Astrophysics at GWPI is covers a broad range of theoretical topics and observational phenomena including the study of dust grains that make up the interstellar medium, the formation, the evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes, cosmic inflation, the dynamics of galaxies, and more. Our astrophysicists are making use of world-class observing facilities such as the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Gemini telescopes to answer questions about the formation of stars, galaxies and black holes, the composition of the interstellar medium, and the mysterious dark matter and dark energy that dominate our Universe. Our theorists investigate gravitational phenomena from cosmological to subatomic distance scales, including black holes, gravitational radiation, and the possibility that there are extra dimensions to spacetime.
Robert B. Mann
Raymond G. McLenaghan
|| Robert Myers
Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics is a broad interdisciplinary field, with applications in biophysics, medicine, astrophysics, cryogenics, chemistry, environmental science and information processing. Our facilities consist of state-of-the-art equipment, which include some of the world's most intense lasers, a new 3MV accelerator, and the world's first confocal scanning laser microscope, and Canada's only scanning proton microprobe. Many interesting opportunities are also available for theoretical research in this area, and include formal work in variational calculus and boundary value problems, molecular collision theory, ion channel studies, quantum and classical chaos, theory of femtosecond laser interaction with atoms and molecules, coherent control of quantum dynamics, computer simulations of biophysical transport processes, and the calculation of atomic transition rates used in in astrophysical plasma modelling and spectral analysis.
Our biophysics group studies a broad range of problems at the exciting interface of biology and physics, including heat shock in cells and proteins, simulations of protein conformation. the physical properties of cell membranes, assemblies of macromolecules, polymer phase transitions and interface properties, and the optical properties of the human eye. We make extensive use of the most up to date techniques available, including neutron scattering, nuclear magnetic resonance, and molecular modelling. This work has applications in medicine, optometry, and the pharmaceutical and food industries.
The interplay between physics and chemistry constitutes one of the most interesting blends of pure and applied research today. Our experimentalists are at the forefront of this research, performing some of the most precise spectroscopic measurements in the world and detecting phenomena as exotic as water on the sun. A variety of advanced techniques are employed in this work, including thin film preparation, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, High Resolution Photoionization, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Field measurements of atmospheric clouds. There is ample opportunity for theoretical work as well in statistical mechanics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the determination of intermolecular forces many-body theory, density functional theory and various mathematical modelling techniques. Some of our researchers will soon make use of Canada's first scientific satellite since 1971, the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE).
Chris G. Gray
|Anna T. Lawniczak
K. Tong Leung
Condensed matter physics, with its inexhaustible wealth of theoretical concepts and experimental applications, forms the largest branch of physics research today. Our experimentalists probe the most novel properties of fluids, crystals, gels, macromolecules, semiconductors, and metals, in order to determine the collective behaviour of matter under as broad a range of circumstances as possible. Our theorists work closely with their experimental colleagues to understand phenomena as diverse as high-temperature superconductivity, spin-glasses, glass transitions, chemisorption, vortices, surface and interfacial phenomena, structure of polymers and proteins, and critical phenomena. With numerous applications in lubrication, batteries, logic circuits and plasmas, our investigations into condensed matter present students with perhaps the broadest range of career alternatives in physics.
Physics, the original interdisciplinary science, has a host of applications in many areas of immediate interest in both the private and public sectors of society. The research our faculty carries out involves the forensic sciences, novel microscope development, laser welding techniques useful in the automobile industry, the construction of fibre optic lasers, vibration control in mechanical systems, development of instrumentation and data analysis methodology for Martian rovers, the study of physical acoustic and electro-acoustic systems, and of digital signal processing in audio. Excellent opportunities are available for students wishing to pursue co-operative graduate studies in these fields.
Quantum Computing is concerned with exploring the possibility that the laws for information processing could be intrinsically quantum-mechanical. As such, it extends the foundations of computer science by relating the notions of information and computation to physical laws. Quantum Computing involves a leap not only in our way of controlling computer processors but also a change of paradigm in our understanding of what information is. It is a vast field that includes quantum communication, quantum cryptography, quantum teleportation and quantum information processing. Quantum Computing is a rapidly-developing multidisciplinary subject that provides excellent experimental and theoretical research opportunities for graduate students in physics. Researchers in this field are also members of the Institute for Quantum Computing, which was established in 2002.
Subatomic physics is the study of the constituents of matter on the scale of the atomic nucleus, and smaller, and their interactions. Our primary experimental efforts are centered on nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics, and searches for physics beyond the Standard Model using Canada's world-leading radioactive beam facilities, ISAC and ISAC-II, at TRIUMF. Major experimental facilites at TRIUMF operated by us include the TIGRESS and 8pi gamma-ray spectrometers, and we are currently developing the DESCANT array of neutron detectors. Our theoretical efforts concentrate on obtaining predictions of neutrino interactions relevant to SNO, the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, as well as with furthering the development, understanding and predictions of the quark model of baryons. Some of our investigations, at a more formal level, are concerned with quantum chromodynamics, electroweak theory and string theory (the leading candidate for a unified theory of all forces and particles), particularly with the development of calculational methods to extract its predictions for both particle physics and gravity.
| Achim Kempf
Robert B. Mann