Full Course Descriptions
Below you will find descriptions of most of the courses offered by our department. A few of our courses are offered in alternate years and may not appear on this list. For a complete list, see the Academic Calendar. Also, for information on selecting your courses and on which courses are expected to be offered in coming years, please see the links under “Help with Course Selection” on our Resources for Students page.
Syllabi can be accessed through the Syllabus Catalogue under the Academics tab on myTrent or by emailing physics@trentu.ca.
Please visit the Academic Timetable to see which courses are presently being offered and in which location(s). Not all courses listed below run every term or in all locations. For specific details about program requirements and degree regulations, please refer to the Academic Calendar.
Course Code  Description 

PHYS1000H
Offered:

Foundations of Physics
A traditional introduction to mechanics for students without high school physics experience. Designed for students seeking to strengthen their physics background in preparation for PHYS 1001H, or those who do not currently intend to pursue further studies in physics. Topics include kinematics (description of motion) and dynamics (causes of motion/forces/Newton's laws) in one and two dimensions. Concepts are extended to rotational motion, work and energy, momentum, and conservation laws. Time is taken to develop related mathematical skills. Not open to students enrolled in or with credit for PHYS 1001H or 1002H. Not for credit toward a major or minor in Physics. 
PHYS1001H
Offered:

Introductory Physics I
Topics include kinematics, dynamics, translational and rotational motion, fluids, elasticity, and thermal physics. Prerequisite: 4U Advanced Functions or equivalent, or permission of the department. Strongly recommended: 4U credits in Physics, and Calculus and Vectors. MATH 1110H, required for upperlevel Physics courses, recommended to be taken concurrently with PHYS 1001H. Excludes PHYS 1000Y, PHYSFRSC 1020H. 
PHYS1002H
Offered:

Introductory Physics II
Topics include electrostatics, magnetostatics, electromagnetism, optics, and quantum physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 1001H or 1020H or permission of the department. MATH 1120H, required for upperlevel Physics courses, recommended to be taken concurrently with PHYS 1002H. Excludes PHYS 1000Y, PHYS 1030H. 
PHYS1060H
Offered:

Physics for the Life Sciences
The application of basic physical concepts to biological systems. Topics include forces and motion, energy and metabolism, thermodynamics, and fluid dynamics. Recommended: 4U Math. Not for credit toward a major or minor in Physics. Crosslisted: BIOL1060H 
PHYS1510H
Offered:

Introductory Astronomy I
A general science course accessible to all students. Topics include sky phenomena, the history of astronomy, telescopes and detectors, and an exploration of the Solar System. Excludes PHYS 1500Y. Not for credit for a major or minor in Physics. 
PHYS1520H
Offered:

Introductory Astronomy II
A general science course accessible to all students. Topics include stars, their properties, structure, and evolution, white dwarfs, novae and supernovae, neutron stars, black holes, galaxies, and cosmology. Prerequisite: PHYS 1510H. Excludes PHYS 1500Y. Not for credit toward a major or minor in Physics. 
Course Code  Description 

PHYS2091H
Offered:

Light and Colour for Future Teachers Light & Colour
An experiential learning course designed for future elementary school teachers. Topics include image formation, colour perception, reflection, refraction, shadows, and printing. Emphasis is placed on student learning through collaborative experiments and construction of conceptual models. Registration preference is given to students in education programs, but students in other programs are also welcome. Can be taken either before or after PHYSEDUC 2093H. Does not satisfy the science requirement for a science degree. Not open to students enrolled in or with credit for PHYS 1001H, 1002H, 1020H, or 1060H, except by permission of the instructor. Excludes PHYS 2090Y. Crosslisted: EDUC2091H 
PHYS2093H
Offered:

Electricity & Motion for Future Teachers Electricity and Motion
An experiential learning course designed for future elementary school teachers. Topics include simple circuits and circuit elements, static electricity, forces, pulleys, levers, and gears. Emphasis is placed on student learning through collaborative experiments and construction of conceptual models. Registration preference is given to students in education programs, but students in other programs are also welcome. Can be taken either before or after PHYSEDUC 2091H. Not open to students enrolled in or with credit for PHYS 1001H, 1002H, 1020H, or 1060H, except by permission of the instructor. Excludes PHYS 2090Y. Crosslisted: EDUC2093H 
PHYS2110H
Offered:

Introductory Classical Dynamics
Analytical and computational methods for obtaining the motion of simple physical systems. Includes motion in one dimension, projectile motion, realistic motion of objects with drag and spin, oscillatory motion, chaos in the nonlinear pendulum. Students use a mix of analytical calculusbased methods and scientific computing tools to solve problems. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in PHYS 1001H and MATH 1120H. Pre or corequisite: MATH 2150H. Strongly recommended: COIS 1020H. Excludes PHYSCOIS 2310H, PHYSMATH 3130H. 
PHYS2150H
Offered:

Ordinary Differential Equations
First order equations; qualitative and numerical methods. Second order linear equations. Linear systems. Applications to physical and biological models. Laplace transforms. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in MATH 1120H or 1100Y or 1101Y. Recommended: MATH 1350H. Crosslisted: MATH2150H 
PHYS2250H
Offered:

Electronics
An applied course in the electronic circuits most commonly used in laboratory sciences. Circuit theory, test instruments, operational amplifiers, semiconductor theory, measurement sensors, power control, digital circuits, computer processcontrol and data collection, AC circuit theory, filters, DC power supplies, RC timing circuits, amplifiers, oscillators. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in PHYS 1002H (or 1000Y) and in MATH 1120H (or 1100Y or 1101Y), or permission of instructor. Crosslisted: COIS2250H 
PHYS2310H
Offered:

Computational Physics
Use of computational methods to solve a range of problems in physics that are not accessible to analytical treatment. Typical topics include the motion of real projectiles, planetary motion and chaos, electric fields, waves, and random systems. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in PHYS 1002H (or 1000Y) and in MATH 1120H (or 1100Y or 1101Y), or permission of the department. Crosslisted: COIS2310H 
PHYS2610H
Offered:

Introductory Quantum Physics
Special relativity, particlelike aspects of radiation, atomic structure, wavelike properties of matter, Schrodinger equation and applications to onedimensional systems. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in PHYS 1002H (or 1000Y) and in MATH 1120H (or 1100Y or 1101Y), or permission of the department. Pre or corequisite: PHYSMATH 2150H. 
PHYS2620H
Offered:

Atomic Molecular Nuclear Physics
Quantum mechanics of oneelectron atoms, magnetic dipole moments and spin, transitions and selection rules, identical particles, excited states of atoms, molecules, nuclear and particle physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 2610H, PHYSMATH 2150H, and MATH 2110H. 
PHYS2700H
Offered:

Thermal Physics
The laws of thermodynamics and their applications, thermodynamic potentials, kinetic theory of gases, introduction to statistical thermodynamics. Prerequisite: PHYS 2610H and MATH 2110H. 
Course Code  Description 

PHYS3130H
Offered:

Classical Mechanics
Classical mechanics of particles in three dimensions. Topics include Newtonian mechanics, oscillations, motion in noninertial reference frames, gravity, and central forces. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in PHYS 1002H (or 1000Y) and in MATH 1120H (or 1100Y or 1101Y), or permission of the department. Pre or corequisite: MATH 2110H and 2150H. Crosslisted: MATH3130H 
PHYS3150H
Offered:

Partial Differential Equations
The transport equation, heat equation, wave equation, Laplace equation, Poisson equation, in one, two, and three dimensions, in Cartesian, Polar, and/or Spherical coordinates. Physical interpretations. Properties of harmonic functions. Fourier theory: uniform, pointwise, and L2 convergence. Initial/boundary value problems: existence and uniqueness of solutions. Solutions to I/BVPs using orthogonal eigenfunction expansions. Solutions to I/BVPs using convolutional transforms. Prerequisite: MATH 2110H and 2150H. Strongly recommended: MATH 1350H. Crosslisted: MATH3150H 
PHYS3160H
Offered:

Methods of Applied Mathematics
Differential equations in applied mathematics, including Bessel, Legendre, hypergeometric, Laguerre, Hermite, Chebyshev, etc. Series and numerical solutions. Properties of the special functions arising from these equations. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in MATHPHYS 2150H. Recommended: MATH 2200H. Crosslisted: MATH3160H 
PHYS3200Y
Offered:

Electricity & Magnetism
Electrostatics, magnetostatics, electric and magnetic properties of matter, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic wave propagation. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in PHYS 1002H or permission of the department; PHYSMATH 2150H, MATH 2110H, and 2120H. Crosslisted: COIS3200Y 
PHYS3510H
Offered:

Astrobiology: Life in the Universe
An examination of the prospects for extraterrestrial life, based primarily on material from astronomy, biology, and planetary science. Topics include the origin and evolution of life on Earth, extremophiles, the habitability of Mars and Jovian moons, the nature and habitability of exoplanets, SETI, the Drake equation, and the Fermi paradox. Prerequisite: 5.0 university credits including two of BIOL 1020H, BIOL 1030H, PHYS 1510H, PHYS 1520H. Excludes PHYS 2510H. Not for credit toward a major or minor in Physics. Crosslisted: BIOL3510H 
PHYS3610H
Offered:

Foundations of Quantum Mechanics
An introduction to the foundations of quantum mechanics. Topics include the postulates of quantum mechanics, Hilbert spaces, Dirac notation, one dimensional problems, matrix representations of quantum mechanics, unitary transformations. Prerequisite: PHYS 2620H and PHYSMATH 2150H. Recommended: MATH 2350H. Excludes PHYS 4600Y. 
Course Code  Description 

PHYS4000Y
Offered:

Project Course
An experimental or theoretical project on some topic of advanced physics. Projects are selected in consultation with Physics & Astronomy faculty. Students must obtain approval for the project. Contact the department office for an application form. A cumulative average of at least 77% in all PHYS and MATH credits will normally be required. Students may take only one of PHYS 4000Y or 4010H for credit. 
PHYS4010H
Offered:

Project Course
An experimental or theoretical project on some topic of advanced physics. Projects are selected in consultation with Physics & Astronomy faculty. Students must obtain approval for the project. Contact the department office for an application form. A cumulative average of at least 77% in all PHYS and MATH credits will normally be required. Students may take only one of PHYS 4000Y or 4010H for credit. 
PHYS4050H
Offered:

Advanced Laboratory
Instructs students in techniques commonly found within research laboratories and industrial workplaces, such as principal component analysis, microcontroller programming, analysis of control systems, and interferometry. Pre or corequisite: PHYSCOIS 2250H. 
PHYS4140H
Offered:

Advanced Classical Mechanics
Classical mechanics of particles, rigid bodies, and continuous media. Topics include Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, systems of particles, motion of rigid bodies, and oscillating systems. Prerequisite: MATH 2110H 2150H , and PHYSMATH 3130H. Excludes PHYSMATH 3140H. Crosslisted: MATH4140H 
PHYS4220H
Offered:

Electromagnetic Theory
Maxwell's equations, the interactions of electromagnetic fields with matter, the relativistic formulation of electromagnetism and its applications. Prerequisite: PHYSCOIS 3200Y (3210) and PHYSMATH 3150H. 
PHYS4240H
Offered:

Modern Optics
Properties of light: polarization, interference, coherence, and diffraction. Interaction of light with matter: Einstein coefficients and quantummechanical treatment of matter. Laser operation and applications: absorption, gain, and saturation; three and fourlevel laser systems; longitudinal and transverse modes; specific laser systems. Concepts in modern quantum optics. Pre or corequisite: PHYS 2620H, PHYSCOIS 3200Y, and PHYSMATH 3150H. 
PHYS4310H
Offered:

Condensed Matter Physics
Crystallography, crystal binding, lattice vibrations and thermal properties of solids, band theory, electron transport, semiconductors, magnetism. Prerequisite: PHYS 2700H and 2620H. Pre or corequisite: PHYSCOIS 3200Y (3210) and PHYSMATH 3150H. 
PHYS4520H
Offered:

Astrophysics Galaxies & Cosmology
An introduction to modern astrophysics, which applies the principles of physics to the study of galaxies and cosmology. Topics include the Milky Way galaxy, the nature of galaxies, galaxy evolution, the structure of the universe, active galactic nuclei and quasars, cosmology, and the early universe. Prerequisite: PHYS 2620H. Pre or corequisite: PHYSMATH 3130H and 3150H. Strongly recommended: PHYS 1510H and 1520H (or 1500Y). 
PHYS4610H
Offered:

Advanced Quantum Mechanics
Advanced topics in quantum mechanics. Spherically symmetric potentials, theory of angular momentum, perturbation theory, selected special topics. Prerequisite: PHYS 3610H and MATH 3150H. Recommended: MATH 2350H. Excludes PHYS 4600Y. 
PHYS4700H
Offered:

Statistical & Thermal Physics
The statistical meaning of entropy and temperature; microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical ensembles; derivation of distributions for distinguishable and indistinguishable particles and applications; additional topics may include advanced methods in classical statistical mechanics, an introduction to phase transitions, and cryogenics. Prerequisite: PHYS 2620H, 2700H, and MATH 2110H. Pre or corequisite: PHYSMATH 3150H. 