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100 Years of Graduate Physics

In year 2000 the Physics Department was celebrating 100 years of graduate physics. This section is presenting the celebration activities of this important event.

Sir John C. McLennan, Ph.D., June 13, 1900

Introduction

Sir John Mclennan

The department of Physics at the University of Toronto was founded in 1887. The graduate program followed soon afterwards with the establishment of the requirements for the degree of Ph.D. in 1897.

John C. McLennan spent a year studying at the Cavendish Laboratories in Cambridge, England in 1898 following the completion of a specialist undergraduate degree in the newly formed department of Physics at Toronto. He completed the requirements for his graduate degree in 1900, receiving the first Ph.D. conferred on a student in the physical sciences in Canada on June 13, 1900.

McLennan went on to become a professor of Physics and director of the Physical Laboratory at the University of Toronto until the early 1930's. His research interests included liquid helium, superconductivity, atomic spectroscopy, the exploration of natural radioactivity as well as the study of atmospheric conductivity. This laid the foundation for condensed matter and quantum opticssubatomic and atmospheric physics --- three of the areas of expertise in the department even today. Physics moved to its present location in 1967 and the building complex was named the McLennan Physical Laboratories in his honour.

For more on McLennan, see

In year 2000 we were celebrating the centennial of McLennan's degree.

Centennial Events

Physics Building

The events and talks which took place during the centennial celebration.

Schedule of events

  • Joint colloquium with The Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Oct 21, 1999, presented by Steven Turner and David Pantalony.
  • McLennan Centennial Lecture, May 12, 2000. Speaker: Nobel laureate Charles H. Townes of the University of California, Berkeley"Physics - From the Remarkable Past Century to Possibilities of the Next", 7:30pm, Earth Science Auditorium, room 1050, 22 Russel St. (just across Huron St. from Physics.)
  • (An affiliated event) The Boris Stoicheff Honour Luncheon, May 13, 2000, 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. All former graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and scholars who had worked with Professor Boris Stoicheff at one time are invited to a special luncheon to commemorate his 76th birthdate and recognize 50 years of leadership and research in Canada. Contact: Prof. Peter Herman.
  • Physics alumni reunion, May 13, 2000. Reception and dinner in the Canada Room, St. Michael's College. Reception at 5pm dinner at 6pm. For reservations and help with accomodation, contact Marianne Khurana.
  • Physics department Open House, 10am to 4pm, May 13 and 14, 2000. Events include talks and tours of research labs in atmospheric physics, condensed matter physics, particle physics, laser physics and nonlinear physics.

Open House posters

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Schedule of short talks during open house.

Saturday May 13th, 2000

  • 11:00 am Mike Sutherland. Levitating trains and other superconducting fun.
  • 12:00 am Stephen Morris: Shaken, not stirred: crazy sand that refuses to mix.
  • 1:00 pm Allan Griffin: How low can you go? The sordid history of low temperature physics at Toronto.
  • 2:00 pm Liam Kieser: Negative Ions, Nuclear Waste and Arctic Oceanography.
  • 3:00 pm Kimberly Strong Sniffing the air from Balloons and Rockets.

Sunday May 14th, 2000

  • 11:00 am Robert Orr: Tiny particles and big detectors.
  • 12:00 am Stephen Morris: Shaken, not stirred: crazy sand that refuses to mix.
  • 1:00 pm Mike Sutherland: Levitating trains and other superconducting fun.
  • 2:00 pm Liam Kieser: Negative Ions, Nuclear Waste and Arctic Oceanography.
  • 3:00 pm Kimberly Strong Sniffing the air from Balloons and Rockets.