Welcome to Western’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, where we passionately pursue knowledge about the fundamental laws that govern the Universe and all that it contains. Our interdisciplinary research investigates how matter, forces, and energy interact and shape objects and environments, from our own direct surroundings here on Earth to the event horizon of black holes in the distant reaches of the Universe. We are as curious about the practical applications of physics to medicine and the environment as the fascinating physics behind the largest structures in the cosmos!

We bring that passion and curiosity into our student experience. Our students are an essential part of our community, and often key contributors to our research. We are dedicated to helping students and young investigators discover their potential by giving them guidance and support to become better scientists, community members, and people. We are excited to work with you at all stages of your career, to help develop your interests and achieve your goals.

  • FADA' Exploring the Cosmos through Art

    May 29, 2023

    Western Astrophysics and Studio Art alumnus Tassneem Hamed is being featured in her first solo exhbition. The exhibit will be held at the Satellite Project Space in London, ON, May 30th – June 10th. The opening reception is June 2nd, 6-8pm.

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  • Canadian Researchers Receive Funding for Continuing AstroSat Science Investigations

    By Marc Boucher, SpaceQ, May 11, 2023

    Three Canadian researchers, including Pauline Barmby from physics and astronomy, have been awarded funding for 2022-23 science investigations using the AstroSat astronomy space-based observatory. Barmby will combine AstroSat images of the ultraviolet light emitted by a sample of low surface brightness spiral galaxies with data from other telescopes to understand the current and past properties of these enigmatic galaxies and others.

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  • Asteroids named for Western University Astronomers

    March 10, 2023

    Physics and Astronomy faculty members Pauline Barmby, Carol Jones, Martin Houde, and Aaron Sigut each have a new asteroid which has been given their namesake. The asteroids, originally discovered by Physics & Astronomy professor Paul Wiegert through the Mauna Kea observatory are named for his colleagues within the department.

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  • New EEG procedure accurately measures distress caused by tinnitus

    By Jeff Renaud, Western News, February 01, 2023

    A new study led by Andrea Soddu may provide a clearer picture of the levels of distress tinnitus sufferers are experiencing. The Western medical physicist and an international team of collaborators have developed a new classification procedure for tinnitus patients using data acquired by electroencephalography (EEG), a technique that measures electrical activity in the brain using small electrodes placed on the scalp.

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  • Western-led team confirms meteoroid from edge of Solar System made of rock, not ice

    By Jeff Renaud, Western News, December 16, 2022

    Researchers from Western have shown that a fireball that originated at the edge of the Solar System was likely made of rock, not ice, challenging long-held beliefs about how the Solar System was formed.

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  • Physics & Astronomy collaboration with Faculty of Education

    December 05, 2022

    Effective the 2023 academic year, Western's Faculty of Science and Faculty of Education have signed an agreement for graduates of Physics & Astronomy modules to be guaranteed admission to the B.Ed. intermediate/senior program with a Physics teaching subject. Minimum grade and course count requirements apply, and applicants must also complete EDUC 2200 Perspectives on Schooling. Click here for further details.

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  • Space as a National Asset for Canada Conference

    By Western Institute for Earth and Space Exploration, SNAC 2022, November 02, 2022

    Western Space will be hosting Space as a National Asset for Canada 2022 to bring together the space community in universities, industry, and government, explore the current and future value of space technologies for Earth applications, and discuss Canadian ambitions for space. Topics will include exploration science and technologies, Earth observations for climate change and food security, policy and law, space resources, space debris, and more.

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  • Canadian climate tech built with Western expertise to be part of joint mission with NASA

    By Jeff Renaud, Western News, October 20, 2022

    Western Physics and Astronomy researchers Bob Sica and Sarah Gallagher discuss their research with the Canadian Space Agency's High-altitude Aerosols, Water vapour and Clouds (HAWC) mission, and collaboration with NASA’s Atmosphere Observing System (AOS) mission.

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  • Mystery fireball that lit up sky and baffled scientists finally explained

    By Ed Browne, Newsweek, October 19, 2022

    Research from physics and astronomy postdoctoral scholar Denis Vida has shown that a mysterious space rock that lit up the skies over parts of Canada last year wasn't a comet, despite coming from a distant part of the solar system where comets are thought to originate.

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  • 'X-ray specs': Canadian scientists starry-eyed over James Webb space telescope

    By Bob Weber, The Canadian Press, October 19, 2022

    Canadian scientists, including physics and astronomy professor Els Peeters, are using spectacular images from the James Webb Space telescope to look at young stars in the constellation Orion and understand their influence on the interstellar material around them.

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  • Professor Emeritus M.G. Cottam publishes two books

    October 11, 2022

    Congratulations to Professor Emeritus M.G. Cottam for the recent publication of two books: Many-Body Theory of Condensed Matter Systems (Michael G. Cottam and Zahra Haghshenasfard, Cambridge University Press, 2020) and Dynamical Properties in Nanostructured and Low-Dimensional Materials (Michael G. Cottam, Institute of Physics Publishing, 2nd edition, 2022)

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  • How and why NASA crashed its DART spacecraft into asteroid

    Global National, September 30, 2022

    Physics and astronomy professor Paul Wiegert weighs in on the success of the first test of NASA's DART mission, which successfully crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid this week with the aim of changing the space rock's trajectory.

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  • New Website - Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory

    September 28, 2022

    The Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory has launched a new website! For information on the observatory, as well as its programs and events, please visit: https://cronyn.uwo.ca/

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  • In Memoriam: David Gray

    September 14, 2022

    We are sad to share the recent passing of Professor Emeritus David Gray of Western's Physics and Astronomy Department. David passed away on August 15, 2022. A service will be held on Saturday, October 29, 2022.

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  • Western researchers among first to capture James Webb Space Telescope images

    By Jeff Renaud, Western News, September 12, 2022

    Dr. Els Peeters of Western's Physics and Astronomy department discusses new images of the Orion Nebula, obtained by the James Webb Space Telescope as part of the Early Release Science program Photodissociation Regions for All, on which she is a co-lead.

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