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Winter 2004 Number 109


- Moving Objects - pg 8 - Fall Convocation - pg 10

- Dr. Phil is a "Prize" - pg 9 - Undergraduate Physics Conference - pg 12

Page 2 Phys 13 News / Winter 2004

Canadian Foundation for Innovation Grants • A joint Canada-UK SCUBA-2 camera (SCUBA:
submillimetre common user bolometer array) to be
located on the James Clark Maxwell Telescope, in
by G. Scholz
Hawaii, to produce images of the deep universe using
Dept. of Physics, Universiy of Waterloo
radio waves.

Dr. David W. Strangway, President and CEO of the • The Canadian access-fee to the Atacama Large
Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced the Millimetre Array (ALMA) Telescope – a major
names of nine large-scale research infrastructure projects international construction to be based in Chile, which
aimed at promoting Canada's position in the areas of will be the foremost land-based instrument over the
marine and environmental sciences, infectious diseases, next 20 years.
astronomy, light sources, and particle physics. All projects
were selected following a national competition and will be • A beamline at the most advanced neutron spallation
funded by the CFI from two special $100 million installation in the world, at Oak Ridge, Tennessee in
allocations. The projects are divided into two categories: the USA, to secure the leadership of Canadian
researchers in using neutrons to look at engineering
1) The International Joint Ventures Fund is aimed at materials.
creating infrastructure in Canada that would showcase
internationally outstanding research being undertaken in • The KOPIO Project – a new experiment in particle
Canada, and to enable Canadian researchers to collaborate physics to explore the origin of matter. The project is
with the best scientists in the world. Three projects were a major new international initiative led by a team of
selected under the International Venture Fund: internationally renowned Canadian scientists in
Canada, and involves 63 scientists in six countries.
• A research icebreaker to study the changing Arctic
Ocean and global climate change issues.
The Physics Department at the University of Waterloo
• A highly innovative 5-beam advanced laser – capable is proud to be hosting “SCUBA-2”, which is described in
of spanning a very wide range of wavelengths – a more detail below. We hope to feature other projects in
fundamental tool to transform the Canadian research future issues of Phys 13 news.
and training environment in disciplines such as physics,
chemistry, and biotechnology.

• A major new International Facility for SCUBA-2: A Submillimetre Camera for Astronomy
Underground Science to transform Ontario’s
internationally renowned Sudbury Neutrino
by Mike Fich
Observatory (SNO) from a large-scale experiment to
Dept. of Physics, University of Waterloo
a world-class facility and scientific destination.

Canadian astronomers are at the centre of major

2) The International Access Fund is designed to offer research efforts at submillimetre wavelengths. A large
Canadian researchers access to world-class research part of the reason for Canadian successes in this area is
collaborations and facilities located elsewhere in the Canada's contribution to projects providing absolutely the
world which will allow them to collaborate with the best best instrumentation available anywhere for submillimetre
researchers in many subject areas that are important for astronomy. The most successful submillimetre instrument
Canadians. Six projects were selected under the in the world is SCUBA which is, in part, managed by
International Access Fund: Canadian astronomers. This article presents a summary of
the SCUBA success story and of a new instrument, SCUBA-
• The Neptune Program to strengthen Canada’s 2, now being fabricated within Canada and at the institutions
leadership in research in the deep ocean. of its international partners.

• The Canada-Kenya research laboratory to provide Astronomy at Submillimetre Wavelengths

outstanding researchers in Canada – and their
international collaborating partners in Nairobi, Oxford When we look up at the sky at night we see stars
and Washington – with a state-of-the-art facility for everywhere. When we look at a galaxy it is the stars in that
research on highly infectious diseases such as AIDS galaxy that are visible to us. Fig. 1 shows the Andromeda
and hemorrhagic fever. galaxy, a large spiral galaxy, and two other small galaxies

Phys 13 News / Winter 2004 Page 3

that are all close to our own “Milky Way” galaxy. Although die they expel much of their matter back into the ISM.
we cannot distinguish individual stars in these galaxies all Thus it is the ISM that provides us with much information
of the light we see originates from stars. Note also the on the births and deaths of stars. However, virtually all of
many individual bright points spread over the entire picture the light emitted by the ISM is at longer wavelengths.
in Fig. 1. Virtually all of these are stars in our Galaxy. We
are inside our Galaxy and we look through some part of our Unfortunately (for astronomers) the Earth’s
Galaxy no matter which direction we choose when we atmosphere is not transparent at all wavelengths. Visible
observe other places in the Universe. light and a wide range of radio waves are able to reach the
surface of the Earth. A small part of the ultraviolet and
near-infrared parts of the spectrum can pass through the
atmosphere too. (The “cut-off” in the ultraviolet is
determined by the ozone layer in the Earth’s atmosphere.)

At submillimetre wavelengths there are “windows”,

narrow in wavelength range, where light is only partially
absorbed by the atmosphere. At high altitudes the
transmission through the atmosphere is improved, but is
critically dependent on the amount of water vapour in the
air above the observing site. Submillimetre astronomers
search for the highest and “driest” sites in the world for
their telescopes.

