Physics Research at Trent

Studying amidst provincially and federally-funded research at Trent will enrich your education significantly; research collaborations of Trent professors bring you knowledge from across Canada and the world. Physics faculty are currently involved in several exciting areas of research, including:

  • Astronomy: stellar populations, evolution of galaxies
  • Manipulation of quantum states using lasers
  • Condensed-matter physics: theory of high-temperature superconductors, nanoscience at solid surfaces
  • Nuclear physics: photo-nuclear reactions, medical imaging of the human body, detection of explosives
  • Physics education: effective teaching in physics

Research Areas by Faculty


David Patton
Office: SC 320, Phone: 748-1011 ext. 7462
Research Interests: Observational astronomy: galaxy evolution, galaxy mergers

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Ralph Shiell (pronounced "Raif"), B.A. (Oxford), Ph.D.(Newcastle)
Office: SC 213, Phone: 748-1011 ext. 7023
Research Interests: Atomic, molecular and optical physics, the manipulation of quantum states using laser radiation

Biomaterial Physics

Suresh Narine
Director, Trent Biomaterials Research Program
Professor, Physics & Astronomy and Chemistry
705 748 1011 Ext. 6105 (T)
705 748 1652 (F)
Research interests: visit the Biomaterials web site

Aaron Slepkov, Hon. B.Sc. (Brock), M.Sc., Ph.D. (U Alberta)

Office: SC 212, Phone: 705-748-1011 ext. 6216

Research Interests: Nonlinear photonics, Optical properties and characterization of organic and bio-materials, microscopy.

Condensed Matter Physics

Bill Atkinson, M.Sc. (U. Alberta), Ph.D. (McMaster)
Office: SC 222, Phone: 748-1011 ext. 7716
Graduate Student Coordinator
Research Interests: Computational and theoretical models of high temperature superconductors

Rachel Wortis
Office: SC 326 Phone: 748-1011 ext. 7714
Research Interests: Condensed matter theory: superconductivity and strongly correlated electrons


EMF References

Some References Associated with Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Waves

Physics at Trent: A Research Profile

Advanced research and graduate study have always played important roles in Physics at Trent. Since the late 1960's we have graduated over 80 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students and have been awarded many millions of dollars in research grants and contracts. Our research and publication record, per capita, is one of the highest of all small universities in Canada. Nearly 90% of our full-time faculty members are supported by NSERC grants.

The fields in which we specialize are:

  • Surface Science
  • High Temperature Superconductivity Theory
  • Methodologies of Teaching Science and Physics
  • Radiation and Subatomic Physics
  • Galactic and Extragalactic Astronomy

We have developed collaborations with scientists at several Canadian and international universities and research laboratories including the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, York University, the U. of Toronto, George Washington University, NASA, the MAXlab Accelerator in Sweden, and many others. We continue to participate in the longstanding Trent-Queens Graduate Program where some of our faculty are cross-appointed to the graduate faculty in the Department of Physics at Queen's University. Two of our Conjunct Professors are from the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne, Australia. They are working with our team of physicists on new-technology detectors of antipersonnel landmines and new ways of increasing the resolution of medical gamma cameras. We have regularly cooperated with high-technology industries (Siemens, AECL, PPC, Ontario Hydro) in joint applied-research projects in which our faculty and students have contributed directly to the Canadian R & D effort. We have three times hosted the national Student Conference of the Canadian Nuclear Society and in 2001 were host to the conference of the Ontario Federation of Physics Teachers.

Our Department regularly has NSERC-supported Undergraduate Summer Research Assistants. In summer 2002, we had three students working on projects in superconductivity, surface science and astronomy. In the past, many of these summer research students have attended the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Students Conference where they have given presentations on their research work.

Our physical research infrastructure includes a significant array of high powered computers and workstations and associated peripherals, a major high-vacuum surface-science laboratory, an applied-radiation/gamma-ray imaging lab, an astronomy research laboratory and share the university's newly renovated science workshop and electronics shop.