Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science

About Us

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western University, London, ON, Canada

The University of Western Ontario was founded in 1878, with the Physics program beginning in 1915.

During the intervening 100 years, the Department of Physics and Astronomy has grown into a world class research and teaching facility and has shown that it is a leader in many fields.

There have been some promient figures associated with the department through the years. Professor Peter Allan Forsyth was a leader in radio physics at the national level during its halcyon days and establish the Centre for Radio Science at Western. Following her retirement from Mount Holyoke College in 1940, Dr. Elizabeth Laird became an active member of the radar research team here at Western, and was appointed honorary professor in 1945 until her second retiremnet in 1953. 

Our department has also had its share of noteworthy students through the years. John David Jackson, author of the seminal "Classical Electodynamics" textbook, received his Honors BSc in Mathematics and Physics from Western in 1946. John H. Chapman, considered the father of Canada's space program, graduated with a B.Sc. from Western in 1948.  

The disciplines of physics and  astronomy are ever evolving and so are we.  Recently, we at Western discovered Buckyballs in space. These illusive molecules may now prove to be fundamental to the understanding of the 100 year old enigma of diffuse interstellar bands.

Western is a leader in MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) systems development.  We have a world renowned meteor physics group and a burgeoning group of exoplanet and star formation astronomers. We lead the way in condensed matter physics and solar cell research.

Find out what we do now by visiting either our Research web pages, or you can go to individual faculty member listings.

You will also enjoy reading about the history that has brought us to today and which guides us as we reach towards the new horizons of tomorrow.

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