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!

  1. May 9, 2017New causal structures only found in the quantum worldKevin Resch, Robert Spekkens, Katja Reid, and Jean-Phillipe MacLean

    Last year, research from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) showed that in the quantum world, certain kinds of correlations do imply causation. This line of research has now expanded to the question of whether there are types of causal structures that exist in the quantum world but not in the classical world of our everyday lives. 

  2. Apr. 20, 2017Richard Epp and Michael Beazely recognized for Excellence in Science TeachingMichael Beazely and Richard Epp

    Excellence in teaching is both a tradition and a core mission of the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Science. Each year the Faculty of Science celebrates this dedication and superior teaching calibre by selecting up to two instructors to receive its highest teaching honour: the Excellence in Science Teaching Award (ESTA).

  3. Apr. 20, 2017Raymond Laflamme recognized for ground-breaking contributions to quantum researchRaymond Laflamme

    The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM) have awarded Raymond Laflamme, Professor of Physics & Astronomy and Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo, the 2017 CAP-CRM Prize in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics. The CAP-CRM prize recognizes research excellence in Canada.

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  1. Sep. 7, 2017A Classification of (2+1)D Topological Phases with Symmetries

    Ph.D. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate:  Tian Lan

  2. Sep. 11, 2017Graduate Student Information Session

    Find out all you need to know about the graduate program - meet the graduate officers and the program director, find out more about specific program requirements, and learn what all of our forms are for.

  3. Sep. 11, 2017Ultrafast Imaging of Molecular Processes in Small Molecules Using Coulomb Explosion Imaging

    PhD. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate:  Benjamin Wales

All upcoming events


QS World University Rankings by subject 2017 TOP 150

Meet our people

Brian McNamara

Brian McNamara

Professor; Department Chair; University Research Chair in Astrophysics

Giant black holes weighing upwards of one billion times the mass of the Sun are thought to lurk at the centers of all massive galaxies. Energy released by spin breaking and infalling matter onto such supermassive black holes may be regulating the growth of galaxies and clusters of galaxies.