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Physics and Astronomy
Head: K.S. Sharma
Campus Address/General Office: 301 Allen Building
Telephone: 474 9817
Fax: 474 7622
Email Address: 

physics@physics.umanitoba.ca 

Website: 

http://www.physics.umanitoba.ca/   

Academic Staff: 

Please see our website for Academic staff information:http://www.physics.umanitoba.ca/

Physics and Astronomy Program Info

The department offers opportunities for graduate study in several experimental and theoretical fields of contemporary interest, leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

Fields of Research

Astronomy and Astrophysics: The Formation, Evolution, and Structure of Galaxies; The Late Stages of Stellar Evolution (Neutron Stars, Magnetars, Black Holes); Supernova Remnants and our Milky Way Galaxy; Advanced genetic algorithms for astrophysical data modeling (magnetic fields in molecular clouds; HI galaxy disks; gravitational lens systems).

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics: Study of atomic and molecular interactions in dense fluids by laser light scattering and far infrared absorption; atomic collision dynamics studied using electron energy-loss spectroscopy, laser excitation techniques and time-correlated particle detection.

Condensed Matter Physics: Magnetic properties of materials, including their dependence on crystal structure and morphology; surface magnetism of fine particles or thin films; crystalline transformations of amorphous magnetic materials; phase transitions and critical phenomena in ferromagnetics, spin-glasses and site-disordered systems; high Tc superconductors; mesoscopic wave physics of complex materials, including ultrasonic wave transport in strongly scattering media, Anderson localization of ultrasound, phononic crystals, field fluctuation spectroscopy, dynamic imaging in complex media, and ultrasonic characterization of soft food biomaterials; nanomagnetism, biological applications of magnetic nanoparticles, nanoparticle magnetism, magnetism in thin film systems, neutron scattering; theoretical studies of inhomogeneous soft matter; the structure and phase behaviour of block copolymers and polymer brushes; structure, phase behaviour, and order–disorder transitions in lipid bilayers and lipid mixtures.

Mass Spectrometry: Precise atomic mass determinations of stable and unstable nuclides; time-of-flight mass spectrometry of large molecules (particularly biomolecules) and molecular clusters.

Physics of Nanoscale Systems: Electronic and Optical Properties of Low-dimensional Electron Systems and Nanostructures, such as systems exhibiting quantum hall effects, quantum dots and quantum rings; physics of grapheme nanostructures and related carbon systems,, electronic and magnetic properties of DNA, DNA mispaires, spin dynamics and Rashba effects in quantum dots.

Subatomic Physics: Properties of nuclei far from stability (decay energies, atomic masses, nuclear structure); nucleon-nucleon systems (spin observables, particle production); tests of symmetry principles (charge symmetry, parity); strange quark structure of the proton; Laser and Ion Trapping; measurements of parity-violation in electron scattering and extraction of the weak mixing angle and fundamental physics with cold and ultracold neutrons.

Theoretical Physics: Low temperature excitations in ordered crystalline magnets; investigations of reduced dimensionality on the magnetic and electronic properties of solids; the effects of disorder on the physical properties of solids as studied using renormalization group methods, fractal geometry and random matrix theory; phase transitions and critical phenomena; theory and computer simulation of defect processes in crystalline materials; relativistic dynamics of composite system; Kaluza-Klein theory and string dynamics; evolution problems in quantum, classical and semi-classical mechanics using the rigorous methods of mathematical physics; few-body scattering theory; electromagnetic interactions in both few-body systems and complex nuclei; relativistic approaches to the nuclear many-body problem; Non-Archimedean Analysis (study of field extensions of the real numbers that also contain infinitely small and infinitely large numbers) and applications in physics; black holes and quantum gravity, quantum computation, information theory and non-linear dynamics.

Medical Physics: Research is also carried out at CancerCare Manitoba, the Health Sciences Centre and at the National Research Council Institute for Biodiagnostics. Functional imaging and the development of advanced imaging modalities and reconstruction algorithms, in-vivo portal dosimetry of radiation therapy; the development of low dose breast imaging systems; image guide adaptive radiotherapy and multi-objective optimization techniques; quality control for diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy; high speed dose and image reconstruction and simulation; biomedical Magnetic Resonance Imaging and instrumentation; development of new technologies and methods for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging.

Biophysics: Biophysical and bioengineering approaches for studying immune cell trafficking; development of microfluidic devices for biological and medical applications; the facilities we have include cell culture, imaging, microfabrication for soft – lithography.

Research Facilities

As an integral part of the research programs outlined above, a variety of major research facilities exist within the Department of Physics and Astronomy. These include an HP RX5670 ITANIUM2 quad CPU computer server with 96 Gb RAM, HP Smart Array 5304 controller, 28x146 Gb U320 disk subsystem, Group members access the server through a high speed, switched network, we also have a HP ZX200 ITANIUM2 development server with a 9Gb RAM, and several PCs for code development and testing. As well, the department has several ultrasonic spectrometers, including a TEMPO laser ultrasound interferometer, a high resolution mass spectrometer, four time-of-flight mass spectrometers for large ions and biomolecules with masses up to approximately 10,000 u, a S.H.E. dilution refrigerator for the production of millikelvin temperatures, a Philips X-ray diffraction, a Quantum Design PPMS 6000 magnetometer/susceptometer and a custom-designed SQUID-based magnetometer, and a local network of computers connected to the university’s central computer facilities. A good machine shop and electronics shop are located in the Physics Department. Both liquid nitrogen and helium are available locally for low temperature research.

