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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
September 1, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

Physics



Physics at Laurier 

Laurier’s Physics program emphasizes electronics and solid sate physics. The Honours BSc Physics gives students a solid foundation in the basic principles and techniques of physics through courses in 

  • mechanics
  • electricity and magnetism
  • quantum mechanics and thermodynamics 
  • mathematics 
  • chemistry 

Program highlights

  • Physics majors at Laurier obtain a firm foundation in Newtonian physics, electricity, magnetism, optics, atomic physics, solid state devices, and electronics
  • Students can also take courses in biology, general arts and music that are specifically related to their studies in physics.
  • The Physics program shares common first year requirements with Photonics as well as Computing and Computer Electronics. 

Courses offered

First year courses

  • Intro to Differential Calculus
  • Introductory Linear Algebra
  • Data Structures
  • Thermodynamics & Waves
  • Intro to Mathematical Proofs
  • Intro to Programming
  • Mechanics
  • Digital Electronics

Popular courses

  • Optics; Solid State Physics
  • Analog Electronics
  • Modern Physics

Admission requirements

Honours BSc Physics

4U Requirements IB Requirements  Admission Range 

English at 60%;

Advanced Functions at 60%; 

Two of Calculus & Vectors, Chemistry or Physics at 60%*

*Combined minimum average of 70% in 4U Math and Science courses.

 

HL or SL English at 4;

HL or Sl Mathematics at 4;

one of HL or SL Physics or Chemistry at 4 

Mid 70s

IB Minimum score: 28  

Career 

Physics stdudents develop skills in observation, measurement, record keeping, teamwork, and both oral and written communication. Experimental design develops skills in generating and formulating a hypothesis and then conducting tests and doing the analysis to support the hypothesis. 

These skills — in particular, the analytical abilities, quantitative skills, communication skills and strong work ethic — transfer to many fields. For example, the finance sector offers employment opportunities because most of the models and techniques employed by today’s financial analysts are based on the Black-Scholes model for option pricing, which is essentially a physics diffusion equation.

Student experience 

Nancy Budzalewicz decided to major in physics because she believes it’s an important field of study. “Everything around us is governed by physics,” she explains. “Physics is interesting and it’s awe-inspiring. It’s also very math based, and I love math.”

Budzalewicz was attracted to the small and supportive atmosphere of Laurier’s Physics program and the campus as a whole. “The first time I met people from Laurier, I just knew this was the school for me,” says Budzalewicz. “The professors are always on hand, and eager and willing to make time to help me out when I need it. The courses are interesting and challenging, and they definitely leave me wanting more.”

Budzalewicz expects to gain a solid background in theoretical physics from Laurier. She plans to pursue a master’s and PhD in astrophysics, and is interested in research and teaching.

Faculty experience 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, chaos is defined as the “behaviour of a system which is governed by deterministic laws but is so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to its extreme sensitivity to changes in parameters or its dependence on a large number of independent variables.” It is this unpredictable behaviour that Dr. Shohini Ghose is interested in, particularly in the strange quantum realm of atoms and photons.

Dr. Ghose considers her research on this subject matter to be one of her greatest accomplishments. She partnered with Dr. Poul Jessen of the University of Arizona and discovered through a first-ever demonstration, a connection between chaos theory and quantum mechanical correlations at the level of individual atoms. This work was published in Nature, the world’s top-ranked journal across all areas of science, and received science media coverage around the world.

Aside from her research pursuits, Dr. Ghose enjoys teaching at Laurier and the close interactions she has with her students. “At Laurier, I can get to know all my students by name,” she says. “I enjoy being part of such a close-knit community of faculty, students and staff, and helping to create a unique learning environment.”