Welcome to Physics & Astronomy

2018 was a year for the ages. We had a fire in June but we fully recovered. We hired Will Percival, the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Distinguished Chair in Astrophysics, to direct the new Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics. Five of our graduate students received Vanier awards, and undergraduate Emily Pass won the triple crown in Co-Op undergraduate astrophysics. I had the pleasure of attending the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm to share the joy of Donna Strickland’s Physics prize.
2018 will be hard to beat, but 2019 holds great promise as the concepts for our new Physics research wing and the Science Centre for Innovation are moving to completion.
Last month I had the pleasure to present Faculty of Science Distinguished Alumni Awards to Dr. Rob Myers of Perimeter Institute and Dr. George Pinho of Christie Digital. Two weeks later, Rob was appointed Director of Perimeter Institute. This is an exciting time to be a part of Waterloo Physics.
For those of you considering physics as a way of life, please take a close look at our programs. Rob and George represent the level of achievement you can expect of yourself with a Waterloo physics degree. Come and share in the excitement of doing physics at Waterloo: a great department at a great university, located in a great community that lives and breathes physics.

Come to Waterloo!

Brian McNamara, Chair

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

  1. Mar. 5, 2019Physics alumnus Robert Myers named new director of Perimeter InstituteRob Myers

    Last week, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics named Waterloo Science alumnus Robert Myers (BSc Physics - Co-op ‘82) as their new director. He succeeds the previous director, cosomologist Dr. Neil Turok, who held the position since 2008.

  2. Mar. 4, 2019Software for the quantum ageIQC interior

    Imagine if we could remove pollution from the atmosphere, not worry about the security of our private information, or design drugs targeted for more effective treatment against disease. Poised to revolutionize society, quantum technologies may help us overcome these real-world problems and other research challenges — and PhD candidate Kristine Boone is helping to pave the way.

  3. Feb. 19, 2019Researcher honoured with Alfred P. Sloan Research FellowshipChristine Muschik

    Christine Muschik, assistant professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo, was selected as a 2019 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics.

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  1. Apr. 23, 2019Electronic Order in the Cuprates

    Ph.D. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate: Christopher McMahon

  2. Apr. 25, 2019The Softest CrystalsRandall Kamien

    Colloquium Series

    Randall Kamien

    Vicki and William Abrams Professor in the Natural Sciences
    Department of Physics & Astronomy
    University of Pennsylvania

  3. Apr. 30, 2019Biophysical Modeling of Antimicrobial Peptide’s Interactions With Phospholipid and Lipopolysaccharide Membranes

    Ph.D. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate: Shokoofeh Nourbakhsh

All upcoming events

Meet our people

Raffi Budakian

Raffi Budakian

Professor; Joint WIN/IQC Nanotechnology Endowed Chair in Superconductivity

​Professor Budakian's work in the past decade has focused on developing the experimental tools for ultra sensitive detection of electron and nuclear spins. He explores the application of these tools to address fundamental questions ranging from biology to quantum information.