Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science


9001. Comprehensive Examination

A required examination for PhD candidates which allows them to demonstrate that they have mastered an adequate level of general knowledge in fundamental physics and are adequately prepared to pursue their PhD research work in their chosen sub-field.  It consists of two components:  a written exam to test problem solving ability, and the development of a research proposal both as a written document and an oral presentation followed by an oral examination.  The entire exam must be passed in order to continue in the PhD program.  The written part is normally taken at the beginning of the third term of PhD registration. This exam tests the student's knowledge of physics in the areas of classical mechanics, electricity & magnetism, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics & statistical mechanics. If necessary, a second attempt is allowed at the end of the third term of study. The written research proposal is due at a specified time after passing the written comprehensive examination.  Non-credit requirement.

9005. Mathematical Methods of Physics.

A course designed to give the student a working knowledge of the methods most commonly used in solving physical problems.
3 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9012. Fundamentals of Computation.

This course will provide students with the computing background necessary for successful research in (astro)physics. Several high-level languages will be used. The course will cover the use of libraries, debugging and verification, modularization, documentation and testing, and will also introduce advanced topics including optimization and precision. Emphasis will be placed on `best practices' for scientific computing.

9029. Data and Error Analysis.

The goal of this course is to establish a high level of mastery in basic data and error analysis. The goal of this course is not to provide students an introduction to a wide range of advanced techniques in data and error analysis. Students completing this course will possess the required tools to publish, present and correctly defend their results.
3 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9031. Current Topics.

Topic varies.
2 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9059. Physics Graduate Seminar.

Oral presentation of recent developments in the student's area of research.
Non-credit requirement.

9203. Quantum Mechanics.

Formal structure of quantum mechanics. Symmetries, angular momentum theory. Time-dependent perturbation theory. Quantization of the electromagnetic field.
3 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9302. Classical Electrodynamics.

Topics include Maxwell's equations, wave propagation, radiating systems (multipole expansion, Lienard-Wiechart potentials), covariant formulation of electromagnetism. The material covered allows for the discussion and analysis of important examples directly related to important physical phenomena such as Faraday rotation, plasma physics, magnetohydrodynamics, and synchrotron and bremsstralung radiation.
3 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9315. Plasma Physics.

Basic plasma concepts and introductory topics in the theory of highly ionized gases, including cross sections, transport, waves, and thermonuclear fusion.
3 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9332. Advanced Topics.

Topic varies.
2 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9365. General Relativity I.

Half course. One term.

9366. General Relativity II.

Half course. One term.

9404. Statistical Physics.

Fundamentals of statistical mechanics, theory of ensembles; quantum statistics; imperfect gases, special topics.
3 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9515. The Study of Nanomaterials and Nanostructures.

This course is intended for an interdisciplinary audience. We cover the electronic, optical, magnetic and superconducting properties of nanomaterials and nanostructures. Examples of nanomaterials are semiconductor nanostructures (quantum dots, quantum wires), carbon based nanomaterials (graphene, carbon nanotubes), nanocrystals, nanofibers, nano-waveguides, metamaterials, photonic crystals, biomedical nanomaterials, etc. We discuss the underlying principles and applications of the emerging field of nanomaterials and nanostructures. Scientific principles, theory and experiments relevant at the nanoscale dimensions are presented. Finally, we discuss current and future nanotechnology applications in engineering, electronics, optoelectronics, photonics, plasmonics, polaritonics, nano-optics, quantum computing and medicine.
2 lecture hours.  Half course. One term.

9518. Many Body Theory.

Second quantization and Green's functions in condensed matter physics, decoupling approximations, diagrammatic perturbation theory.
2 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9524. Molecular Symmetry and Spectroscopy.

This course is intended to provide the student with a thorough introduction to molecular spectroscopy. The emphasis will be on understanding molecules and their spectra by making use of their symmetry (more precisely the symmetry of the Hamiltonian) for problem solving. The necessary tools will be developed to explain the electronic, vibrational, and rotational spectroscopy of simple molecules. We will concentrate on situations involving interactions between gas phase molecules and weak electromagnetic radiation.
3 lecture hours/week. Half course. One term.

9601. Planetary Image Interpretation (Combined with GL 9557).

This course will introduce students to the processes and products of impact cratering on Earth and throughout the Solar System, including: impact cratering processes; the threat; the products of impact cratering; the effects of impact cratering as destructive and beneficial; techniques and research methods; comparative case studies of various impact structures.

This course will feature weekly lectures, student presentations, hands-on laboratories, and a field trip to the Sudbury impact structure.
3 lecture hours/week. Half course. One term.

9640. Biomedical Ultrasound.

Fundamental physics and instrumentation of biomedical ultrasound imaging presented at a level suited to graduate students performing thesis research in ultrasound imaging. The course will encourage students to develop a unified conceptual and mathematical understanding of ultrasound imaging and will emphasize the use of computer simulation to illustrate and extend key concepts. Topics covered will include physical acoustics, beam and image formation, coherent speckle, and blood-flow and tissue-motion estimation.

9655. Radiological Physics.

Instrumentation, apparatus, and methods. 
2 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9660. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

Establish knowledge of the principles and techniques of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). To apply previously learned physics concepts (from electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics) to NMR. To introduce applications of NMR in materials science, chemistry and medicine.
2.5 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9661. Magnetic Resonance Imaging System Fundamentals.

9720. Atmospheric Physics.

An introduction to the basic physical mechanisms involved in atmospheric phenomena such as the aurora, gravity waves, atmospheric electricity, greenhouse effect, and the ozone layer. Emphasis is also given to a basic understanding of the various "layers" into which the atmosphere and upper atmosphere are divided.
3 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9721. The Upper Atmosphere.

