Physics and Astronomy

Physics is often regarded as the cornerstone of the Natural Sciences. It involves the study of the interaction of matter and energy on the most fundamental levels and has been very successful in revealing many of nature’s most profound secrets. It encompasses a diverse range of disciplines including astrophysics, electronics, particle physics, and solid state physics.

Discover the Physics and Astronomy Department

The BSc Honours program prepares students for direct entry into graduate work in physics (leading to an MSc or PhD degree). The BSc Major program prepares students for industry, education and, on completion of a qualifying year, graduate work in physics. The Major program has sufficient electives to allow a substantial number of courses to be taken in another discipline (minor program), or even a second Major program in a related discipline.

The Master of Science (MSc) program is designed to give students a deeper appreciation of physics while at the same time training them to become independent researchers. Graduate supervision is available in a wide variety of disciplines including astrophysics, theoretical cosmology and gravitational theory, theoretical condensed matter physics, and particle physics.

Why study Physics and Astronomy at Bishop’s?

The department offers some unparalleled advantages to its students. These include:

Very Small Classes at the Upper Year Levels

  • The average class size of 2nd and 3rd-year courses is less than 10 students

Stimulating Environment that is Conducive to Learning

  • Positive interactions with other students and professors
  • Personal supervision by professors of laboratory projects

Research Employment during the Summers

  • More than 80% of honours students have been hired as summer assistants
  • Several students have been co-authors on scientific and conference papers

Job Opportunities as Course Markers, Teaching Assistants and Tutors

  • Excellent preparation for grad school and the teaching profession

Generous Undergraduate Scholarships

  • Over the past 10 years, more than 25% of students have held major scholarships

Postgraduate Success

  • Almost all of our Honours graduates have been accepted into (and attended) grad school
  • Others have become teachers, computer analysts, and taken jobs in industry
  • Check out the Students page!

Many distinct programs at both the undergraduate (BSc) and graduate (MSc) levels.

Popular courses

  • PHY111 The Physics of Everyday Phenomena
  • PHY112 Introduction to Holography
  • PHY113 Introduction to Astronomy

Did you know ?

The Physics Department is committed to the following objectives:

  • provide all physics students with a thorough background in the fundamentals of physics
  • update the curriculum emphasizing methods that yield new insights in the study of physics
  • offer Honours students the opportunity to conduct original and independent research
  • provide students in other disciplines of science with a basic understanding of physics
  • offer courses on topics in physics and astronomy that are of interest to non-science students
  • promote an environment conducive to lively and stimulating interactions between both students and faculty

Courses & Programs

Recent Honours Theses

Honours students are required to complete a research dissertation. The results of these theses should be sufficiently significant so as to be publishable either in pedagogical or research journals. In fact, many undergraduate students have already been co-authors on refereed research and/or conference papers (see information below). A variety of different projects have been undertaken by students ranging from astrophysics to quantum mechanics to holography.

Recent Honours Theses

NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship Winners

Undergraduate Summer Research Assistants and USRA Award Winners