Sep 26, 2020  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2019-2020 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2019-2020 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Physics and Astronomy

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The Department of Physics and Astronomy provides facilities for students intending to proceed to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees.

Enquiries: 905 525-9140 Ext. 24558
Fax: 905 546-1252

Faculty / Fall 2019

Distinguished University Professors

Bruce D. Gaulin, B.Sc. (McGill), Ph.D. (McMaster), F.R.S.C.
Christine D. Wilson, B.Sc. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Caltech), F.R.S.C.

Science Research Chair

Kari Dalnoki-Veress, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (Guelph)

University Scholar

Maikel C. Rheinstadter, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (Saarland, Germany)


Clifford Burgess, B.Sc. (Waterloo), Ph.D. (Texas), F.R.S.C.
Soo Hyun Byun, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (Seoul National University)
Alan Chen, B.Sc. (Toronto), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Yale)
David Chettle, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (Birmingham)
Hugh M. Couchman, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (Cambridge)
Cecile Fradin, B.Sc., Ph.D. (Paris) / Joint appointment with Biochemistry
Harold Haugen, B.Sc. (Acadia), M.Eng. (McMaster), Ph.D. (Aarhus)/ Joint appointment with Engineering Physics
Paul Higgs, B.A., Ph.D. (Cambridge) / Joint appointment with Biochemistry
Takashi Imai, B.Sc., Ph.D. (Tokyo)
Catherine Kallin, B.Sc. (British Columbia), A.M., Ph.D. (Harvard)
Sung-Sik Lee, B.Sc. (Korea Adv. Inst. of Science and Technology), Ph.D. (Pohang)
Graeme M. Luke, B.Sc. (Queen’s), Ph.D. (British Columbia) / Chair
Fiona E. McNeill, B.Sc. (Edinburgh), Ph.D. (Birmingham)
Duncan O’Dell, B.Sc. (Imperial), Ph.D. (Bristol)
Laura Parker, B.Sc. (Mount Allison), Ph.D. (Waterloo)
Ralph E. Pudritz, B.Sc. (British Columbia), M.Sc. (Toronto), Ph.D.(British Columbia)
An-Chang Shi, B.Sc. (Fudan), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Illinois)
Alison Sills, B.Sc. (Western), Ph.D. (Yale) / Associate Chair and Graduate Advisor
Erik Sorensen, B.Sc., M.Sc. (Aarhus), Ph.D. (U.C. Santa Cruz)
David E. Venus, B.Sc. (Queen’s), Ph.D. (Toronto)
James Wadsley, B.Sc. (Monash), Ph.D. (Toronto)
Douglas L. Welch, M.Sc., Ph.D. (Toronto)

Associate Members

Michael Farquharson (School of Interdisciplinary Sciences)
Adam Hitchcock (Chemistry and Chemical Biology)
José Moran-Mirabal (Chemistry and Chemical Biology)
Sumanth Shankar (Mechanical Engineering)

Adjunct Members

Davide Gaiotto, Ph.D. (Princeton)
James Forrest, B.Sc. (University of British Columbia), M.Sc., Ph.D. (University of Guelph)
Jeroen Thompson, B.Sc. (Michigan State), M.Sc. (University of Connecticut), Ph.D. (McMaster)
Chris Wiebe, B.Sc. (Winnipeg), M.Sc., Ph.D. (McMaster)

Professors Emeriti

A. John Berlinsky, B.Sc. (Fordham College), M.Sc., Ph.D.(Pennsylvania)
Rajat K. Bhaduri, M.Sc. (Calcutta), Ph.D. (McMaster)
Dennis G. Burke, B.E., M.Sc. (Saskatchewan), Ph.D. (McMaster)
William E. Harris, B.Sc. (Alberta), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Toronto), F.R.S.C.
Yukihisa Nogami, B.Sc., D.Sc. (Kyoto)
Donald W.L. Sprung, B.A. (Toronto), Ph.D., D.Sc. (Birmingham),F.R.S.C.
Peter G. Sutherland, B.Sc. (McGill), M.S., Ph.D. (Illinois)
Thomas Timusk, B.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Cornell), F.R.S.C.
Wytse van Dijk, B.Sc., Ph.D. (McMaster)
James C. Waddington, B.Sc. (Queen’s), Ph.D. (McMaster)

Research in Physics and Astronomy

Opportunities for research are described in detail on the web at The areas of research are concentrated in the following fields:

Astrophysics - A. Chen, H. Couchman, W. Harris, L. Parker, R. Pudritz, A. Sills, P. Sutherland, J. Wadsley, D. Welch, C. Wilson.
Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics - H. Haugen, D. O’Dell.
Computational and Theoretical Physics -J. Berlinsky, R. Bhaduri, C. Burgess, H. Couchman, D. Gaiotto, C. Kallin, S. Lee, Y. Nogami, R. Pudritz, A. Shi, A. Sills, E. Sorensen, D. Sprung, P. Sutherland, W. van Dijk, J. Wadsley.
Condensed Matter Physics - J. Berlinsky, J. Carbotte, B. Gaulin, T. Imai, C. Kallin, S. Lee, G. Luke, S. Shankar, E. Sorensen, T. Timusk, D. Venus, C. Wiebe.
Soft Condensed Matter and Biophysics - K. Dalnoki-Veress, J. Forrest, C. Fradin, A. Hitchcock, P. Higgs, J. Moran-Mirabal, M. Rheinstadter, A. Shi.
Medical and Health Physics - S.H. Byun, D. Chettle, M. Farquharson, F.E. McNeill, J. Thompson.

In addition, J. Waddington and A. Chen work in Nuclear Physics Experiment.

Facilities for Research

Excellent research facilities are available for research in Physics and Astronomy. In addition to the research laboratories of individual faculty, there are shared facilities on campus, and a consistent history of access to national and international facilities. Many faculty in condensed matter physics and optics are members of the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research (described in section 7.7), and therefore have access to electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes, X-ray diffraction equipment, materials preparation facilities, a Helium liquefier, and the best crystal growing facilities in Canada. The department is also home to the Origins of Life Laboratory, which is part of McMaster’s Origins Institute. Together with the Brockhouse Institute the department is involved in the construction and operation of neutron scattering facilities at the McMaster Nuclear Reactor, such as the McMaster Alignment Diffractometer (MAD) and newly built small angle scattering instrument (MacSANS). McMaster is an associate member of the TRIUMF National Laboratories in Vancouver; faculty are involved in condensed matter and nuclear astrophysics studies there. The astronomers in the department frequently use the Canada-France-Hawaii optical telescope, the James Clerk Maxwell millimetre telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope, the Gemini Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA). Theorists connected to all these groups benefit from the SHARC-NET supercomputer network and the many powerful UNIX-based computers and workstations operated by the Department. Some members of the department are affiliated with the Perimeter Institute for theoretical physics.


    MasterDoctoralCourse Offerings

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