Research facilities at various national and international laboratories, including Argonne National Laboratory (Chicago), TRIUMF (Vancouver, we are now a full member of the TRIUMF consortium), Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, N.M.), the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Laboratory (Newport News, VA), and the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (Heidelberg, Germany) are extensively used by members of the subatomic physics research group.

Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics makes use of data obtained with various telescopes including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope, and with the International Galactic Plane Survey.

Students also have access to various pieces of clinical and research related equipment at CancerCare Manitoba, the Health Sciences Centre and at the National Research Council of Canada Institute for Biodiagnostics. These include clinical linear accelerators, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, PET, and other imaging systems as well as various sources of radiation and dosimetry equipment. High performance GPU based computer and software for the simulation of radiation transport are also available.

Research in Condensed Matter Physics is undertaken at the nuclear reactors NRU (Chalk River), OPAL (Sydney) and ILL (Grenoble).

The University of Manitoba is a major institution in the Western Canada Research Computing Grid (WestGrid) and is the location of a large high performance computing cluster accessible to all researchers across Canada through Compute/Calcul Canada.

M.Sc. in Physics

Admission

Admission requirements are those of the Faculty of Graduate Studies found in the Graduate Studies Regulations Section of this Calendar. To enter the Master’s program directly, a student must have an Honours B.Sc. degree in Physics and Astronomy, Mathematics and Physics, or Engineering Physics from the University of Manitoba or the equivalent. Students without the degree entrance requirements will have their undergraduate program evaluated and may be required to complete a pre-Master’s program of selected University of Manitoba undergraduate courses.

Application Deadlines

The Department of Physics and Astronomy allows students to begin their program on 1 September, 1 January, 1 May, or 1 July. For admission for each of these start dates, Canadian/U.S. students should send their applications with complete supporting documentation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies no less than three and a half (3.5) months before the intended start date. Non-Canadian students should send their applications with complete supporting documentation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies to arrive no later than six and a half (6.5) months before the intended start date.

Program Requirements

Minimum program requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies are found in the Graduate Studies Regulations Section of this Calendar. The Department of Physics and Astronomy has certain supplementary regulations. Information about these regulations as well as a description of research programs in Physics is available at: physics.umanitoba.ca

A Master’s degree in physics normally consists of both coursework and a thesis. For students in the Comprehensive Medical Physics M.Sc. program, the course load is increased and the thesis requirement is replaced by research project.

The Master’s program with thesis consists of two or three courses from the 700/7000 series offered by the department or from another department offering courses suitable for the candidate’s program. In special cases, courses may be drawn from the 400 series as listed. The program of study extends through a minimum period of twelve months. Frequently two summers of research work plus one winter of research and coursework are required to complete the program. In addition to coursework, these students must submit a thesis and defend it orally.

The Comprehensive M.Sc. program in medical physics is a two-year (18-month, course work, 6-month research project) program which requires 36 credits. A clinical research project in an approved laboratory and the submission of a research report is also required. On completion of the coursework and research project, the student will be required to pass a comprehensive oral examination.

Second language reading requirement: none

Expected time to graduate: 2 years

Ph.D. in Physics

Admission

In addition to the admission requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies found in the Graduate Studies Regulations Section of this Calendar, the normal procedure to be a candidate for a Ph.D. degree is to complete an M.Sc. degree first. However, students with an honours degree from the University of Manitoba or equivalent may be accepted directly into the PhD program.

Application Deadlines

The Department of Physics and Astronomy allows students to begin their program on either 1 September, 1 January, 1 May, or 1 July. For admission for each of these start dates, Canadian/U.S. students should send their applications with complete supporting documentation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies no less than three and a half (3.5) months before the intended start date. Non-Canadian students should send their applications with complete supporting documentation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies to arrive no later than six and a half (6.5) months before the intended start date.

Program Requirements

Minimum program requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies are found in the Graduate Studies Regulations Section of this Calendar. The Department of Physics and Astronomy has certain supplementary regulations. Information about these regulations as well as a description of Research Programs in Physics is available on the web:  www.physics.umanitoba.ca

International students entering the Ph.D. program are strongly encouraged to write and obtain minimum grade of 650 on the GRE physics subject examination prior to applying for the Ph.D. program.

The main program of studies is selected from one of the major fields of research listed above in Section 2.2, and is supplemented by an ancillary program which takes into account the student’s interests and breadth of experience.

Ancillary subjects must be chosen from a field of physics distinct from the major area of study or from other departments (e.g., Mathematics) offering suitable courses. In consultation with the student, a program of study is decided by a committee with the student’s advisor as chair.

Students must pass a candidacy exam and submit a thesis which describes their research work and which will be examined according to the general regulations.

Second language requirement: none

Expected time to graduation: 4 years

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