Physicist Robert Mann named University Professor

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Robert Mann
Robert Mann, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been named a University Professor by the University of Waterloo. This designation recognizes exceptional scholarly achievement and international pre-eminence, and is given to a maximum of two faculty members each year. Robert Mann will be honoured for his outstanding achievement at the convocation ceremony this June.

Since this designation’s inception in 2003, this prestigious title has only been given to six other professors in the Faculty of Science. Robert Mann is the first University Professor chosen from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Professor Mann’s research focuses on gravitation, quantum physics, and the overlap of these physics topics. He wrote the first paper that examined how the idea of a minimal length in quantum gravity would affect our understanding of quantum mechanics. He has made a number of contributions to black hole thermodynamics, showing that black holes behave like everyday chemical systems, having phase transitions similar to those of  liquids and gases, gels, polymers, and even superfluids. The subject is now called "black hole chemistry”. He also was one of the founders of a subfield called “relativistic quantum information”, which investigates how relativistic effects modify quantum computation, and how quantum computation can exploit relativistic effects.

"The most rewarding thing about being a professor is the ongoing adventure of training students to participate in scientific discovery," says Mann. "It is an honour to be recognized by the University of Waterloo for doing something that I love to do."

Professor Mann will be honoured alongside John Hirdes from the Faculty of Health at the convocation ceremonies this June. Only 16 other individuals across the University of Waterloo currently hold this title.

Current University Professors in Science include Dr. Lyndon Jones from the School of Optometry and Vision Science, and Professors Linda Nazar and Janusz Pawliszyn from the Department of Chemistry.

This title has previously been held by retired Dean of Science Terry McMahon from the Department of Chemistry, Dr. Jacob Sivak from the School of Optometry and Vision Science, and late professor Robert Le Roy from the Department of Chemistry.