Welcome to Physics & Astronomy

As we move into 2021, our on-line physics programs are thriving, despite less than ideal circumstances.  We must continue to educate the next generation of talented physicists through the pandemic as best as we can.  We’ve learned that on-line education is no substitute for in-person teaching, guidance, and mentorship.  The dynamic social and economic landscape demands a talented and thoughtful workforce.  The world needs Waterloo graduates to solve hard problems sooner not later. 

Our research laboratories and upper-year teaching labs are operating while observing physical distancing and other health guidelines. We have retooled and reimagined our classes using a variety of media to train the next generation of physicists, scientists, and entrepeneurs. We were able to redirect financial assets to hire coop students and teaching assistants to move course material on-line and to perform advanced research in our labs and virtual blackboards.

We look forward to gradually reopening the campus and our physical presence in the department as the pandemic subsides.  

Brian McNamara
University Research Chair
Chair, Physics & Astronomy

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

  1. Apr. 9, 2021The origin of water on planets in our universe

    Water is essential for life as we know it – water makes up around 70% of the human body, covers about 70% of the planet Earth, has been found in the far reaches of our universe, and is at the centre of our search for habitable planets around other stars.

  2. Mar. 24, 2021Black hole breakthrough: New images show magnetic fields around M87*

    The black hole at the centre of the M87 galaxy is like a giant fire-breathing dragon that spews enormous jets of energetic particles at near light speeds across some 5,000 light years of space.

    A new view of this black hole in polarized light, released today by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration, will help astrophysicists understand just how those jets are launched by this monstrous black hole.

  3. Mar. 4, 2021Canadian astronomers to see how the universe formed with help of new $4.9 million grant

    A team of Canadian researchers led by University of Waterloo professor Michel Fich have been awarded $4.9 million in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to build a next generation telescope.

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