General Information- Admission Requirements
- Program Requirements
- Co-Operative Education
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Physics and Astronomy
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Location: Elliott Building, Room 101
Mailing Address:Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Victoria
PO Box 1700 STN CSC
Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2
Courier Address:Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Victoria
3800 Finnerty Rd.
Victoria, BC V8P 5C2
Telephone Number: 250-721-7700
Fax Number: 250-721-7715
Chair: Dr. Robert V. KowalewskiEmail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduate Adviser: Dr. Sara EllisonEmail:email@example.com
Graduate Secretary: Jolene BalesEmail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Degrees and Specializations Offered
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers programs of study and research leading to the degrees of Master of Science (MSc) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
All degrees are awarded with a major in Physics, while the department offers research specialization in the areas of study listed below. Note that the program requirements differ for research with a specific concentration in Astronomy, Medical Physics, or Ocean Physics.
Areas of Study
Astronomy and Astrophysics: Faculty research interests include galaxy formation and evolution, clusters of galaxies, large-scale structure, computational astrophysics, galactic structure, stellar structure and evolution, gravitational lensing and stellar chemistry. The Astronomy Group benefits from close relations with the nearby Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, its staff, telescopes (1.2m and 1.8m), and instrumentation. Faculty and students also have access to Canadian facilities such as the Canada-France-Hawaii 3.6m Telescope, the James Clerk Maxwell mm/submm Telescope, the Atacama Large Millimetre Array and the Gemini twin 8m telescopes.
Condensed Matter Physics: Condensed Matter Physics is the study of materials and their properties. The main focus at the University of Victoria is on nanoscale physics, in which the physical properties of magnetic, semiconductor and superconducting materials are studied on the nanometer range, that is, a bit larger than the size of individual atoms. Nanoscale physics is a new and rapidly developing field that encompasses both fundamental studies and applications. Current research activities include ultrafast magnetic imaging using modern femtosecond laser techniques, in-situ studies of magnetic properties of both thin film and nanostructured magnetic materials, computational magnetic microscopy, semiconductor spintronics and quantum information, dynamics of superconducting materials on nanometer length scales, and time-resolved and spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy.
Experimental Particle Physics: The particle physics group is engaged in research at facilities around the world and, as one of the designers and builders of the TRIUMF facility in Vancouver, it benefits from interactions with TRIUMF physicists and access to TRIUMF facilities. The current activities of the group include the operation of the BABAR detector at SLAC and analysis of the data collected with it; detector construction and physics studies for the ATLAS experiment at CERN; detector research and development projects associated with the T2K long-baseline neutrino experiment and future e+e linear colliders; and development and deployment of grid computing.
Medical Physics: Application of radiation (photons and electrons) to the treatment and diagnosis of disease. Project areas include the development and application of Monte Carlo based dose calculations, 3D radiation dosimetry, intensity modulated radiation therapy, portal imaging, radionuclide therapy, and the application of spectroscopic techniques for treatment monitoring. Work is carried out in conjunction with the Vancouver Island Cancer Centre of the BC Cancer Agency in Victoria and the life science program at TRIUMF in Vancouver.
Ocean Physics and Geophysics: Research is conducted in the department and also in association with the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UVic and at the nearby Institute of Ocean Sciences, the Pacific Geoscience Centre, and the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis. Current ocean physics activities include observational and theoretical studies of ocean mixing, air-sea interaction, estuarine circulation, breaking waves and bubble clouds, and the investigation of many topics related to the analysis and modelling of interannual variability of the earth's climate. The program includes applications to programs of societal concern as well as basic research.
Theoretical Physics: Current areas of research focus on questions in particle and astroparticle physics: the physics of the electroweak scale, the nature of dark matter, and the role of particle physics in the early universe. Further research areas include more formal study of strongly interacting regimes of quantum field theory, using various techniques e.g. from string theory. The group has links with TRIUMF, and the Perimeter Institute.
Close contact is maintained with the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (including the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory), the Pacific Geoscience Centre, and the Institute of Ocean Sciences. The University of Victoria belongs to a consortium of universities which operates the meson facility TRIUMF.
Students admitted to the graduate program in Physics and Astronomy have access to a funding package that may include: University of Victoria Awards, Research Assistantships (RAs), Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Academic Income Supplements from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and various Donor Awards. Students eligible for external funding (e.g. from NSERC) are encouraged to apply. The Department operates under a set of financial support rules which provide guaranteed funding for all students, based on satisfactory performance and progress, for up to 2 years for an MSc and up to 5 years beyond the BSc level for those in the PhD program.
Please contact the graduate adviser of the department for additional details.
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