Fig. 1: The Andromeda Galaxy and two small companion


Most of the light produced by stars is at visible

wavelengths, the light that our eyes are evolved to detect.
But there are other things besides stars in the Universe.
For example, in Fig. 1 the Andromeda galaxy has dark
patches encircling its centre. These are a visible sign of
that galaxy’s interstellar medium (or ISM), the material
between the stars. These dark patches are due to a small
amount of interstellar dust (microscopic particles, solids
Fig. 2: Telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii
made of many elements including especially carbon,
oxygen, and silicon) mixed in with the gas that dominates
the ISM. Dust typically makes up approximately one Fig. 2 shows the summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant
percent (by mass) of the ISM and the ISM itself has a mass volcano on the island of Hawaii. At 4,000 meters (14,000
of perhaps five percent of the mass contained in stars. feet) the climate there is quite good for astronomy. Many
telescopes are located on Mauna Kea, including those
While the dust absorbs visible light, it emits very operating at visible, near-infrared, submillimetre and radio
strongly at longer wavelengths of light where our eyes can wavelengths. Visible-light telescopes there include the
not see. Just beyond visible wavelengths, the infrared is Keck telescopes (the largest visible-light telescopes in
often split into the near infrared, mid-infrared, and far- the world, the two identical white domes to the right of
infrared. Longer in wavelength still are the various radio centre in Fig. 2), Gemini (a very new, very large telescope
wavelengths, beginning with the submillimeter, then the partially owned by Canada, the large silver dome to the left
millimeter, centimeter, decimeter, and meter wavelengths of the centre), the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope (the
bands. large white dome in the centre in the foreground) and
Suburu, a new Japanese very large telescope (just behind
Many galaxies are equally bright at visible and to the left of the Keck telescope domes).
wavelengths and at far-infrared and submillimeter
wavelengths. Thus the picture of the Universe as seen in The largest submillimeter telescope in the world is
the visible, as in Fig. 1, is missing a great deal. The ISM the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) which is also
contains the material that forms into stars, and when stars on Mauna Kea. It is seen in Fig. 2 far in the background just

Page 4 Phys 13 News / Winter 2004

to left of the centre. A closeup view of the JCMT is shown theoretical predictions. Some of these and other SCUBA
in Fig. 3. For a scale size in the picture note the two cars discoveries are highlighted in the sections below.
in the garage at the left of the building. The JCMT is jointly
owned and operated by the United Kingdom, Canada and
the Netherlands. Disks around Stars

The study of debris disks of cold dust around nearby

main sequence stars can give vital clues to the planetary
formation process. This dust is thought to arise from
material left over from the formation of planets. Not only
do such images give us an effective ‘time series’ showing
how our early planetary system evolved from a circumstellar
disk, but perturbations, seen as clumps and cavities in the
observed image, have the potential for actually pinpointing
the locations of young planets. In Fig. 4, a SCUBA image
of a nearby system is shown beside a computer model. In
the numerical simulation of the ε Eridani dust disk (shown
at right of Fig. 4) an inner planet (known to exist from
radial velocity searches) has cleared the central region
(orbit shown as solid circle), whilst an outer planet (dotted
circle) causes perturbations in the dust disk. The position
Fig. 3: James Clerk Maxwell Telescope of this putative planet can be estimated (large white dot).

ε Eridani observation Numerical simulation

The JCMT began operation in 1987 with a sensitive

single channel bolometer (borrowed from another
telescope on Mauna Kea), the best detector available, that
measured the brightness of one spot on the sky – a single
pixel. To make an image required such a laborious process
of scanning this one pixel across the sky that only a few
modestly-sized images were ever made.

A first generation of “Common User” instruments

was built over the next ten years. The most successful of Fig. 4: (Left): SCUBA 850 micron observation of the faint dust
these instruments was SCUBA, the Submillimetre ring surrounding ε Eridani (Greaves et al. 1998). (Right):
Common User Bolometer Array which was delivered to numerical simulation of dust trapped in mean motion resonances
with a putative planet (Liou, Greaves & Holland 2002, in prep).
the JCMT in late 1996. This instrument consisted of two
arrays, simultaneously imaging at two wavelengths (450
and 850 microns), with a total of 131 pixels. Its imaging The Centre of our Galaxy
speed is approximately 5,000 times greater than the
previous single channel bolometer. A recently produced very large scale SCUBA image
of the plane of our Milky Way galaxy in the vicinity of the
Exciting scientific results came from SCUBA Galactic Centre is shown in Fig. 5. This superb image
almost immediately. Astronomers used SCUBA to find, (made by a team of 14 astronomers from 5 countries
for the first time, galaxies forming at the edge of the including Canada) shows a great deal of structure and will
Universe in the distant past. SCUBA played a leading role be the object of extensive further study. The observations
in showing that the physical processes that select the required to produce this image consumed many days of
masses of stars have already done so while the protostellar time using the JCMT, and yet this represents approximately
clouds are cold and large, before these clouds begin their 0.01 percent of the plane of our Galaxy, and the plane of
gravitational collapse to form stars. Polarimetry (the the Galaxy is only a small fraction of the overall area in the
measurement of the polarization of light) with SCUBA sky. While SCUBA is currently the most powerful
showed an amazing correlation between interstellar instrument of its kind, it is still limited in what it can
magnetic field geometries and the structure of interstellar produce. There is a large international effort underway to
clouds. Observations with SCUBA have found the dust image the entire Galactic Plane at other wavelengths, but
leftover from the process of forming stars and planets in with current instrumentation this has not been possible
nearby solar systems, finally confirming established at submillimetre wavelengths.

