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. Mar. 22, 2018UW researcher named as Emmy Noether Visiting FellowChristine Muschik

    Christine Muschik, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and IQC researcher, has been named as an Emmy Noether Visiting Fellow at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

  2. Mar. 19, 2018Waterloo Science student wins co-op triple crownEmily Pass looking through a telescope

    Astronomy and Physics student, Emily Pass, wins faculty, provincial and national Co-op Student of the Year Awards

    A third-year Science undergraduate student has won the National Co-op of the Year Award for developing a data analysis program that rapidly detects objects in the Kuiper Belt, a region of space beyond Neptune.

  3. Mar. 12, 2018A new way to use neutrons

    Novel neutron interferometry technique is more powerful and practical

    Researchers at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), in collaboration with researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Institute of Health (NIH), have developed a neutron interferometry technique that is more powerful, robust and practical than existing techniques, paving the way for advances in imaging, materials science, and fundamental physics and quantum research.

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  1. Apr. 25, 2018How to Build a Big GalaxyAdam Muzzin

    Astronomy Lunch Series

    Adam Muzzin

    Assistant Professor
    Department of Physics & Astronomy
    York University

    Adam Muzzin's research focusses on galaxy formation and evolution, particularly the high-redshift universe.

  2. Apr. 27, 2018Water and Ions at Nanoscopic Interfaces: From 2-D materials to plasma membranes

    The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) is pleased to present a seminar talk by Dr. Siddhartha Das, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. 

  3. May 3, 2018Towards many-body physics with Rydberg-dressed cavity polaritons

    M.Sc. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate: Hyeran Kong

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QS World University Rankings by subject 2017 TOP 150

Meet our people

Jeff Chen

Jeff Z.Y. Chen


Soft matter is a cross disciplinary research field involving physics, chemistry, biology, and materials science. It studies physical systems that can be deformed relatively easily in response to external and internal physical and chemical conditions.