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. June 23, 2017Family and special leaves at the University of Waterloo: A special panel discussion

    This event will provide information on UW policies specific to various special leaves (e.g., maternity, parental, family caregiver or medical leaves), that are available to faculty, staff and graduate students as well as the processes involved. The implications of taking particular leaves and relevant considerations for areas such as research grant funding, graduate scholarships and career progression will be highlighted and discussed. UW Panelists with expertise in these areas will give short presentations followed by a 30-minute Q&A session.

  2. June 28, 2017Towards vertex renormalization in 4d Spin Foams

    PhD. Thesis presentation

    Candidate: Andrzej Banburski

  3. June 29, 2017Amplitudes in the Spin Foam Approach to Quantum Gravity

    PhD. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate:  Linqing Chen

All upcoming events

QS World University Rankings by subject 2017 TOP 150

Meet our people

Russell Thompson

Russell Thompson

Associate Professor

Dr. Thompson's research explores block copolymer behaviour using self-consistent field theory (SCFT), one of the best theoretical tools available in soft condensed matter physics. The structures of nanocomposite materials are examined, and nanoscale filler particles are added to the polymer matrix to create hybrid materials. The mechanical properties of both nanocomposite and pure block copolymer systems are also being predicted using the SCFT approach.