Phys 13 News / Winter 2004 Page 5

Fig. 5: The Plane of our Galaxy towards the Galactic Centre (Sagittarius A)

Star Formation Polarimetry

With SCUBA it is possible to produce moderate- The study of polarized radiation is the primary
area (fraction of a square-degree) fields of nearby means of investigating the geometry of magnetic fields
molecular clouds (such as the 850 micron image of Orion within astronomical sources. These fields are prevalent
shown below in Fig. 6). A great deal of structure is found throughout galaxies, from the largest scales to the small
within these maps on all scales, from individual point- cores that are collapsing to form stars within molecular
sources and moderately resolved clumps of prenatal dust clouds. Understanding the geometry of these fields, both
and gas, through clusters of clumped sources, to large- at a global and a detailed level, is crucial to our understand-
scale filaments, with and without internal fragmentation. ing of star formation processes and the physics of molecu-
These SCUBA maps reveal that the molecular cloud lar clouds. Polarimetric maps of dense filamentary clouds
material condenses into individual clumps, with a in Orion obtained with SCUBA have shown that the mag-
distribution in masses similar to that of the initial stellar netic field structure (the many small straight lines in
mass spectrum. Yet only some regions of the cloud are Fig. 7) can be explained with a theoretical model of
able to form these clumps, and the clumps that form appear filamentary clouds with a helical magnetic field.
stable to internal gravitational collapse. On larger scales,
details of the filamentary structure within molecular clouds Recently, it has been possible to combine three
provide evidence for the presence of ordered magnetic observational techniques to obtain a 3-D map of the field
fields, which may be dynamically important. configuration in the M17 molecular cloud. The strength of
the magnetic field along the line of sight is provided by
Zeeman measurements, polarimetric measurements give
the orientation of the field in the plane of the sky, and the
ion-to-neutral molecular line width ratio determines the
angle between the magnetic field and the line of sight.
SCUBA-2 will provide essential measurements for study-
ing magnetic fields in 3-D in other regions.

Fig. 6: Orion at 850 microns Fig.7: Polarization observations of Orion's Molecular Cloud

Page 6 Phys 13 News / Winter 2004

Cosmology: The Formation of Galaxies than currently available. SCUBA-2 will for the first time
allow us to trace this cosmic star-formation history.
Observing in the submillimetre region offers equal
sensitivity to dusty, star-forming galaxies over an enor- SCUBA-2
mous range in redshift (1 < z < 10), and hence access to the The SCUBA-2 project is a unique opportunity to
Universe at epochs from about half way back to only 5% of exploit emerging new technology to produce the world’s
its present age. Current SCUBA surveys have uncovered most advanced camera for astronomical research in the
about 100 submillimetre galaxies, which have changed our poorly explored submillimetre region of the spectrum.
view of early star formation. Follow-up of the current SCUBA-2 will replace the original SCUBA camera in
samples suggests that the brightest sources represent the mid-2006. SCUBA-2 is being built by a large team of
formation of the massive elliptical galaxies, which contain researchers with members from various universities and
about half of the massive star formation occurring at these research institutions in the UK and Canada, with the
early times. SCUBA-2 will allow us to probe more normal detectors being fabricated under contract by the US
galaxies as well. The population revealed in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
submillimetre region has proven to be extremely faint at The lead UK institution in the project is the Astronomy
other wavelengths. (see Fig. 8 for an illustration of this!) Technology Centre (UK ATC) at the Royal Observatory,
Edinburgh, and the lead Canadian institution is the
University of Waterloo.
Cosmology: The Formation of the First Stars
The Canadian SCUBA-2 consortium consists of
We know from studies of the Cosmic Microwave eight Canadian universities (in addition to University of
Background that the Universe began in a very uniform Waterloo these are: Saint Mary’s University, Université
smooth state, with few structures. At some point the Laval, Université de Montreal, University of Lethbridge,
“Cosmic Dark Ages” came to an end through the birth of University of Calgary, University of British Columbia, and
the first stars within primordial galaxies. Nuclear energy University of Victoria). The international SCUBA-2 team
was converted to light in stellar interiors, and had impor- includes the Canadian Consortium plus a number of other
tant heating and ionization effects on the surrounding world-renowned groups, including the group at NIST in
medium. Exactly how this process began and evolved is Boulder, Colorado, the Astronomy Instrumentation Group
currently one of the greatest cosmological puzzles. Re- at the University of Cardiff, and the Scottish
cent work in the submillimetre waveband has shown that Microelectronics Centre at the University of Edinburgh.
luminous infrared galaxies evolve more strongly than their
more normal optically-bright counterparts. It has also To achieve the scientific potential of SCUBA-2,
become clear that luminous obscured galaxies at high with a mapping speed that is at least 100 times that of
redshift contribute a substantial fraction (arguably the SCUBA (this is the design goal), SCUBA-2 will have focal
majority) of the total emitted radiation in the Universe. planes operating at two wavelengths simultaneously (450
Roughly half of all the stars that have presently formed, and 850ìm) that utilize most of the usable field of view of
probably formed in highly obscured systems. To trace the the telescope. This requires ~10,000 pixels - a pixel count
star-formation history of various galaxy types over cos-
mic history with precision requires much larger samples

