Welcome to Physics & Astronomy

As we move into 2021, our on-line physics programs are thriving, despite less than ideal circumstances.  We must continue to educate the next generation of talented physicists through the pandemic as best as we can.  We’ve learned that on-line education is no substitute for in-person teaching, guidance, and mentorship.  The dynamic social and economic landscape demands a talented and thoughtful workforce.  The world needs Waterloo graduates to solve hard problems sooner not later. 

Our research laboratories and upper-year teaching labs are operating while observing physical distancing and other health guidelines. We have retooled and reimagined our classes using a variety of media to train the next generation of physicists, scientists, and entrepeneurs. We were able to redirect financial assets to hire coop students and teaching assistants to move course material on-line and to perform advanced research in our labs and virtual blackboards.

Don’t be misled by the disorientingly-tranquil campus atmosphere - UW is humming along. While moving toward a C19-free future, we are watching its Fall resurgence closely.
We are ready to maneuver on a dime to protect the health of our students, faculty, and staff.

Brian McNamara
University Research Chair
Chair, Physics & Astronomy

The Physics & Astronomy department encourages an inclusive, tolerant, respectful, and diverse, intellectual environment

  1. Jan. 26, 2021Taking qubits to the next level

    Researchers have implemented a gate used in important quantum algorithms in one step on a three-level quantum system—a qutrit—for the first time.

    The new work led by Ali Yurtalan, Research Associate at IQC and in the University of Waterloo Department of Physics and Astronomy, identifies and addresses key challenges to controlling a qutrit, bringing researchers one step closer to developing quantum computers based on these multi-level quantum processors.

  2. Jan. 22, 2021Quantum computing paper by Professor Matteo Mariantoni included in Physical Review A Milestones List
    Matteo Mariantoni

    A research paper published in 2012 by Matteo Mariantoni, a professor in the department of Physics and Astronomy, appeared on the Physical Review A 50th Anniversary Milestones list.

  3. Jan. 21, 2021NSERC Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research

    The NSERC Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research is awarded annually to an individual or team whose outstanding research, conducted in Canada in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE), has led to exceptional benefits for Canadian society, environment and/or economy. All researchers in the NSE, regardless of their career stage, can be nominated for this award for their research conducted in Canada.

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