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. Sep. 18, 2017Scalable quantum computers within reachChip-to-chip bonding: Sketch and images of fabricated devices.

    Quantum machine learning and artificial intelligence, quantum-safe cryptography, and simulation of quantum systems all rely on the power of quantum computing.

  2. Sep. 14, 2017Physicist named as new research chair in quantum error correction

    At an announcement earlier today at the Waterloo Innovation Summit, Physics and Astronomy Professor Raymond Laflamme was named the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis “John von Neumann” Chair in Quantum Information at the University of Waterloo.

  3. 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. 

Read all news
  1. Oct. 17, 2017Practical Quantum Fingerprinting and Appointment Scheduling

    M.Sc. Thesis Presentation
    Candidate: Benjamin Lovitz

  2. Oct. 18, 2017Better living through computation: Connecting the first stars in the universe to the Milky Way using cosmological simulationsBrian O'Shea

    Astronomy Lunch Series

    Brian O'Shea

    Associate Professor
    Astronomy & Astrophysics
    Department of Physics & Astronomy
    Michigan State University

    >> learn more about Dr. O'Shea's research

  3. Oct. 19, 2017An off-lattice derivation and thermodynamic consistency consideration for the Sanchez-Lacombe equation of state

    PhD. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate:  Kier von Konigslow

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.