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. June 1, 2021Advanced technology may give new insights into dark energy

    The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), which started its main survey of the Universe on May 17 this year will allow researchers, including astrophysicists at the University of Waterloo, to study dark energy in ways that have not been possible before.

  2. May 11, 2021Researchers test new approach to quantum-secured communication in space

    Researchers from Canada and the United Kingdom will test a new approach for secure communication using satellite-based quantum technology.

    Led by Thomas Jennewein, a faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Institute for Quantum Computing, researchers at the University of Waterloo are developing the Quantum Encryption and Science Satellite (QEYSSat), with a quantum key distribution payload that will allow the transmission of unbreakable keys for securing information.

  3. 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. 

Read all news
  1. June 30, 2021Astro Seminar Series - VIA ZOOM

    Dr. Andrina Nicola is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University, working with Jo Dunkley and David Spergel.  She did her undergrad and PhD at ETH Zurich.  Dr. Nicola's  research focus lies between theoretical and observational cosmology.

  2. July 14, 2021Astro Seminar Series - VIA ZOOM

    Dr. Allison Man is an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. She investigates the physics behind starbursts, colliding galaxies and supermassive black holes. Allison received her PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Copenhagen.

  3. July 21, 2021Astro Seminar Series - VIA ZOOM

    Dr. Doris Stoppacher is a postdoctoral fellow in the Computational Astrophysics Research Group at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has a background in stellar and extra-galactic astrophysics but focused on galaxy formation modeling during her PhD.

All upcoming events