Deep-etched 1.135 mm
trench (10 µm)


SQUID bump bonds
Nitride membrane
(0.5 µm)
Si Brick

Fig. 8: (l) a long exposure of a small part of the sky with the
Hubble Space Telescope. Almost every object in this picture is Fig. 9: A single SCUBA-2 pixel. Submillimetre light enters the
a galaxy. (r) A “deep” exposure of the same part of the sky with instrument from above and is absorbed, heating up the absorber.
SCUBA. Everything shown is a source of submillimetre light The TES “measures” the temperature increase and the
(there is no “noise” in the image). Essentially every object seen temperature is read out by the SQUID MUX (multiplexer).
in the submillimetre image is not detected in the visible image.
cont'd on pg 16

Phys 13 News / Winter 2004 Page 7

Moving Objects means that the image is being moved over the retina. On
the other hand an after-image produced by a photographic
flash will remain at the same point in the field of view as
by Walt Duley the eye is turned, so that the act of rotating the eye cannot
Dept. of Physics, University of Waterloo itself introduce an element of motion into a stationary
scene. These observations argue that there are at least two
separate mechanisms contributing to a determination of
The visual detection of motion has perplexed sci- the motion of objects in the visual field, and that both act
entists from the earliest days of research into the mecha- together in acquiring and processing this information.
nisms of vision. An ability to detect motion, of course, Inhibiting or compromising one of these mechanisms can
has obvious evolutionary advantages and so it is not sur- have the effect of introducing motion where none exists.
prising that this capability has been “hard-wired” into the The disorientation that accompanies over-indulgence in
eye. This hardware takes the form of special detectors: alcohol may be an example of such a compromise. Ele-
rods at the outside of the retina that are sensitive only to ments of motion sickness may also be related to conflict-
motion. Motion of an image over this area on the retina ing visual and other sensorial stimuli as the motion detec-
has been programmed to invoke a response in which the tion and assessment system associated with vision yields
eye rotates to acquire an accurate image of the moving different information from that provided to the brain by
object. This acquisition then permits the object to be the inner ear. This can be experienced in driving as
identified and assessed as a potential threat. It is important peripheral vision detects motion asynchronous to signals
that the eye rotate because the detectors at the edge of the from the inner ear.
retina respond only to a change in illumination. Indeed,
one cannot see an object in peripheral vision unless it is Detecting and assessing motion visually involves
moving. these “hard-wired” subsystems, but it also has elements of
an acquired knowledge base. This “practical” knowledge
Motion of an object can also be detected by follow- has been obtained over time through experience of how
ing it with the eye while retaining a focus. In this case, the things should look in relation to their size and shape.
background to the object may also move across the retina Simulation of the overall response of the eye to motion,
causing a perception of motion, but it has been shown in a now done by analysts using a variety of increasingly so-
large number of well-controlled experiments that motion phisticated computer models, shows that signals from all
can still be detected even in the absence of a background the body’s motion sensors (head with respect to body,
reference. This suggests that there are two distinct head with respect to world, eyes with respect to body, etc.)
systems to acquire and measure motion, both hard-wired are referenced to this knowledge base in order to reach a
into the brain. One of these is the response of a stationary decision as to the nature of the event. It is as if the brain
eye to the motion of an image across the retina. The other applies a filter to visual signals to select those character-
would appear to consist of a bio-mechanical measurement istics that are needed to invoke a physiological response.
system that records the movement of the eye and produces In reaching conclusions based on this filtered informa-
an output signal that the brain evaluates to detect motion tion, the brain is required to make a decision and it tends
and velocity. While both mechanisms are plausible, they to pick the one that is most consistent with the information
provide only a simplistic description of the manner in available. In effect, it is a sort of “fuzzy logic” analysis to
which motion is detected. the data available. If this leads to the conclusion that an
object is moving, then it must be moving, or one must be
From common experience it is known that under moving in relation to it. A good example of this phenom-
certain conditions motion appears to occur even when an enon is the image of a rotating spiral that, if it fills the field
object is stationary. Well known is the waterfall illusion, of view, stimulates a response that makes it feel like one
wherein a stationary object, viewed after watching the is being drawn either toward the spiral or away from it.
waterfall, will appear to move in an opposite direction to Another effect can be seen when the moon appears to
the water flow. Similarly, a blinking light in a dark room move with a car when driving, but at slightly slower speed.
will also appear to move when one stares at it. Even a
stationary light will seem to move erratically in a com- All of these phenomena show that visual data has
pletely darkened room or a small mark on the wall may strong temporal as well as spatial components, and that the
seem to migrate in dim light. brain does its best in evaluating these data and coming up
with a conclusion that matches its perception of reality.
When objects do move, the eye can follow them Fortunately, most of the time this works, but occasionally
without disorientation. We also sense no motion when the when no clear decision is possible, the brain opts for its
eyes turn to scan a stationary scene, even though this own interpretation, a sort of mental slight of hand!

