About Physics and Astronomy

Physics building in the summer.

Our Physics program is one of the largest and most comprehensive in Canada, offering courses in applied physics, astrophysics, biophysics, chemical physics, mathematical physics, or quantum computing, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Our research-intensive department focuses on five areas of research: astrophysics, biological physics, condensed matter physics, optics, and quantum computing, with faculty members specializing in theoretical, experimental and computational tools.

Just the facts

  • 50 research and teaching faculty
  • Over 200 new undergraduate students participating in 5 programs of study per year
  • Over 200 students enrolled in graduate programs
  • 8 awardees: Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Waterloo
  • 4 Canada Research Chairs, 4 University Research Chairs
  • 2 Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada
  • 1 Nobel Laureate
  • Canadian Association of Physicists awardees: Herzberg Medal (2), Brockhouse Medal (3), Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics (2), Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Applied Photonics
  • Authors of numerous scientific papers, books, patents
  • Strongly affiliated with the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics