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Physics

Learn about black holes, atmospheric phenomena, new materials, quarks and gluons. Investigate such phenomena as the big bang, quantum mechanical paradoxes and superconductivities. Experiment using telescopes, satellites, radar, tokamaks, synchrotron and particle accelerators. Conduct space weather observations and atmospheric ozone monitoring. These opportunities and more are available to you when you choose to major in Physics at the University of Saskatchewan.

What is Physics?

Physics is the study of matter and energy and how they interact. Students in physics study all aspects of nature — from the study of subatomic particles to the study of astronomical objects many times larger than the sun. Physicists attempt to understand the particles that make up the universe and the forces with which they interact. The goal of physics is to formulate comprehensive principles that bring together and explain the world around us.

A Major in Physics

Students majoring in Physics can choose from one of the following degrees:

  • B.Sc. Three-year
  • B.Sc. Four-year
  • B.Sc. Honours
The Department also offers a minor in Astronomy in conjunction with a
Three-year, Four-year or Honours degree in any discipline in Arts & Science.

Outstanding Students and Faculty

  • As a professor of Physics at the University of Virginia, Alumnus Blaine Norum has contributed to the initiation of the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility — a continuous electron beam facility for subatomic physics research.
  • Stephen Rempel, who received a B.Sc. Honours degree in Physics, is currently working on his Ph.D. in medical imaging through the University of Manitoba and the National Research Council. His research focuses on preventing atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
  • Professor Kaori Tanaka has been awarded an NSERC University Faculty Award for Women on her work in condensed matter
    physics theory.
  • Professor Akira Hirose and Professor E.J. (Ted) Llewellyn are two of the seventeen University of Saskatchewan professors who have been elected Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, an honour that is this country’s highest academic accolade. Dr. Hirose is also a current holder of a Canada Research Chair in plasma based materials science.
  • The Department currently has four Canada Research Chairs: Dr. Akira Hirose is a Canada Research Chair in plasma based materials science; Dr. Alexander Moewes is a Canada Research Chair in materials science with synchrotron radiation; Dr. John Tse is a Canada Research Chair in materials science; and Dr. Jean-Pierre St.-Maurice is a Canada Research Chair in environmental sciences.

Getting Involved!

Join the Astronomy Club and the Physics Students' Society (PSS), both of which host many academic and social events. Each year, members of the Physics Students' Society attend the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference. Students from universities across Canada come together to discuss new and interesting developments in undergraduate physics.

Represent other Physics students on the Undergraduate Liaison Committee. Faculty members and students meet frequently to discuss such issues as course and program delivery, facilities, scientific equipment, textbooks and other materials and time tabling.

Join other students in promoting physics and raising awareness of careers in physics and engineering physics to high school students. This includes giving presentations or hands-on programs to school students at the U of S or elsewhere in Saskatchewan.

Students in Physics also have the opportunity to apply for summer positions, in most of the Department research groups including the Canadian Light Source (Synchrotron). During the term there are also part-time teaching assistant positions available in the Department such as marking assignments, tutoring students and providing laboratory assistance.

Research Facilities

The Department houses a number of excellent research facilities that benefit graduate and undergraduate students. These include the Canadian Light Source (Synchrotron), The Plasma Physics Laboratory, the Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies, the Subatomic Physics Institute, Cluster computing facilities and a Scanning Probe Microscope facility. There are also on- and off-campus astronomical observatories.

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