Page 8 Phys 13 News / Winter 2004

Dr. Phil is a "Prize"! the people who came up to speak to him at the awards gala
wanted to say how important the SIN exam was to them.
One of those was Rajiv Gupta, who is currently President
by Gretchen Harris
of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and was at
Dept. of Physics, University of Waterloo
the ceremony to accept a Michael Smith Award to the
RASC. But he wanted to tell Dr. Phil how much the SIN
exam and its challenges meant to him. Among the letters
At a gala awards ceremony in Ottawa on November
we received was one from Jeff Catania, once a SIN exam
19, Phil Eastman was one of five winners of the 2003
participant and now with the Halton District School
Michael Smith Awards which recognize outstanding
Board; he speakes eloquently about how the challenge of
achievement in the promotion of science in Canada. These
the SIN exam stimulated by the joy of figuring out the
awards are sponsored by NSERC (the Natural Sciences
answers was at least as important as doing well and possi-
and Engineering Research Council) and are named in
bly even winning - which he did. For him the problem
honour of the late Canadian Nobel Laureate Michael
solving skills developed through SIN have been important
Smith. Anyone who has taken the Sir Isaac Newton exam
throughout his career. The SIN exam has been at least as
knows who Phil Eastman is and that this award is long
important to physics teachers who find it valuable in
overdue, but SIN is only a part of how his career in physics
honing their own skills and motivating students. Retired
has enriched literally hundreds of thousands of lives for
Grade 13 physics teacher Ted Passmore recalls that "...SIN
more than 30 years.
questions ... inevitably raised the bar and allowed for
interaction between them (students) and me on a level
beyond that which normally occurred in class".

If you have not seen the "Circus of Physics" you

have missed a major treat. According to Carl Thompson,
a teaching colleague from engineering at UW, "his show
has been honed to perfection... after each punch line... Phil
explains the science behind each result in a simple, easy to
understand manner." He could hold groups of 200 or more
grade 6 students in rapt attention for these demonstra-
tions. Another colleague tells of his 87 year old mother
who saw Dr. Phil spread the excitement of physics to a
group of retired learners in Woodstock. Afterward she
went up to him and said she had a son who taught physics
- Phil remembered him and impressed her forever.

Phil Eastman has a contagious love of physics that Another, perhaps less well known element of Phil
he has shared successfully with people of all ages. As I was Eastman's contribution to physics and physics learning has
gathering material to support his nomination, I was amazed been his work in the development of physics textbooks.
by the variety of people I could call on and who were He and David Martindale developed several books be-
thrilled to write their stories of Phil Eastman and physics. tween 1987 and 1992; at the present time there are over
When all was collected we had too much material and had 250,000 copies of these (in both French and English) in
to cut it back! Most people wanted to talk about the SIN circulation today. His outreach included science fairs and
exam or the "Circus of Physics" but of course he was also their development. To Dawn Scheifley he "was a catalyst
editor of Phys 13 news for many years and I learned that to interest the students and parents" as they developed
he also co-authored a high school physics text which has science fairs at elementary schools in Waterloo region.
been used for decades in both Canada and the United
States. These are only some of the stories to be told about
Phil Eastman and I am sure many of you also have fond
Phil Eastman created SIN in 1969 and since then memories of Phil.
over 150,000 high school students in more than 1000
schools have been tested and entertained by it. The com- Just in case any of you are interested, Dr. Phil's
bination of good, challenging problems with delightful wife accompanied him to Ottawa and made sure he had a
(often Canadian-based) humour has made the SIN exam haircut and decent suit to wear. As the photo accompany-
something that both students and teachers still look for- ing this article shows, he does dress up ok. Congratula-
ward to 35 years later. Phil Eastman told me that many of tions for an honour well deserved!

Phys 13 News / Winter 2004 Page 9

OCTOBER 25, 2003

Saturday, the 25th of October, would have been a

very normal day for most of us. However, for a few (11 to
be exact) physics students this was one of the most impor-
tant days of their lives. After four, five or even six years
of very hard work at the university, these students would
receive their Bachelor's, Master'ss or Doctorate Degree
at the 87th Convocation Ceramonies. Some were given
very special recognition for their outstanding achieve-

The University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal:

For Outstanding Performance in a Master's Program:
Adrian Del Maestro

Doctor of Philosophy Degree:

Gautam Das - "Multiwavelength Fiber Laser"
Sanjeev Seahra+ - "Physics in Higher-Dimensional
Manifolds" Robert Nieckarz being congratulated by Dr. Lazaridis.
Robert plans to continue with graduate studies here at
Master of Science Degree: Waterloo.
Andrew Chen
Adrian Del Maestro+
Ryan Kerner
Casey Myers

Bachelor of Science Degree:

Honours Science (Physics Minor):
Michael Gomes
Ian Szufnara

Honours Science - Physics

Babur Butter
Nikki Chan
Dean Gibson*
Sean Jackson
Aleksandar Jevtic*
John Newsome
Bart Piwowar
Connie Sutherland†
Dhruv Vagale

Honours Science - Chemical Physics

Robert Nieckarz

*Co-operative Program
Bart Piwowar receiving a word of advice from the Provost.

