World−class research

Particle Physics

The Theoretical Particle Physics group at Carleton University is one of the largest phenomenology groups in Canada, focused on relating new models of electroweak physics to experiments.  In the era of the LHC experimental data, this endeavour includes predicting signatures to help experimentalists find or exclude new physics beyond the Standard Model. Our group’s wide range of interests, which include the study of exotic models to explain the origin of mass, predicting dark matter abundance and signatures to explain the missing mass of the universe, and superstring theory, a candidate theory of quantum gravity that unifies all the known forces of nature, provides a unique breadth of experience for your education. Our collaborative nature fosters an excellent learning environment.  


Two kilometres below the surface of the Earth near Sudbury is Canada’s leading-edge underground physics facility: the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory LABoratory (SNOLAB). This facility provides the low-background environment needed for the next generation of neutrino and particle-astrophysics experiments. SNOLAB may house several experiments, including the Enriched Xenon Observatory (EXO) and the DEAP Dark Matter Experiment. EXO currently leads the world in the search for the neutrinoless double beta decay.  Discovery of this process would provide new insight into the properties of neutrinos, including the first measurement of the neutrino mass scale.  DEAP is a liquid-argon scintillation counter designed for low background, low energy threshold detection of nuclear recoil events consistent with weakly-interacting massive dark matter. Our intensive detector R&D program will provide you with an unparalleled hands-on experience to particle physics.


The ATLAS experiment is based at the world’s leading centre for particle physics research, the CERN Laboratory based in Geneva, Switzerland.  ATLAS is a particle physics experiment that explores the fundamental nature of matter and the basic forces that shape our universe using the head-on collisions of protons at the highest energy ever produced in a laboratory. The Carleton University group was a key participant in the discovery of a new particle consistent with the Standard Model Higgs boson and continues its studies in the areas of Higgs physics as well physics of the Standard Model and beyond. Our balanced research program offers unique opportunities in both data analysis as well as detector instrumentation R&D. Our students and researchers are frequent travellers to CERN and other facilities around the world.


Members of the Physics Department are also part a world-wide initiative involved in the development of detectors for the International Linear Collider. The Carleton group focuses on the development of a large-volume Time Projection Chambers as the main charged-particle tracking system. Be part of ground-breaking advances in detector technology.


The Carleton University Physics Department enjoys excellent technical facilities for particle detector R&D, including large instrumentation assembly areas, clean rooms for precision work, and a well-equipped machine shop. These facilities, coupled with our highly-qualified technical staff, will help you get a first-class high-tech training while pursuing your graduate degree.


Medical Physics

Medical physics is the other main area of study at Carleton. Medical physicists aim to improve the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of disease using the tools of physics.  The Carleton PhD Physics specialization in medical physics is accredited by CAMPEP.

Carleton Physics faculty and students work closely with physicists at centres such as The Ottawa Hospital and Cancer Centre, the National Research Council Canada, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and Health Canada.  The Ottawa Medical Physics Institute (OMPI) is a city-wide network that connects medical physics researchers in these diverse institutions.  Graduate student projects on the Carleton campus include the development of Monte Carlo simulation techniques for medical physics with emphasis on radiotherapy treatment planning and the measurement of radiation, x-ray imaging, the application of positron emitters to tumour tracking, and radiation dosimetry using optically-stimulated
 luminescence.  Graduate student projects off campus at our partner sites include mri, radiobiology, cardiac molecular imaging, radiation dosimetry, and projects involving the optimization of clinical radiation therapy procedures.

The Capital Advantage

Carleton University's location in the nation's capital places you in the highest concentration of scientific and technical expertise in the country, providing unparalleled access to both personnel and resource material.

The National Research Council of Canada, renowned for its exceptional research programs, and government organizations, such as Health Canada, the Communications Research Centre, and the Defence Research Establishment, are based in Ottawa.

A wealth of scientific talent, including many physicists, can be found working in the area with high tech industry leaders as well as in medical imaging and cancer treatment facilities.