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. May 6, 2021Bruce Torrie

    It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Bruce Torrie, a faculty member of the Department of Physics & Astronomy for 38 years. He retired on July 1, 2003 after which he became Professor Emeritus with adjunct faculty status in the Department. 

  2. May 5, 2021New algorithm uses a hologram to control trapped ions

    Researchers have discovered the most precise way to control individual ions using holographic optical engineering technology.

    The new technology uses the first known holographic optical engineering device to control trapped ion qubits. This technology promises to help create more precise controls of qubits that will aid the development of quantum industry-specific hardware to further new quantum simulation experiments and potentially quantum error correction processes for trapped ion qubits.

  3. May 4, 2021IQC researchers honoured for excellence in scientific outreach

    The David Johnston Award for Scientific Outreach recognizes students dedicated to promoting public awareness of quantum research and science in the community.

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