Physics and Space Science News and Events

RMC Graduate Student to Row Across the Pacific Ocean



Follow Heather's voyage

Update (11 May, 2021)
Heather has begun her row to Hawaii!

Heather Taylor, RMC graduate student in the Department of Physics and Space Science, is on a mission.

Pacific sunset
The Mission?
To row 3,890 km (2,100 nautical miles) across the Pacific Ocean.


Pacific Ocean route from Monterey, California to Hilo, Hawaii

Heather will be rowing across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii to bring lasting change in communities facing poverty.

Heather is undertaking this epic voyage to raise funds for charities 'Emmanuel International' (EI) and 'TEAR Australia'.

Starting from Monterey, California in May 2021, Heather will not see land for 60 to 90 or more days until she arrives in Hilo, Hawaii.

Armed with 120 days of rations, a water maker, and three sets of oars, she’ll be on her own until she arrives in Hilo on the Big Island.

More people have been to space or climbed Mt. Everest than have crossed an ocean in a rowing boat. Unless someone else gets there first, she'll be the first Canadian to complete a mid-Pacific row, and the first Australian to solo it.

More information can be found at Pacificgiantsrow.


Photo credit: Heather Taylor / Pacific Giants Row

Annual Physics for Defence Lecture


The annual Physics for Defence public lecture presents unclassified research carried out by faculty in the Department of Physics and Space Science, and its connections with the mission of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. .

Public Lecture: Non-Destructive Evaluation for the Royal Canadian Air Force
Dr. Thomas Krause, RMC

Department of Physics and Space Science
Contact: Dr. Ron Vincent, 613-541-6000 ext. 6932, or


Aircraft in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) are flown with a damage tolerance approach. That is “Have Cracks, Will Fly”. In this approach cracks, especially fatigue cracks, need to be found before they can reach a critical size that could potentially cause in-flight failure of the aircraft. The detection of cracks is accomplished by various non-destructive inspection methods that are performed as part of a periodic inspection program, with the goal of detecting cracks small enough that they won’t grow to their critical size before the next inspection. The most common of these techniques are based on electromagnetics, known collectively as eddy current testing. This talk will present an overview of non-destructive evaluation and recent developments in electromagnetic inspection technology and methods. Examples will include techniques developed for aging aircraft such as the CF-188 Hornet, CP-140 Aurora and CC-130 Hercules.

Fatigue cracks most often form at fasteners, thousands of which are used to hold aircraft together. Cracks are most difficult to detect in the second or third layer of these multilayer aircraft structures. A currently used inspection method is bolt hole eddy current, but it requires removal of the fasteners, which takes time and carries inherent risk of additional damage to aircraft components. The focus of this talk will be the development of pulsed eddy current methods, which can detect second layer cracks without fastener removal. The talk will present the underlying physics, technology and methods used to accomplish this, and present ongoing research towards the development of safer flight for RCAF aircraft.



In memoriam: Dr. Rodney Harris-Lowe.


We have received sad news that Dr. Rod Harris-Lowe (Space Science and Physics Dept.) passed away suddenly on February 10, 2020.

Rod was a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada and in 1965, he returned to the College and the Department of Physics as a Professor.  He served as Head of the Department from 1986 until 1991.

Rod was also greatly involved with the Canadian Military College Faculty Association (CMCFA) for 17 years. He held the position of President during the certification process of the CMCFA.  He also held positions of Vice-President, Executive Secretary and Chair of the Grievance Committee.  In addition, he served on the bargaining team for numerous negotiations.