Selected topics pertaining to the upper atmosphere.
2 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9722. The Middle Atmosphere.

Selected topics pertaining to the middle atmosphere.
2 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9723. Atmospheric Waves & Turbulence.

This course will cover atmospheric dynamics associated with wave and turbulence motions. It will begin by examining simple concepts like the hydrostatic equation, then move to the Navier Stokes equation with gravity, Earth's rotation and various other forcings involved. We will deal mainly with the non-hydrostatic equations, although may occasionally simplify the equations to Boussinesq and Anelastic. We will consider the Reynold's stresses, and their relevance to both waves and turbulence. Motions on various scales will be considered, from gravity waves to tides to high- and low- pressure systems, frontal systems and the impact of the jet stream. Further topics will include Rossby and Kelvin waves, and atmospheric tides. We will study these phenomena at all altitudes from the lower troposphere through the stratosphere and into the mesosphere.

9724. Antenna and Radar in Physics.

An overview of antenna/radar theory and application in Physics and Astromomy. To begin, we will overview Maxwell's equations as they apply to antennas, waveguides, plasmas and propagation media. Then we will move to pragmatic applications relating to design and construction of these devices in the real world. Following this, the course will turn to data acquisition and signal processing, with particular examples from atmospheric radar, satellite radar and astronomy. The impact of noise will be especially addressed. Applications in the medical field will also be demonstrated. Specific examples of applications include aperture synthesis, synthetic aperture, interferometry, antenna matching, super-heterodyne systems, Near and Far field diffraction, Antenna coupling, NEC modeling, transmission lines, coaxial cables, VSWR, Polarization, Faraday Rotation, Stokes parameters, Radar Calibration, Noise suppression, Digitization, In-phase and Quadrature signals, special filters (comb filters etc.), VLBI, Transmitters,and radio scatter theory, among others. 

9807. Fluid Dynamics.

A course to introduce the basics of fluid dynamics, including the Euler equation, potential flow, Stokes flow, and the Navier-Stokes equation.
Half course. One term.

9810. Optics and Photovoltaics.

Objective of this course is to provide the student with a solid background in optical properties of condensed matter in the solid state. Special emphasis is placed on photovoltaic materials, able to generate an electrical current from absorbed light. The course is divided in two parts. The first part of the course discusses the optical properties of materials having different electronic structures (metallic, semiconducting and insulating) and degrees of order (crystalline, micro/nanocrystalline and amorphous). Optical transitions in solids are introduced from quantum-mechanical arguments. Experimental techniques for measuring the optical properties in solids will also be presented. The second part of the course focuses on photoactive and photovoltaic materials. A number of such materials are introduced classifying them from their valence electronic structure. Different types of architectures for photovoltaic devices (including planar solar cells, thin-film solar cells and bulk hetherojunctions) are discussed in light of specific optical properties of these materials.

9812. Condensed Matter Physics.

Crystal structure; crystal binding; phonons and lattice vibrations. Electrons in solids. Energy bands; semiconductors; superconductivity. Magnetic properties.
2 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9814. Scattering Techniques.

This course will cover the theory and applications of a range of scattering techniques for the study of structure and dynamics in condensed matter. Experimental implementation and data analysis techniques will also be discussed.

9826. Surface Science (Former P526a/b).

(see also Chemistry 557b "Topics in Surface Science: Surface Analysis using Electrons Photons and Ions" http://www.uwo.ca/chem/staffdocuments/gradcoursedescriptions.html Introduction: why are surfaces interesting. Thermodynamics. Surface structure, relaxation, reconstructions, defects, 2D lattices. Physics of Ultrahigh vacuum, adsorption, desorption, diffusion, deposition methods, film growth and epitaxy. Semiconductor, oxide surfaces; heterogeneous catalysis. Photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS); scanning Auger microscopy; Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM); Ion scattering spectroscopy (LEIS, MEIS, RBS, ERD); Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry; Local surface imaging (STM, SPM); Vibrational Spectroscopies (FTIR, Raman). Focused Ion Beam (FIB); e-beam lithography.
3 lecture hours. Half course; one term.

9827. Physics of Crystal Growth.

A brief review of the thermodynamic aspects of liquid-solid phase coexistence will be followed by the consideration of kinetics of crystal growth, including nucleation, microscopic growth laws, diffusion limited growth and crystallization patterns. Grades will be based on written assignments and a short project due at the end of the term.
2 lecture hours. Half course. One term.

9828. Introduction to Polymer Physics.

(See also 9848)

This course will cover basic polymer terminology and structural features of polymers, then continue with light scattering, x-ray analysis, rheology and polarization microscopy. The different solid states (amorphous, crystalline, glassy and mixtures), the transitions thereof, and typical polymeric relaxations will be discussed.
2 lecture hours. Half course; one term.
Half course. One term.

9847. Topics in Crystal Growth.

9848. Basics of Polymer Physics.

This course will cover basic polymer terminology and structural features of polymers, then continue with light scattering, x-ray analysis, rheology and polarization microscopy. The different solid states (amorphous, crystalline, glassy and mixtures), the transitions thereof, and typical polymeric relaxations will be discussed.
2 lecture hours. Quarter course. One-half term. 

9900. Teaching in the Canadian Classroom.

A course designed to help prepare first time TA's and TA's new to Canada for their teaching duties. The course outlines teaching best practices, provides a pronunciation key of commonly used words for those who require them, and shows examples of good teaching in practice. It will focus on laboratory and tutorial teaching techniques.