The main stairwell and office wing on both second and third floors of the Physics building will be closed until necessary repairs to the main stairwell are completed.
Administrative offices have been relocated to PHY 345.
Please do not cross any caution tapes whilst in the building.

Welcome to Physics & Astronomy

The Physics & Astronomy Department, situated at the heart of North America’s Quantum Valley, Canada’s technology hub, is located an hour south-west of Toronto. Waterloo is like no other place in the world to study physics. Come to Waterloo to study quantum information, holographic landscapes, and supermassive black holes. Create exotic materials, study laser optics, and build bio-sensors. The Physics & Astronomy department is your link to the Institute of Quantum Computing and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.  

Join our community. Study with some the best physicists in the world. 

Be inspired. Inspire us.  

Come to Waterloo!

Brian McNamara, Chair

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

  1. June 8, 2018The role of frequency-shifting in quantum scalability

    Physicists at IQC have developed new methods for preventing leakage errors due to cavity modes, an important obstacle in building a scalable quantum computer.

  2. June 4, 2018Top graduate student awards announced

    Every year, top graduate students from the Faculty of Science are nominated for the W.B. Pearson Medal, which is given to a Doctoral student from each department in recognition of their creative research, and the Dean of Science Award, which is given to a master’s student from each department in recognition of outstanding performance.

    The Dean of Science Award in Physics & Astronomy has been won by Allison Sachs, for her exceptional work on "Entanglement Harvesting and Divergences in Unruh-DeWitt Detector Pairs", supervised by Robb Mann and Eduardo Martin-Martinez.

  3. May 11, 2018Canada Research Chair positions renewed for two Waterloo Physics & Astronomy facultyDr. Roger Melko (left) and Dr. Kevin Resch (right)

    Two Physics & Astronomy researchers have been reappointed as Canadian Research Chairs (CRC). Kevin Resch and Roger Melko were recognized for their continued achievement with research funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) over the next five years.

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  1. June 21, 2018On the Robustness of Holographic Dualities: AdS Black Holes and Quotient Spaces

    Ph.D. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate: Cedric Sinamuli Musema

  2. June 21, 2018The quantum and the gravity: Newtonian and Cosmological Applications

    Ph.D. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate: Natacha Altamirano

  3. July 4, 2018Gustav Bakos Observatory TourGustav Bakos observatory interior, in red light

    Come visit the observatory during the July public tour!

    • Presentation at 9:00 PM in PHY 313 (note the special room)
    • Telescope viewing at 9:30 PM (access from 3rd floor of PHY)

    The Observatory is open for public tours, usu

All upcoming events

QS World University Rankings by subject 2017 TOP 150

Meet our people

Raymond Laflamme

Raymond Laflamme

Professor; Canada Research Chair in Quantum Computing; Executive Director of IQC

Would using quantum mechanics for information processing be an impediment or could it be an advantage? This is the fundamental question in the field of quantum information processing (QIP). QIP is a young field with an incredible potential impact reaching from the way we understand fundamental physics to technological applications.