Areas of research

Astrophysics and gravitation

Astrophysics, gravitation and cosmology involves thirteen faculty members from University of Waterloo and from PI. Members of this group are studying problems amongst the most fundamental in Physics: the origin and fate of the universe, the nature of dark matter, black hole dynamics and thermodynamics, gravitational waves and lenses, stellar evolution, formation of galaxies and unification theory.

Audio research

Consisting of two faculty, this group examines the areas of audio and electro-acoustics, digital signal processing for audio, diffraction and radiation of sound by loudspeakers and electro-acoustic measurement techniques.


The biophysics group consists of eight faculty members, with both experimental and theoretical efforts in studying biologically related systems. The techniques of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), phase-modulation fluorescence spectroscopy, electron spin resonance spectroscopy, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, and X-ray scattering are available in our labs. We also have a series of modern computers that can be used for undertaking theoretical modeling.

Condensed matter physics

There are ongoing experimental and theoretical research efforts in both hard and soft condensed matter physics in the Department.

The condensed matter theory group research involves the investigation of problems pertaining to strongly correlated electron and quantum spin systems, quantum phase transitions, cold atoms, mesoscopic physics, quantum devices, solid-state qubit, quantum transport, aspects of frustration in condensed matter, protein folding, role of long-range electrostatics interactions in biological materials, physics of vortex lines in type-II superconductors as well as other topics.

The theorists and experimentalists working in the area of hard condensed matter physics belong to the quantum matters group.

The theorists and experimentalists working in soft condensed matter belong to the soft matter theory group, the biophysics group and/or the polymer physics group.

The experimental group includes eight faculty members examining a wide range of topics: polymer physics, unconventional superconductivity, inelastic x-ray scattering of correlated electron systems, complex fluids under confinement, low temperature physics, biophysics, biochemistry and protein aggregation.

Optics and photonics

This group is comprised of eleven faculty, representing both theoretical and experimental physics. Topics of interest include Coulomb imaging, interaction of laser radiation, laser-molecule interactions, Rydberg states, simulation of optoelectric components and quantum communication.

Institute for quantum computing

The mission of the Institute is to advance fundamental experimental and theoretical knowledge in relevant areas of Engineering, Mathematics and Science to enhance the developments in the field of Quantum Computation and Information Processing. This is to be achieved by providing a unique facility and environment to bring together some of the best researchers and students in computing, engineering, mathematical and physical sciences.

Quantum matters

This group includes eight faculty working in experimental and theoretical physics. The main focus of research pertains to problems arising in systems where strong interactions and quantum effects play an important role. Interests span low-temperature physics, mesoscopic and device physics, cold atoms and quantum phase transitions.

Visual optics

The theme of research in the Campbell lab is optical properties of the eye. We investigate both the fundamental refractive properties of the eye's components and we seek to use our understanding to improve diagnosis and therapy for a variety of ocular conditions. We do exciting work with important implications and we use leading edge technologies such as adaptive optics.