Welcome to Physics & Astronomy

2018 was a year for the ages. We had a fire in June but we fully recovered. We hired two distinguished chairs: Will Percival, the Mke and Ophelia Lazaridis Distinguished Chair in Astrophysics, is leading the Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics; and Victor Galitski will arrive this Fall from the University of Maryland to lead the nascent Quantum Matters Institute. Five of our graduate students received Vanier awards, and undergraduate Emily Pass won the triple crown in Co-Op undergraduate astrophysics. I had the pleasure of attending the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm to share the joy of Donna Strickland’s Physics prize.
2018 will be hard to beat, but 2019 holds great promise as the concepts for our new Physics research wing and the Science Centre for Innovation are moving to completion.
Last month I had the pleasure to present Faculty of Science Distinguished Alumni Awards to Dr. Rob Myers of Perimeter Institute and Dr. George Pinho of Christie Digital. Two weeks later, Rob was appointed Director of Perimeter Institute. This is an exciting time to be a part of Waterloo Physics.
For those of you considering physics as a way of life, please take a close look at our programs. Rob and George represent the level of achievement you can expect of yourself with a Waterloo physics degree. Come and share in the excitement of doing physics at Waterloo: a great department at a great university, located in a great community that lives and breathes physics.

Come to Waterloo!

Brian McNamara, Chair

The Physics & Astronomy department encourages an inclusive, tolerant, respectful, and diverse, intellectual environment

  1. Mar. 5, 2019Physics alumnus Robert Myers named new director of Perimeter InstituteRob Myers

    Last week, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics named Waterloo Science alumnus Robert Myers (BSc Physics - Co-op ‘82) as their new director. He succeeds the previous director, cosomologist Dr. Neil Turok, who held the position since 2008.

  2. Mar. 4, 2019Software for the quantum ageIQC interior

    Imagine if we could remove pollution from the atmosphere, not worry about the security of our private information, or design drugs targeted for more effective treatment against disease. Poised to revolutionize society, quantum technologies may help us overcome these real-world problems and other research challenges — and PhD candidate Kristine Boone is helping to pave the way.

  3. Feb. 19, 2019Researcher honoured with Alfred P. Sloan Research FellowshipChristine Muschik

    Christine Muschik, assistant professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo, was selected as a 2019 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics.

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  1. Mar. 26, 2019Transition Matrix Monte Carlo Methods for Complex Systems

    Ph.D. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate: Yong Lee

  2. Mar. 27, 2019Astronomy Lunch Series

    Nicole Dracos


  3. Mar. 29, 2019From Physics to StartupsMike Rossi

    Phys10 Undergraduate Seminar Series

    Mike Rossi

    Mike Rossi graduated UW Physics in 2011, and went on to found Smile.io, where he is the current CEO.

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Meet our people

Adrian Lupascu

Adrian Lupascu

Associate Professor

Dr. Lupascu is an experimental physicist interested in the quantum dynamics of various types of physical systems and the application of quantum effects to build new types of detectors and quantum information processors. His Superconducting Quantum Device lab focuses on experimental research with superconducting devices, ranging from quantum bits for quantum information experiments, to superconducting resonators for loss characterization, among other projects.