism. From these basic principles many of the properties of gases, liquids, solids, plasmas, nuclear matter, planets, stars, etc., can be related to the interactions among the individual units of which these forms of matter are composed. Physics allows us to describe the properties of light, sound and heat up to the point where these enter our senses, as well as x-ray, radio, cosmic and other radiations of which we are not directly aware. The remarkable properties of some materials under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure, and of other materials when an electric current passes through them, form the basis of a wide range of applications in the technology of our every-day lives, from microwave ovens to cellular telephones and GPS navigation. It is possible to develop, in mathematical language, theories that so accurately describe physical phenomena that they may be used to predict the results of many carefully controlled experiments. The study of physics and astrophysics, therefore, involves both mathematics and the techniques of experimentation.

At the University of Toronto Scarborough, students who are interested in Physics and Astrophysics can take the Specialist Program in Physics and Astrophysics, the Specialist Program in Physical & Mathematical Sciences, the Major Program in Physics and Astrophysics, the Major Program in Physical Sciences, or the Specialist Program in Environmental Physics.

Students interested, or enrolled in, a Physics programs should note the following:

1.    MATA30H3 is a strictly enforced corequisite for both PHYA10H3 and PHYA11H3.
2.    Any one of MATA35H3, MATA36H3, or MATA37H3 is a suitable corequisite for PHYA21H3 and PHYA22H3. However, please keep in mind that:
             a.    MATA35H3 is the course best suited for students in life sciences programs that are not planning to pursue further physical sciences programs or advanced MAT courses.
             b.    MATA36H3 is the recommended course for students interested in programs in physical sciences and not planning on advanced MAT courses.
             c.    MATA37H3 is the recommended course for students interested in programs in physical sciences in conjunction with advanced MAT courses.
3.    Students planning to combine a program listed below with any program in mathematics are advised to take MATA37H3 as this course provides the background and pre-requisite for advanced MAT courses.
4.    The course MATA67H3 is a pre-requiste for MATA37H3. Additionally, MATA67H3 is a recommended course for students pursuing any of the programs listed below as it will enhance the foundational skills required for discussions on the theories presented in advanced courses in PHY, AST, and MAT.
5.    Given the current nature of research in the physical sciences students interested in any of the programs listed below are advised to take an introductory course in programming in their first year of studies. Suitable options include CSCA08H3 for students with interest in subsequent programming courses, or CSCA20H3 for students without interest in subsequent programming courses.
6.    The course MATB24H3 is a strongly recommended option for students in their second year of studies following any of the programs listed below. This course will enhance the mathematical preparation of students for topics in core areas of Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, and Quantum Mechanics, as well as provide quantitative and analytical skills needed for advanced studies in most fields in physical sciences

Combined Degree Programs, Honours Bachelor of Science (various) or Honours Bachelor of Arts (various)/ Master of Teaching

The Combined Degree Programs for Honours Bachelor of Science/Honours Bachelor of Arts programs at UTSC (various) and the Master of Teaching (MT) offered by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education are designed for students interested in studying the intersections of the Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, or French, and Education coupled with professional teacher preparation. They allow exceptional students who are registered in specified Specialist and Major programs to apply during their third year of studies, and be considered, for admission to the MT.

The Combined Degree Programs options include:

  • Environmental Physics (Specialist), Honours Bachelor of Science/ Master of Teaching
  • Environmental Physics (Specialist Co-op), Honours Bachelor of Science/ Master of Teaching
  • Physics and Astrophysics (Specialist), Honours Bachelor of Science/ Master of Teaching

For more information, including Admission and Program requirements, see the Combined Degree Programs section of this Calendar.

Service Learning and Outreach
For an experiential learning opportunity that also serves others, consider the course CTLB03H3 (Introduction to Service Learning), which can be found in the "Teaching and Learning” section of the Calendar.