Physics

 

PHYSICS

 

The Department of Physics offers six 3-credit courses at the 100-level (see course descriptions at the bottom of this page):

PHYS 101 – Physics for the Life and Health Sciences I
PHYS 102 – Physics for the Life and Health Sciences II
PHYS 121 – Physics for the Physical Sciences and Engineering I
PHYS 121 – Physics for the Physical Sciences and Engineering II
PHYS 171 – Introduction to Astronomy I
PHYS 172 – Introduction to Astronomy II

 

PHYS 101, 102, 121, 122
PHYS 101 and 102 are intended for students planning to study the life sciences, primarily biology and human kinetics, and who do not intend to take additional physics courses above the first-year level.

PHYS 121 and 122 are intended for students planning to study the physical sciences of chemistry, engineering, and physics; for mathematics and computer science students who wish a course in physics; and for any students (including those in the life sciences) who may wish to take a physics course above the first-year level.

Students planning a program in Earth sciences may take PHYS 101/102 or PHYS 121/122.

As a general rule, students who are required or who wish to take PHYS 101/102 or 121/122 as part of their programs should consider doing so in first year. There are benefits from conceptual overlaps with calculus (MATH 106/107 or 126/127) if these courses are taken simultaneously. Also, taking an introductory physics course in first year will minimize the time gap between university physics and high school physics, which can be very beneficial to student success.

PHYS 101 is not a prerequisite for 102, so those wishing to take PHYS 102 in second term may do so without having completed 101 in first term.

PHYS 101/102 or 121/122 (normally 121/122) are prerequisites for all other courses in the department, other than 171, 172, 271 and 272.  (PHYS 171 and 172 have no prerequisites.  PHYS 271 and 272 require only PHYS 101 or PHYS 121, though 122 is also recommended.)

 

PHYS 171 and 172
PHYS 171 and 172 are aimed at students who have no background in mathematics or science. These courses are recommended for students in the Faculties of Arts and Business. Science students interested in taking astronomy courses should take 271 and 272 in a future year, though credit will be granted for PHYS 171 and 172. Note that PHYS 171 and 172 may only count as open electives in a Physics program, and in some other Bachelor of Science programs.  Note also that a student cannot be granted credit for both PHYS 171 and 271, or for both PHYS 172 and 272.

Students should note that PHYS 171 is not a prerequisite for 172, so those looking for a 3-credit elective course in second term could register for PHYS 172 without having completed 171 in first term.

PHYS 171 and 172 cannot be used as prerequisites for upper-year physics courses, so may not be used as part of a pair.  Students intending to do a physics pair in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, or any of the Music degrees, will be required to take PHYS 101/102 or 121/122, as a pair requires a minimum of 6 credits at the 200-level or above.
 

Course Descriptions from the Current Academic Calendar:

101   Physics for the Life and Health Sciences I
An algebra-based introduction to physics focusing on mechanics. Topics include vectors; Newton’s Laws; static equilibrium of point and extended bodies; kinematics and dynamics in 1 and 2 dimensions; gravity; momentum and energy conservation; work; rotational dynamics; and fluids. Applications to biology, human physiology, and medical technology will be emphasized. Recommended for students in the life or health sciences. Students expecting to take additional physics courses above the 100-level should take PHYS 121. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 101, 121, 100, or 120. Three credits and lab.

102   Physics for the Life and Health Sciences II
An algebra-based introduction to physics focusing on periodic motion, waves, and electricity. Topics include a review of mechanics based on periodic motion; wave motion and standing waves; electric charge, field, potential, and circuits; the electromagnetic spectrum; optics; and thermodynamics. Applications to biology, human physiology, and medical technology will be emphasized. Recommended for students in the life or health sciences. Previous physics experience would be an asset but is not required. May only count as a science A course for advanced major and honours students in physics with permission of the Chair. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 102, 100, or 120. Three credits and lab.

121   Physics for the Physical Sciences and Engineering I
A calculus-based introduction to physics focusing on mechanics. Topics include Newton’s Laws; static equilibrium; kinematics and dynamics in 1 and 2 dimensions; momentum and energy conservation; work; and rotational dynamics. Recommended for those considering further study in any of the physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, and computer science. MATH 106 or 121 should be taken concurrently. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 121, 101, 100, or 120. Three credits and lab.

122   Physics for the Physical Sciences and Engineering II
A calculus-based introduction to physics focusing on electricity and magnetism. Topics include simple harmonic motion; electric charge, force, field, and potential; Gauss’s Law; simple electric circuits; magnetism, magnetic forces and fields; electromagnetic induction and Faraday’s Law. Recommended for those considering further study in any of the physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, and computer science. MATH 107 or 122 should be taken concurrently. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 122, 100, or 120. Prerequisite: PHYS 121; or PHYS 101 with permission of instructor. Three credits and lab.

171   Introduction to Astronomy I
This course provides an introduction to astronomy for students who have no background in mathematics or science. Topics include observing the night sky with and without optical aid, the development of astronomy and related sciences, time and calendars, the evolution of the solar system, sun, planets, comets, and meteors. Observing sessions will be arranged. This course is intended for non-science students, but may be taken by science students as an elective. PHYS 271 is recommended for science students. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 171 or PHYS 271. Three credits.

172   Introduction to Astronomy II
This course provides an introduction to astronomy for students who have no background in mathematics or science. Topics include stellar systems, galaxies, quasars, black holes, dark matter, dark energy, cosmology, cosmogony and life in the universe. Observing sessions will be arranged. This course is intended for non-science students, but may be taken by science students as an elective. PHYS 272 is recommended for science students. Credit will be granted for only one of PHYS 172 or PHYS 272. Three credits.

 

Please refer to Section 9.30 Physics in the Academic Calendar.

Click here to go to the Physics department webpage.