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. Feb. 22, 2018Researchers bring high res magnetic resonance imaging to nanometer scaleResearchers members of the Budakian lab

    A new technique that brings magnetic resonance imaging to the nanometer scale with unprecedented resolution will open the door for major advances in understanding new materials, virus particles and proteins that cause diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

  2. Jan. 31, 2018New technique can capture images of ultrafast energy-time entangled photon pairsMacLean in the optical photonics lab

    Jean-Philippe MacLean works on his quantum optics experiment designed to capture images of ultrafast energy-time entangled photon pairs.

  3. Dec. 4, 2017Roger Melko’s Group is Pioneering Machine Learning Techniques to Solve Fundamental Problems in Condensed Mattert-sne Ising

    In 2012, a group of University of Toronto researchers led by Geoffrey Hinton sparked a revolution in artificial intelligence that has dramatically changed the world. Their breakthrough came after decades of research designing machine learning algorithms for use in computer vision tasks, such as feature extraction from raw image data.

Read all news
  1. Feb. 23, 2018Periodically-driven quantum many-body systems, many-body localization and machine learning

    PhD. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate:  Pedro Ponte

  2. Mar. 6, 2018Wonderful World of Capillarity & WettingSushanta Mitra

    Colloquium Series

    Sushanta Mitra

    Executive Director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
    Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and Department of Physics & Astronomy
    University of Waterloo

  3. Mar. 7, 2018Gustav Bakos Observatory TourGustav Bakos observatory interior, in red light

    Come visit the observatory during the March public tour!

    • Presentation at 6:30 PM in EIT 1015 (note the special room)
    • Telescope viewing at 7:00 PM (access from 3rd floor of PHY)

    The Observatory is open for public tours, usually on the first Wednesday of each m

All upcoming events

QS World University Rankings by subject 2017 TOP 150

Meet our people

Mike Fich

Michel Fich


Dr. Fich is an astronomer specializing in studies of star formation, the interstellar medium, and the structure of galaxies. His recent research activities have focused on “small scale” formation studies of low and intermediate mass stars, circumstellar disks, and the formation of proto-solar systems.