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 of 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. Oct. 31, 2018Hotspot discovery proves Waterloo astrophysicist’s black hole theoryAvery Broderick

    The recent detection of flares circling black holes has proven a decade-old theory - co-developed by Waterloo physicist Avery Broderick - about how black holes grow and consume matter.

  2. Oct. 2, 2018Donna Strickland wins Nobel Prize in PhysicsDonna Strickland

    Donna Strickland, a University of Waterloo professor who helped revolutionize laser physics, has been named a winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics.

    Strickland, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, shares half the $1.4 million prize with French laser physicist Gérard Mourou. The other half was awarded to U.S. physicist Arthur Ashkin.

  3. Sep. 13, 2018Waterloo welcomes five Vanier scholars in Physics and Astronomy

    A Physics graduate student exploring quantum optics is one of five Vanier Scholars starting their graduate careers in the University of Waterloo’s Department of Physics and Astronomy this fall.

Read all news
  1. Nov. 21, 2018Men's Circle: Faculty of Science Workshop

    Through interactive exercises and discussions, the Men’s Circle will explore some of the ways in which men can become leaders in creating a safer campus for everyone.

  2. Nov. 22, 2018Production and Analysis of Highly Monodisperse Oligomeric Poly (Ethylene Oxide)

    M.Sc. Thesis Presentation

    Candidate: Junjie Yin

  3. Nov. 22, 2018Gravitational quantum states of neutrons, atoms and antiatomsValery Nesvizhevsky

    Colloquium Series

    Valery Nesvizhevsky

    ILL - Neutrons for Society

    Join us for a reception prior to the talk at 3:45 in PHY 150.

All upcoming events

Meet our people

Michael Balogh

Michael Balogh

Professor; Associate Chair

Professor Balogh's research uses the world’s largest telescopes to study the physical properties of distant galaxies.  Through spectroscopy we can learn about the distances, ages, chemical composition and star formation histories of these galaxies.