Welcome to Physics & Astronomy

2018 was a year for the ages. We had a fire in June but we fully recovered. We hired Will Percival, the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Distinguished Chair in Astrophysics, to direct the new Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics. 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.

In February, 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. Aug. 6, 2019University issues statement on the Thirty Meter Telescope

    Many of us in the Waterloo community are watching with great concern the developments in Hawaii around the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).

    The Waterloo physics community has been in dialogue over the last several days with colleagues from around the world. We have heard views expressed on our own campus from students and faculty members. Though many of us have deeply held beliefs about what should happen next, it is our very strong view that it is primarily up to Hawaiians to decide how - or if - they will “share the Mauna”, as eloquently ​expressed ​by master navigator Kalepa Baybayan in July.

  2. June 21, 2019Professor Donna Strickland awarded CAE Honorary Fellowship
    Donna Strickland

    As its highest honour, the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) maybestow the title of “Honorary Fellow” on any individual who has made anoutstanding contribution to the profession of engineering in Canada, another country or globally. This honour is bestowed on an individual for contributions well above what is expected for a Fellow of the Academy.

  3. June 19, 2019Machine Learning: A Revolution in Artificial Intelligence
    Roger Melko

    There’s a new kind of student in town, and for Waterloo physics professor, Roger Melko, this student has the potential to spark a revolution in the world of quantum computing.

Read all news
  1. Oct. 4, 2019Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics Launch Event - The Future of Astronomy

    On October 4th, we formally launch the Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics.

    Between 10:00am - 4:00pm we will host a scientific meeting with the theme, The Future of Astronomy. Speakers include

    • Neil Turok, Director Emeritus of the Perimeter Institute, Waterloo
    • Scott Tremaine, Richard Black Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

    From 4:00 pm, we will host a reception formally opening the new centre, which will provide a chance to meet and talk to the members.

All upcoming events