Dean's Honours List Bart first came to Waterloo as a high school co-op student.
Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies

Page 10 Phys 13 News / Winter 2004

Adrian Del Maestro being congratulated by Chancellor Mike Lazaridis on winning
the Gold Medal for his performance as a Master's student. Adrian is now pursuing
Doctoral studies at Yale University.

(l to r)
Sean Jackson: graduate student at Univ of Waterloo, planning to be a teacher.
Connie Sutherland: graduate student in the Ph.D. program at Univ of Ottawa
Aleksandar Jevtic: environmental researcher, planning to do graduate studies.
Dhruv Vagale: Teaching Assistant for the Dept. of Physics, and plans to pursue
graduate work in business entrepreneurship.

Phys 13 News / Winter 2004 Page 11

Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference own Ray Laflamme. Professor Laflamme spoke on recent
advances in Quantum Information Theory as well as some
of his own work at UW’s Institute for Quantum Computing.
by: Nathan Babcock Sebastien Casault
Cecile Fradin of McMaster University gave a fascinating
Owen Cherry Chris Cookson
description of her methods for observing single
Mark Eaton Mike Garrett
macromolecules inside living cells. Peter Grutter of
Rob Helsten
McGill University spoke on nanotechnology, explaining
how he uses scanning tunneling microscopy to build
nanoscale structures, atom by atom. The conference’s
The 39th annual Canadian Undergraduate Physics
closing lecture was given by Geoffrey West, who delivered
Conference took place from October 30th to November 1st
a light-hearted but thought-provoking address on the scaling
2003 at McGill University in Montréal, Quebec. From the
laws of biological systems, ranging in size from microbes
moment of our arrival, we were enthralled by the welcoming
to whales.
atmosphere of one of Canada’s oldest cities. From the
historical character of the old city to the hustle and bustle
of Chinatown, Montréal weaves a rich tapestry of the
diverse Canadian identity.

Of course, the main focus of the conference is not

We arrived Wednesday evening, the day before the the talks given by the keynote speakers, but those by the
conference commenced. After settling into our students themselves! For many undergraduate physics
accommodations (and, of course, a quick trip to the nearest students, it was their first opportunity to formally present
dépanneur) we made straight away to Schwartz’s Smoked their own work and research. Each student delegate was
Meat Restaurant. Since 1903, Schwartz’s has been a allotted twelve minutes for his or her presentation, followed
central attraction in Montréal, offering some of the most by a three-minute question period. To provide useful
mouth-watering smoked meat you ever did taste. Honestly, feedback to the speaker (and to award prizes for the very
it was incredible. best), two judges also evaluated each talk. Four talks in
four separate conference halls took place simultaneously
The conference roared ahead at full steam bright during each fifteen-minute time slot, with a three-minute
and early the next morning, with an opening address given transition period in between. Choosing which talk to hear
by Scott Tremaine on the long term stability of our solar next could often be a difficult decision. This year’s first
system. Understanding the stability of the solar system prize talk was given by Hyun Youk from the University of
amounts to solving an N-body problem on a time scale of Toronto and was entitled, “Magnetic Trapping of Neutral
many millions of years. Simulations of the present Atoms Using Anti-Helmholtz Coils and Microchip Traps.”
configuration of the solar system have been performed for Those who attended attested the fact that it was one of the
planetary orbits over the next 100 million years, and best presentations there. Another notable talk titled,
approximate analyses have been given for longer time “Quantum Physics: There’s Magic Everywhere” was given
scales still. by William Archer of the University of Calgary. Ever the
entertainer, Archer presented some of the most intriguing
The conference also featured lectures delivered by aspects of quantum theory in the form of a magic show,
a number of other keynote speakers, including Waterloo’s complete with tuxedo, top hat, and magic wand.

Page 12 Phys 13 News / Winter 2004

Students who preferred not to give an oration also On Friday evening the annual Grad Fair was held,
had the option to submit a poster describing their work. providing a chance for the delegates to get a flavour for the
Three hours were allotted to poster viewing, providing graduate research opportunities available at schools from
ample time to peruse the wide variety of topics presented, all around Canada. Each year, representatives from
ranging from biomagnetism to mathematical magic cubes. universities across the county set up displays describing
A particularly entertaining poster on the Slinkyä was work being done at their schools. Some institutions send
presented by Patrick Clancy and Fraser Turner of St. professors currently looking for grad students and others
Francis Xavier University. Clancy and Turner investigated send the graduate program advisors, but they’re all quite
spring constants and critical slinking angles of a number of keen to endorse both their schools and their research. This
commercially available slinking devices. They also year, as the Grad Fair took place on Hallowe’en, many of
measured the “slinkiness” of each device, that being the the school’s booths offered candy, but that wasn’t the only
number of stairs it can slink down before it gets pooped out treat in store. At the end of the night, McGill brought in its
and stops. As all good slinky researchers know, the own “Red Shift Blues,” a band composed of McGill physics
“slinkiness” factor is directly proportional any Slinky’s profs played classic hits from such groups as the Beatles
degree of “fun.” and CCR (and we’re not talking about the Canonical
Commutation Relations, either!). Playing to a packed
house of rowdy physicists, the show was an obvious success.

