Physics Department News
Aug 27, 2015
Usually the problem of climate change is solely described as the increase in temperature since the beginning of the industrialization of the Northern Hemisphere. People discuss the impact of rising temperatures on the Arctic, but how does climate change affect us on a regional scale, where we actually live?
Aug 19, 2015
Do you remember tin can telephones? You and a friend would each be holding an empty can, connected by a string stretched out tightly. You could speak to one another, with the string carrying the sound waves from one end to the other.
Jul 07, 2015
Jun 30, 2015
Professor G.W.K. Moore and his colleagues in Great Britain, Norway and the United States have published a paper in Nature.com raising awareness of the fact that retreating sea ice in the Iceland and Greenland seas may be changing the circulation of warm and cold water in the Atlantic Ocean and could ultimately affect the climate in Europe.
May 07, 2015
Professor Amanda Peet featured in the National Post on May 6, 2015 in advance of her lecture at the Perimeter Institute.
Apr 27, 2015
Congratulations to members of our Department for their achievements during this year's WxChallenge weather forecast competition.
Apr 20, 2015
Industry allure: PhD holders with quantitative skills are landing posts at technology companies.
Apr 15, 2015
Department of Physics Professor Hoi-Kwong Lo in collaboration with Dr. Azuma and Dr. Tamaki of the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation in Japan design first all-photonic repeaters
Apr 14, 2015
U of T takes 1st, 7th, 8th and 9th of the top 10 Spots in Canada!
Mar 17, 2015
Mr. Yige Chen under the supervision of Prof. Hae-Young Kee has identified a new class of metal in Iridium oxides. Read all about it in Nature Communications
We used to think that different phases such as liquid, solid, and magnets are classified by broken symmetries, however, it was recently found that distinct phases without any broken symmetry are found due to their non-trivial topological nature.
Mar 10, 2015
Mar 03, 2015
Rejoice icicle lovers. Dr. Freeze has delivered his magnum opus. For the record, Stephen Morris, a professor of physics at the University of Toronto, does not call himself Dr. Freeze. But by his own admission, he is obsessed with icicles. He has observed them in the environment and grown them in his lab. He has accumulated thousands of photos and hundreds of videos of icicles forming under different conditions.
Feb 24, 2015
Jason Harlow, David Harrison and Eli Honig compared student performance in two sessions of a large first-year university physics course, one with a normal 12-week term and the other with a compressed 6-week term. Student performance was measured by the normalized gain on the Force Concept Inventory. They found that the gains for the regular-format course are better than the gains for the compressed-format course, and while the differences in gains are small they are statistically significant. Not accounted for are the differences in effectiveness of the different instructors in the two versions of the course.
Jan 30, 2015
A study led by atmospheric physicists at the University of Toronto finds that global warming will not lead to an overall increasingly stormy atmosphere, a topic debated by scientists for decades. Instead, strong storms will become stronger while weak storms become weaker, and the cumulative result of the number of storms will remain unchanged.
Nov 26, 2014
The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), as a part of the Stantec Team, has been selected by an interagency scientific review panel to lead a long-term scientific study of the Arctic marine ecosystem along the Beaufort Sea shelf from Barrow, Alaska to the Mackenzie River delta in Canadian waters. The Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES) stems from increased attention to climate change, energy development, and sustainability in the Arctic region. Information gained will aid government, industry, and communities in making decisions related to regulations, resource management, economic development and environmental protection issues.
Nov 11, 2014
University of Toronto physicist Kaley Walker has helped solve the scientific mystery behind the recent increase in ozone-depleting chemicals in the lower stratosphere of the Northern Hemisphere, despite a 25-year old ban on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Employing data from various sources, including the Canadian Space Agency's SCISAT satellite, an international team of scientists used numerical simulations to determine that the recently observed increase in hydrogen chloride (HCl) in the lower stratosphere is due to reduced atmospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere.
Nov 10, 2014
Scientists have discovered that interactions in certain quantum materials could naturally produce the effects needed for ultra-efficient computers and other electronics.The field of spintronics — a short form of spin transport electronics — seeks to understand and power electronic devices using the quantum property known as electron spin rather than an electron’s charge. Spintronics could lead to efficient circuits and electrical devices that do not waste energy through friction and heat.
Nov 03, 2014
Ordered crack patterns are so common in nature that they are often overlooked. From tile-like formations in ordinary mud, to the vast polygonal networks that stretch across the polar deserts of Earth and Mars, they are typical features in geomorphology. On smaller scales, crack networks add an artistic flourish to Japanese raku pottery and are found on the paintings of the old masters. Cracking even determines the pattern of scales on the snouts of Nile crocodiles.
Oct 21, 2014
Moving charges get deflected by a magnetic field, an effect which underlies such applications as isotope separation and the quantum Hall effect which fixes the International standard for electrical resistance.