Department of Physics & Astronomy


Welcome to the Department of Physics & Astronomy

Physics is the study of matter and energy at all scales, from the sub-nuclear to the dimensions of the universe. It is the fundamental science — all other sciences and technologies rely on the principles of physics.

Physics involves observing and understanding natural phenomena. It is evident in the world around us in everything from the seasons, the motion of objects, the flight of birds, the night sky and the weather, to lasers, electronics and the technology we rely on today. Astronomy teaches you how to study objects at a distance and interpret the information gathered. This helps us begin to understand the universe we live in. The skills you will learn in astronomy are also applicable to remote sensing and its application to environmental problems.

Department Highlights

Graduate student Alicia Anderson earns world renowned Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study at Trinity College

“As a 17-year-old, when I first came to the University of Lethbridge, I hadn’t really planned on any of this,” says Anderson, who completed her bachelor of science with great distinction in 2020 and just recently successfully defended her master’s thesis. “You start by making connections with professors and I’ve been lucky to have really passionate professors teaching me undergraduate physics and inspiring me to join a research group and take it to the next level. I really owe it all to my department and all the professors who have taught me.”

Alicia Anderson (BSc ’20) has always aimed high — her study of astrophysics can attest to that — and she’s now earned one of the highest honours in academia. Anderson has been awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which will see her study her PhD at Trinity College on the grounds of the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) beginning this fall.

“It’s a major success,” says Dr. David Naylor, physics and astronomy professor, Board of Governors’ Research Chair and head of the Astronomical Instrumentation Group (AIG) at the University of Lethbridge. “This is about flat-out excellence. You basically have the best talent on the planet going after this award and she won it.”

Dr. David Naylor

Canadian Space Agency grant to help develop next generation of space scientists

The University of Lethbridge has received a $100,000 grant from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to train the next generation of space scientists in the development of a cryogenic post-dispersed polarizing Fourier transform spectrometer (PDPFTS). ULethbridge is one of 21 post-secondary institutions in the country to receive a grant through the CSA’s Flights and Fieldwork for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST) funding initiative.
The grants support the development of space technology by providing students and young researchers with hands-on experience. Projects must simulate a realistic space environment.
“We are very pleased to receive this grant,” says Dr. David Naylor, physics and astronomy professor and head of the Astronomical Instrumentation Group (AIG) at ULethbridge. “The next generation of far-infrared (FIR) space astronomy missions will employ detectors whose sensitivity is over two orders of magnitude higher than any previously flown. To exploit this exquisite sensitivity requires a fundamentally different type of instrument architecture.”

2022 CAP Lecture Tour Schedule

This year, the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) Undergraduate Lectures will be offered in a virtual format from February 2nd to April 1st (three talks over three weeks, a three week pause for Reading Weeks, and then three talks over three weeks). Each talk will be hosted by a CAP Member Department.

The 2022 CAP Lecture Series is an influential and energizing event for undergraduate students in physics departments across Canada. The series features presentations that span a wide range of current topics in physics.

uLethbridge engineering played a prominent role in setting the foundation for Adam Sundberg

"Engineering is a complex and challenging profession, but the atmosphere at the U of L allowed me to grow confident in my abilities and in the belief that I could succeed in my studies."

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Congratulations to the Class of 2021 from the Faculty of Arts & Science

Congratulations to the class of 2021! We wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavours and can't wait to see what you do next. We are so proud of …

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HYRS - Joel Jansen

Through the HYRS program, Joel Jansen participated in cutting-edge research, met new friends and experienced meaningful collaboration to take with him into university. He learned how to use affinity chromatography and Microscale …

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Career Bridge: Centre for Work-Integrated Learning and Career Development

Career Bridge


Put Your Knowledge to Work 

Whether you’re looking for a more in-depth learning experience by assisting with research projects on campus or by testing your knowledge in a real-life work setting, we can help! The University of Lethbridge is proud to offer you an exceptional opportunity to explore professional development through academic programs and services designed to give you a competitive edge in a fast-changing world.

You have a bright future — experience it via Career Bridge at uLethbridge!

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