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. Jan. 31, 2018New technique can capture images of ultrafast energy-time entangled photon pairsMacLean in the optical photonics lab

    Jean-Philippe MacLean works on his quantum optics experiment designed to capture images of ultrafast energy-time entangled photon pairs.

  2. Dec. 4, 2017Roger Melko’s Group is Pioneering Machine Learning Techniques to Solve Fundamental Problems in Condensed Mattert-sne Ising

    In 2012, a group of University of Toronto researchers led by Geoffrey Hinton sparked a revolution in artificial intelligence that has dramatically changed the world. Their breakthrough came after decades of research designing machine learning algorithms for use in computer vision tasks, such as feature extraction from raw image data.

  3. Nov. 15, 2017A Tale of Two SupernovaeThe Perseus galaxy cluster, located about 240 million light-years away, is shown in this composite of visible light (green and r

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  1. Feb. 23, 2018Periodically-driven quantum many-body systems, many-body localization and machine learning

    PhD. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate:  Pedro Ponte

  2. Mar. 6, 2018Wonderful World of Capillarity & WettingSushanta Mitra

    Colloquium Series

    Sushanta Mitra

    Executive Director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
    Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and Department of Physics & Astronomy
    University of Waterloo

  3. Mar. 7, 2018Gustav Bakos Observatory TourGustav Bakos observatory interior, in red light

    Come visit the observatory during the March public tour!

    • Presentation at 6:30 PM in EIT 1015 (note the special room)
    • Telescope viewing at 7:00 PM (access from 3rd floor of PHY)

    The Observatory is open for public tours, usually on the first Wednesday of each m

All upcoming events

QS World University Rankings by subject 2017 TOP 150

Meet our people

Norbert Lütkenhaus

Norbert Lütkenhaus


Professor Lütkenhaus' research group explores the interface between quantum communication theory and quantum optical implementations. They translate between abstract protocols (described by qubits) and physical implementations (described for example by laser pulses); they benchmark implementations to properly characterize quantum advantage and exploit quantum mechanical structures for use in quantum communication.