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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), Associate 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
  • D. Weaver, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (Toronto), 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 program 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 PHYA22H3. However, MATA35H3 is not an accepted corequisite for PHYA21H3. Only MATA36H3 or MATA37H3 will are accepted as corequisites for PHYA21H3. In addition, 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.    MATA67H3 is a prerequisite 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.    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.
7.    PHYD01H3 and PHYD72H3 have a minimum CGPA requirement of 2.5. Students who do not meet the minimum requirement will not be given permission to take these courses, and will not be able to complete programs that include these courses as a requirement.

Combined Degree Programs, Honours Bachelor of Science/ Master of Engineering
The Combined Degree Programs for UTSC Honours Bachelor of Science (HBSc) with the Master of Engineering (MEng) offered by the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering allow exceptional students who are registered in the Specialist/Specialist Co-op programs in Environmental Physics to apply during Year 3 of their studies, and be considered, for admission to the MEng programs in either Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry or Civil Engineering. These Combined Degree Programs allow students to complete 1.0 credit in courses that may be counted towards both degrees.

Combined Degree Programs options are:

  • Environmental Physics (Specialist), Honours Bachelor of Science/ Civil Engineering, Master of Engineering
  • Environmental Physics (Specialist Co-op), Honours Bachelor of Science/ Civil Engineering, Master of Engineering
  • Environmental Physics (Specialist), Honours Bachelor of Science/ Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Master of Engineering
  • Environmental Physics (Specialist Co-op), Honours Bachelor of Science/ Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Master of Engineering

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

Combined Degree Programs, Honours Bachelor of Science/ Master of Environmental Science
The Combined Degree Programs for UTSC Honours Bachelor of Science (HBSc) with the Master of Environmental Science (MEnvSc) offered by the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences allow exceptional students who are registered in one of the Specialist/Specialist Co-op programs identified below to apply during Year 3 of their studies, and be considered, for admission to the MEnvSc program. They are designed for students interested in pursuing a career in environmental sciences within the green-sector, geosciences, industry, consulting, government and policy organizations. These Combined Degree Programs give students the opportunity to: (1) begin exploring their academic interests in Year 4 of their studies; (2) complete 1.0 credit in courses that may be counted towards both degrees; and (3) enrol in the MEnvSc in the Summer session between Years 4 and 5 in order to complete either a two-month academic or internship opportunity, in addition to the mandatory four-month academic or internship opportunity completed in the MEnvSc program alone.

Combined Degree Programs options are:

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

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

Combined Degree Programs, Honours Bachelor of Science/ Master of Teaching
The Combined Degree Programs for UTSC Honours Bachelor of Science (HBSc) /Honours Bachelor of Arts (HBA) with the Master of Teaching (MT) offered by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education provide students with a direct pathway to the completion, in 6 years, of their Undergraduate degree, Ontario Teacher’s Certificate of Qualifications, and Master’s degree.​ These Combined Degree Programs allow students to complete 1.0 credit in courses that may be counted towards both degrees.

The Combined Degree Programs options are:

  • 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
  • Physics and Astrophysics (Major), 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.