Contact InformationChristopher Wilson

Phone: 519-888-4567 x31465
Location: QNC 3122


Biography Summary

Christopher Wilson is an Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor cross-appointed to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo.

In 2004, Professor Wilson moved to Sweden to work on a quantum computing project at Chalmers University of Technology. Along with his team, he started working on superconducting circuits for quantum computing. Around 2007, they realized that the work could allow them to measure the virtual photons inside a vacuum. These virtual photons are generated and annihilated in pairs. About 40 years ago, it was suggested that a mirror moving near the speed of light could capture some of these photons. The effect had never been observed, due to the difficulty of moving a massive object at that speed. They made an electronic 'mirror' that they could effectively move at one-quarter of the speed of light using magnetic fields. This allowed the team to separate the pairs, stopping them from annihilating and turning them into real photons that they could observe.

Professor Wilson is continuing his work on quantum information, microwave quantum optics, and nonlinear dynamics at the University of Waterloo. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the Wallmark Prize for 2012 awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy for his work on the Dynamical Casimir effect (DCE). Professor Wilson’s work on DCE was named in the Top 5 Breakthrough of 2011 by Physics World and #1 Reader's Choice on Nature News.

Research Interests

  • Superconductivity
  • Superconducting Quantum Circuits
  • Quantum Computing
  • Circuit quantum electrodynamics
  • Microwave quantum optics
  • Quantum Information
  • Nano-electronics
  • Quantum memories and interfaces
  • Nonlinear dynamics


  • 2002, Doctorate, Physics, Yale University
  • 1996, Bachelor of Science (BS), Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


  • ECE 770 - Special Topics in Antenna and Microwave Theory
    • Taught in 2015
  • QIC 750 - Quantum Information Processing Devices
    • Taught in 2016, 2017
  • NE 344 - Electronic Circuits
    • Taught in 2015, 2016
  • ECE 676 - Quantum Information Processing Devices
    • Taught in 2016, 2017, 2019
  • ECE 240 - Electronic Circuits 1
    • Taught in 2017, 2019
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Forn-Díaz, P and García-Ripoll, JJ and Peropadre, B and Yurtalan, MA and Orgiazzi, J-L and Belyansky, R and Wilson, CM and Lupascu, A, Ultrastrong coupling of a single artificial atom to an electromagnetic continuum, arXiv preprint arXiv:1602.00416, 2016
  • Roy, Dibyendu and Wilson, CM and Firstenberg, Ofer, Strongly interacting photons in one-dimensional continuum, arXiv preprint arXiv:1603.06590, 2016
  • Krantz, Philip and Bengtsson, Andreas and Simoen, Michaël and Gustavsson, Simon and Shumeiko, Vitaly and Oliver, WD and Wilson, CM and Delsing, Per and Bylander, Jonas, Single-shot read-out of a superconducting qubit using a Josephson parametric oscillator, Nature communications, 7, 2016
  • Corona-Ugalde, Paulina and Martín-Martínez, Eduardo and Wilson, CM and Mann, Robert B, Dynamical Casimir effect in circuit QED for nonuniform trajectories, Physical Review A, 93(1), 2016
  • Chang, CWS and Forn-Diaz, Pol and Wilson, CM, Quantum optics with nonlinearly coupled superconducting resonators, Bulletin of the American Physical Society, 2016