Richard Marchand, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Science - Physics Admin


Professor, Faculty of Science - Physics Admin
(780) 492-1061
3-123 Centennial Ctr For Interdisciplinary SCS II
11335 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5



BSc (1974) Université de Montréal
MSc (1975) University of Toronto
PhD (1979) Princeton University


Computational physics

Physics of spacecraft interaction with space environment

Ionospheric and magnetospheric physics

Particle in Cell (PIC) simulations

Finite elements

Structured and unstructured meshes


I look for students interested to do research in challenging problems in computational physics, in the area of space physics, and interaction between space environment and spacecraft. Applicants should have a strong academic background in physics and mathematics. They would be expected to show initiative in their research work, and be highly motivated to learn. Applications are invited for students starting at the MSc level with the possibility of transferring to the PhD program within the first year of their studies, subject to satisfactory performance in course work and research.

N.B.: In order to be considered for admission in September of a given year, prospective students should submit a complete application by February 1 of that year. Their application will then be reviewed by our admissions committee and, if selected, they will receive an offer of admission from our Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. The selection of students is based on a competitive process whereby applicants with the highest academic standing are made offers of admission.


ASTRO 429 - Upper Atmosphere and Space Physics

Basic space plasma phenomena: the Earth's plasma and field environment; the solar cycle; generation of the solar wind; the interplanetary plasma and field environment; the solar-terrestrial interaction; magnetospheric substorms; the aurora borealis; magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions; effects of magnetospheric storms on man-made systems; use of natural electromagnetic fields for geophysical exploration. Pre- or corequisite: PHYS 381.

Winter Term 2021
PHYS 381 - Electromagnetic Theory I

Review of scalar and vector fields; Gauss and Stokes theorems; curvilinear coordinates; Dirac delta function; electrostatic field and potential; electrostatic energy; conductors, capacitors; Laplace's equation; boundary value problems; methods of images; multipoles; electrostatic field in matter; polarization; displacement; linear dielectrics; magnetostatic field; Biot-Savart and Ampere's law; vector potential; magnetostatic field in matter; magnetization; linear and nonlinear magnetic media. Prerequisites: PHYS 230 or 281. Pre- or corequisite: MATH 334 or 201 or equivalent

Fall Term 2020

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