Michael Steinitz, Professor of Physics

St. Francis Xavier University
P.O. Box 5000, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, B2G 2W5   Canada
Telephone:  902-867-3909     Fax:  902-867-2414
Michael is Emeritus Professor of Physics in the Physics Department at StFX, where he has been since 1973.  He does research in Solid State Physics, in neutron scattering and magnetic structures of rare-earth and transition metals, especially incommensurate and density-wave structures, as well as dilatometry at cryogenic and very high temperatures. Together with Jan Genossar of the Technion, he developed the tilted-plate capacitance displacement sensor, which allows angstrom resolution at temperatures exceeding 1000 C.

From 2006 to 2020 he was the editor-in-chief of the Canadian Journal of Physics.

In 2005 he was coordinator of Canadian efforts for the World Year of Physics 2005 (as declared by the United Nations) for the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP).  A highlight of this year in Canada was the lecture tour by Clifford Will on "Was Einstein Right?" together with performances by the Borealis String Quartet of a string quartet commissioned for the World Year of Physics by the CAP.  The quartet was composed by Aaron Hryciw, a student of Canadian composer, Malcolm Forsyth's, at the University of Alberta, who was then also a PhD candidate in physics.  The program cover was designed by Michael's former student, Nicole MacDonald.
Water to Ice program
An article in Physics in Canada summarized the World Year of Physics activities.  The Toronto Star published a series on physicists’ favorite equations and included Michael’s on Maxwell’s equations.
In 2006 he received three awards.  The StFX Friendship Award given in February 2006 was very pleasing.  The Canadian Association of Physicists/Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists Peter Kirkby Memorial Medal for Outstanding Service to Canadian Physics was awarded to him at the CAP Congress in June 2006. The Division of Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (DCMMP) of the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) selected the paper, "Sodium Nitrate - a difficult discontinuous phase transition", by Michael O. Steinitz, David A. Pink, J. Patrick Clancy, A. Nicole MacDonald and Ian Swainson, Vol. 82, 12, 1097 (2004), as the Best Condensed Matter/ Materials Paper in the Canadian Journal of Physics for Dec. 2004 -Nov. 2005.

Prior to coming to StFX in 1973 he was at the University of Toronto (PDF), Northwestern University (PhD), Cornell University (B.Engr.Physics), the University of Goettingen, Germany, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University. He has twice been Lady Davis visiting professor for a year at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa. He lectures on physics in English, German, French, and Hebrew.

He is chair of the Antigonish Performing Arts Committee, which presents the Antigonish Performing Arts Series  of eight to ten concerts per year. He is a past member of the board of directors of Debut Atlantic and the Performing Arts Sponsors Organization of Nova Scotia.  He is pleased to have played a role in bringing CBC Radio Two to the Antigonish area.

Michael was President of the Canadian Association of Physicists  during 1998-99 and chair of the board of directors of the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations (ICIP/CIPI) from 1999-2002.  He served three terms as a member of the Board of Governors of St. Francis Xavier University.  He was co-author, with Bev Robertson, of the Highly Qualified Personnel Section of the Review of Canadian Academic Physics.

Profiles at StFX and at the StFX Research Grants Office contain some further details.


since 1991

·         71.  Michael Steinitz 2016 “The Mechanics of Scientific Publishing, Peer Review, and Ethics in Publishing”, Physics in Canada, 72, 17-18.

·         70.  Editor of “An Accompanist’s ABC” memoirs of celebrated Canadian pianist John Newmark.

·         69.  Report on Canadian Team’s Participation in the 4th International Conference for Women in Physics -- Stellenbosch, South Africa, April 5-9, 2011, Marina Milner-Bolotin, Adriana Predoi-Cross Roby Austin, Arundhati Dasgupta, Shohini Ghose, Michael Steinitz, Li-Hong Xu, Physics in Canada, vol. 67, pp. 204-207, 2011

Proceedings of the 4th international conference on women in physics, Stellenbosch, April 2011

·         68.  T.D. Hatchard, A.E. George, S.P. Farrell,  M.O. Steinitz, C.P. Adams, M. Cormier, and R.A. Dunlap 2010  “Production and characterization of <100> textured magnetostrictive Fe-Ga rods”, J. Alloys and Compounds 494, 420-425.

·         67.  A. Tauheed, Y. N. Joshi, and M. Steinitz 2009 “Revised analysis of singly ionized tellurium: Te II” Can. J. Phys. 87 1255-1268

  • 66.  M. O. Steinitz 2006 “Capacitance Dilatometry Moves from Cryogenic to High Temperatures” Physics in Canada 62, 99-101.  – invited, refereed review article.

            Michael O. Steinitz 2006 “The World Year of Physics in Canada”, Physics in Canada, 62, 13-14.
            Michael Steinitz 2005 “A Sentimental Journey, of sorts”, Physics in Canada, 61, 149.