No CUPC would be complete without a tour of the

hosting university’s laboratories. Most of the tours took
place in McGill’s Ernest Rutherford Physics Building. After the closing ceremonies on Saturday evening,
There was much too much interesting research to describe we all had a chance sit back and relax with our newfound
all of it in detail, but it is worth mentioning some of the friends before our long train ride home. The next day we
highlights. At Dr. Maria Kilfoil’s Soft Condensed Matter departed from Montréal happy, exhausted, and a little
lab, her group gave a short presentation on the use of envious of the people who live their daily lives in exciting
optical tweezers to manipulate matter. Many of us also Montréal. The people there love their city and truly enjoy
visited to Dr. Peter Grütter’s NanoScience and Scanning sharing what they have with visitors.
Probe Microscopy lab, where we saw various applications
of atomic force microscopy, including their research on Next year’s CUPC will be held at the University of
nanoscale transistors. Victoria in beautiful British Columbia. See you there!

Phys 13 News / Winter 2004 Page 13


The answer to this Phys 13 news (#108) puzzle is "SCHRODINGER"

Erwin Schrödinger (1887 to 1961) from Austria, received the Nobel prize in physics in 1933, shared with Maurice Dirac, for
the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory.

We received correct entries from Chris Curran, Ali Reza Sharafat, Robert Bandurka, Brenda Gerein, Marc
Craig, Chris Edwards, Robin Bunner, V. Srinivasan, Helen Kro and E. Dunning.

The winner of our book prize, drawn by our Assoc. Chair, is Ali Reza Sharafat, a grade 12 student from Lisgar
Collegiate Institute, Ottawa. Congratulations Ali! A copy of "Astronomy - Journey to the Cosmic Frontier"
by John D. Fix has been mailed to you.



By popular request (well, the editor asked me!), here is another puzzle involving five more Nobel Laureates who were either
Canadians or had strong associations with Canada. Unscramble the letters below to form the names of these scientists. Then use
the letters with asterisks to find the name of the fifth scientist in this category. Note that several of the scientists are not
physicists and none of them were featured in our earlier Canadian puzzle #10. Send your entries to reach us before March 1,
2004. (Please include your full name, affiliation and address).

MAIL: R. Jayasundera, Department of Physics, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada
FAX: (519) 746-8115 - attention of R. Jayasundera

A draw for a book prize will be made from all correct entries. This contest is open to all readers of Phys 13 news. The solution
and the winner's name along with the biographical sketches of these five scientists will appear in the next issue of the magazine.


* *

* *

* *


Page 14 Phys 13 News / Winter 2004

THE SIN BIN about 200 km × 50 km, and is 80 m deep, how long will the
water in the lake supply Ontario’s power needs of about 20
A problem corner intended to stimulate some
reader participation. The best valid solution to the
problem will merit a book prize. We will always
Assume that Lake Ontario keeps its level as water
provide a book prize for the best student solution.
drains out the St. Lawrence River, and that no other water
Send your favourite problems and solutions to our
drains into Lake Erie, so that the lake will be depleted to
BINkeeper, John Vanderkooy,
produce the power. I had the feeling that this would give an
almost inexhaustible supply of power, but numbers do
Problem 109
have to be respected…
We received the correct solution from Ali Reza
The Solution!
Sharafat, who also sent the correct solution for the Laureates
Puzzle and happened to win the draw. Lucky Ali! It would
Thanks to Chris Curran for a correct solution. I still
be nice if we had more solutions from students! To
keep hoping that students will send in a solution! Perhaps
promote more student involvement the problems for the
the realities of physics teaching are such that there is very
next while, although challenging, can be done by students
little time for that extra hour…
even if they have not finished all their physics. Eg. the
problem below needs a little bit of optics, but geometrical
The potential energy of the water in Lake Erie can
reasoning will get you a long way. Of course we expect that
be calculated based on centre-of-gravity concepts. The
teachers and others alike will still send in their solutions!
CG will be halfway between the top and bottom of the lake,
so if the total volume of the lake is V, the density ρ, and the
We continue on the theme of energy use in the
height of the centre of gravity h=40m, then the potential
future and consider a society that wants to use the Sun for
energy of all this water E is:
everything. The flux of energy from the Sun near Earth is
1400 W/m2. What we want to do with mirrors orbiting the
E = V ρ g h = 80 × 200000 × 50000 × 1000 × 9.8
moon is to illuminate its dark side (people on Earth still
× 40 = 3.136 × 1017 joules.
want to sleep at night…) in order to grow plants in
biospheres continuously. The Sun has a diameter of
If this energy is used to produce power P (2 × 1010 W) over
1.4 × 109 m and is 1.5 × 1011 m away. The moon has a
a time t, then E = P × t, thus
diameter of 3.5 × 106 m. To the best of your ability, find
the minimum mirror size, radius of curvature of the
t = E / P = 3.136 × 1017 / 2 × 1010 = 1.568 × 107
mirror, and orbit height from the moon which will allow us
seconds = 181.5 days.
to have a radiant flux of 400 W/m2 at the moon? You may
assume that all the energy striking the mirror will end up
Thus all of Lake Erie would be depleted in 6 months. My
on the dark side of the moon, uniformly illuminating it.
initial guess was for a much longer time period! We
certainly are massive energy consumers.
To guide your thinking, if we used a very large flat
mirror behind the moon, the flux would be close to
1400 W/m2, since this merely reflects the sunlight near
Earth undiminished to the dark side of the moon. Of
World's Easiest Quiz
course only a small portion of the mirror would be needed.
The questions below appear to be straight-forward but
don't be fooled. Only four correct answers will give you
a passing grade. (answers on back cover).

1) How long did the Hundred Years War last?

2) Which country makes Panama hats?
3) From which animal do we get catgut?
4) When do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
Problem 108 from last issue: 5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?
6) What animal are the Canary Islands named after?
We keep on the theme of energy in this issue and 7) What was King George VI's first name?
now want to supply Ontario’s electrical power requirements 8) What colour is a Purple Finch?
by using water from Lake Erie. It is about 80 m above Lake 9) Where are Chinese Gooseberries from?
Ontario. If we assume that Lake Erie has a surface area of 10) What's the colour of the black box in an airplane?

Phys 13 News / Winter 2004 Page 15

cont'd from pg 7 A single 40x32 sub-array

on the order of 100 times greater than any existing camera

for this wavelength region. Since existing technology is
not scalable to such pixel counts, it has been necessary to
develop a new approach incorporating superconducting
Transition-Edge Sensors (TES) linked to multiplexed
SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device)
amplifiers. Such innovative new technology has
applications for future astronomical missions as well as a
range of industrial, security, and medical applications (e.g.
X-ray spectrometers for diagnosing contaminants in silicon
chip fabrication lines and detectors for medical imaging).

Each pixel of SCUBA-2 will be more sensitive and

more stable than the SCUBA pixels such that in common
usage the sensitivity will be only limited by the background
of the sky. The design for a typical pixel is shown in Fig. 9
while Fig. 10 shows the lay-out for several pixels in a Fig. 11: The focal plane assembly for 850 microns showing
regular grid. four sub-arrays fitted together (at the top). The wide copper
bands coming out at the bottom on each side are the cables that
connect the detectors to the electronics that controls the camera
Detector wafer and reads out the data.
Absorber and TES

Multiplexer wafer

Bump bonds
Phys 13 news is published four times a year by the
Physics Department of the University of Waterloo. Our
policy is to publish anything relevant to high school and
Fig. 10: Several pixels laid out in a rectangular grid. Note that
first-year university physics, or of interest to high school
there are two wafers, a detector wafer and a multiplexor wafer,
and these are connected together by “bump bonds”, a very physics teachers and their senior students. Letters,
high technology technique. ideas, and articles of general interest with respect to
physics are welcome by the editor. You can reach the
editor by email at: Alternatively
Due to the physical size of the pixels and limitations you can send all correspondence to:
on the fabrication of an individual wafer, SCUBA-2 will
use four sub-arrays of 40 by 32 pixels at each wavelength, Phys 13 news, Physics Department
fitted together as shown in Fig. 11. These sub-arrays will University of Waterloo
come very close to filling the focal plane of the JCMT and Waterloo, Ontario
therefore covering all of the area where the light collected N2L 3G1
by the telescope is brought to a focus to create
an image of the sky. Online editions can be viewed at:
SCUBA-2 is scheduled to have the first prototype
arrays completed in early 2004, and the plans will have the
camera ready for installation in late 2005 with first science Editor: Guenter Scholz
operations in May 2006 after extensive commissioning
Editorial Board: Tony Anderson, Rohan Jayasundera,
and testing of the instrument on the telescope. In the year
Jim Martin, Chris O'Donovan,
following the first science usage of the SCUBA-2 the
Guenter Scholz, Thomas Thiemann,
camera will be augmented with “ancillary” instruments, a
John Vanderkooy and David Yevick
polarimeter (to be made at Université de Montréal) and a
spectrometer (to be made a the University of Lethbridge). Publisher: Judy McDonnell
By early 2007 this will be a fully operating submillimetre
camera, the best in the world, and Canadian astronomers Printing: UW Graphic Services Department
can expect to continue in their leading role in this field.

Page 16 Phys 13 News / Winter 2004

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Answers to the World's Easiest Quiz:

1) 116 years
2) Ecuador
3) Sheep and Horses
4) November
5) Squirrel fur
6) Dogs
7) Albert
8) Crimson
9) New Zealand
10) Orange, of course.

Phys 13 News / Winter 2004 Page 17