Why study Physics?

Physicists study an enormously rich variety of phenomena in physical systems which range in size from those that are less than the atomic nucleus to those which exceed an entire galaxy containing billions of stars. The observations are described theoretically in terms of the properties of a few fundamental particles such as electrons and their interactions, in the belief that there is an elegant but simple structure which underlies the description of the physical world at the fundamental level. These fundamental physics studies have also spawned remarkable technological changes in medicine and other sciences, communications, information processing, transportation, energy systems, military weapons, etc., which profoundly affect virtually all aspects of life.

There are opportunities for Brock physics graduates to work in government, industry, and university laboratories engaged in virtually any scientific research, development, or engineering work; in teaching; in technical sales and management; in the computer, semiconductor, materials science industry. Many students elect to continue their physics studies in graduate MSc and PhD programs.

About Brock's Physics Department

Brock's B.Sc. and honours B.Sc. programs provide the necessary set of classical and quantum physics courses which establish the basic structure of the discipline together with topics from atomic and nuclear physics, and the electrical, magnetic and optical properties of solids. Final year honours students undertake individual research oriented topics which are supervised by faculty. The Department also offers a concurrent BSc/BEd program and a MSc program.

Senior students are encouraged to assist faculty in junior laboratory instruction, in tutorial sessions and in assignment marking. They may also participate with faculty in research, and the quality of their contributions is recognized by scholarships and other awards.

Brock faculty members have a great track record of scientific success; for example, Brock physicists were the first in Canada (in December of 1986) to verify and extend the original report of the discovery of the new class of materials, the so-called "high-Tc superconductors". They are sure to continue to have the same success and international recognition. The researchers of the Department have established co-operative research programs with scientists at many laboratories and universities in Canada, the United States and Europe.

What do you need to enter Physics at Brock?

Similarly to other Brock Science majors, to study Physics you need one Chemistry (SCH4U), one of two Mathematics (Calculus and Vectors, MCV4U, or Advanced Functions, MHF4U), and two more credits from Biology (SBI4U), Physics (SPH4U), Earth and Space Science (SES4U), a second 4U Mathematics, or English (ENG4U) as your required high-school credits. A minimum of 70% is required in MHF4U, MCV4U, or SCH4U. Typically, mid-70s average has been the cutoff for admission into Brock in the last few years, and there are some remedial courses that you may be able to take at Brock if your average is just a little short of the cutoff. Note that a high-school Physics is not a requirement of admission into the Physics program, though most of our incoming students have this credit. More than anything, student's success in Physics - as in any other Science major - will depend on their mastery of basic mathematical skills. You should consider making use of the online tools provided by our Department of Mathematics, and you can do this while still in high-school. See this link for details.

B.Sc. Honours program takes four years to complete, while a B.Sc. Pass program may be completed in three years. To get an idea of what courses you would need to take to complete one of these programs, take a look at this sample schedule. For more details, please consult the full listings from the Brock Undergraduate Calendar.

The M.Sc. program offered by the Department currently focuses on training in condensed matter physics. Recent research activities have been geared towards applied material science, involving the study of amorphous and quasicrystalline alloys, high-Tc superconductors in the form of single crystals as well as thin films, optical properties of semiconductor oxides, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies in model biological membranes. Our facilities include a SQUID magnetometer, sputtering and melt-spinning devices, variable-energy X-ray diffractometer, NMR and X-ray fluorescence spectrometers, Michelson (mid IR) and Martin-Pupplett (far IR) polarizing interferometer, near IR-vis-UV grating spectrometer, specific heat, susceptibility- and resistivity-measuring instruments for a wide temperature range and also under high pressure. For more details, please consult the full listings from Brock's Graduate Studies Calendar.