Christopher Wilson

Christopher Wilson

Contact information

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


Chris Wilson

Biography summary

Christopher Wilson is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and 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 240 - Electronic Circuits 1
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2023
  • ECE 405 - Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
    • Taught in 2020
  • ECE 493 - Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Taught in 2018
  • ECE 676 - Quantum Information Processing Devices
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • ECE 730 - Special Topics in Solid State Devices
    • Taught in 2023
  • NE 131 - Physics for Nanotechnology Engineering
    • Taught in 2021, 2022
  • PHYS 468 - Introduction to the Implementation of Quantum Information Processing
    • Taught in 2018, 2019
  • PHYS 762 - Laboratory on Low Temperature Quantum Technology and Nanofabrication
    • Taught in 2022, 2023
  • PHYS 768 - Special Topics in Quantum Information Processing
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • QIC 750 - Quantum Information Processing Devices
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • QIC 862 - Laboratory on Low Temperature Quantum Technology and Nanofabrication
    • Taught in 2022, 2023

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/recent publications

  • 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
  • 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

Graduate studies