Fire restoration work is expected to continue into late August. 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 contact individual faculty members to request appointments, as many faculty have been relocated during this process.
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.

Read all news
  1. July 26, 2018The Effects of Quantum Error Correction on Noisy Systems

    M.Sc. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate: Stefanie Beale

  2. Aug. 1, 2018Gustav Bakos Observatory TourGustav Bakos observatory interior, in red light

    Come visit the observatory during the August public tour!

    • Presentation at 8:30 PM in PHY 313 (note the special room)
    • Telescope viewing at 9:00 PM (access from 3rd floor of PHY)

    The Observatory is open for publi

  3. Aug. 7, 2018Developing theoretical and experimental tools to build a hybrid quantum simulator based on trapped ions

    M.Sc. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate: Sainath Motlakunta

All upcoming events


QS World University Rankings by subject 2017 TOP 150

Meet our people

Dr. Crystal Senko

Crystal Senko

Assistant Professor

​Dr. Senko’s research focuses on using trapped ions for quantum simulations and quantum computing applications. Her work also explores qudits and how to improve the efficiency of encoding a logical unit of information using the multiple levels of a qudit.