Physics & Astronomy
Physics and astronomy involve the study of matter, forces, and energy as they relate to the understanding of our environment from Earth to the distant reaches of the universe. The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western studies natural phenomena such as star formation, the Earth’s atmosphere, and meteors as well as applications of physics to medicine in the form of imaging, and radiotherapy and technology -specifically, nanofabrication, optoelectronic devices, and biomaterials.
To learn more about all of our modules see Modules at a Glance.
What You’ll Learn
Physics is a foundational discipline of STEM careers and enables students to develop logical reasoning skills based on underlying principles. Our undergraduates (testimonial) also acquire proficiency in problem-solving, mathematics, experimental design, computer simulation, and data analysis while experiencing the tools and techniques of modern high technology.
In their final year, students synthesize their experience by undertaking a significant research project with a member of our faculty. Financial support for undergraduate research is made available each summer to support experiential learning and the development of professional skill sets and network development.
The ability to share scientific understanding within and well beyond the scientific community is one of the hallmarks of success for our students. The undergraduate seminar course brings together students in all years of the Physics and Astronomy modules, to train confident and effective speakers and presenters of complex material. Our Physics and Astronomy Student Association (PASA) hosts and annual research conference and multiple social events throughout the year.
All of our students are well-prepared to enter graduate school to become professionals in rapidly evolving disciplines. Graduates are employed worldwide in fields as diverse as pure and applied research, medicine, engineering, teaching, science journalism, and finance.
Recent graduates have gone on to work as industry scientists at medical imaging companies, software specialists working with Big Data and completing MD degrees at Ontario medical schools.