Canterbury students develop a personal robot

11 July 2014 A group of University of Canterbury students are developing a personal robot with the aim of bringing robotics to people to improve quality of life. (read article)

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Science study at UC doesn’t just take place in a lecture theatre or lab. Find out what Laura is researching at our Cass Field Station, an amazing facility for students.

John Hearnshaw

Introduction to John Hearnshaw

John Hearnshaw is a professor of astronomy at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. John's main areas of research are in stellar spectroscopy and detection of exo-planets.

John Hearnshaw

Introduction to Cliff Franklin

Cliff Franklin is a lab technician at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Karen Pollard

Introduction to Karen Pollard

Dr. Karen Pollard is involved in researching 'The music of the stars' by looking at modes of non radial pulsations within the stars. 

David Wiltshire

Introduction to David Wiltshire

David Wiltshire is a professor of physics at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. David's main area of research is on explaining dark energy and developing cosmological models that do not require its presence to drive an expanding universe. 

Anthony Butler

Introduction to Anthony Butler

Dr. Anthony Butler works on the MARS project at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Peter Cottrell

Introduction to Peter Cottrell

Prof. Peter Cottrell is an astronomer at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Peter researches the spectra of stars and stellar evolution. 

‘I was impressed with the quality of the teaching and the support given by the lecturers...’

Liz Comery Bachelor of Science in Physics
Test Laboratory Services Engineer, Tait Communications
(read profile)

Find us on Facebook

The Physics and Astronomy department is on Facebook.
The page will be updated with events and news as they come to hand and will be a great place for current students and staff as well our Alumni to keep in touch with the department.
Please come and like the page to receive updates.


Department Seminars are held each Friday in Room 701, Level 7 of the Rutherford Building at 11am.
See Upcoming Seminars for more details.

Live webinar on robotics in space, and demonstrations from UC Engineering

Have you ever wondered how we use robots to explore space?
Interested in robotics, physics, engineering or space exploration?
Come and learn more about what’s involved in sending missions into space.

Live webinar from Professor Takashi Kubota of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency about his role in the Hyabusa mission which recently visited and took samples of an asteroid

Question time with engineering and physics staff and students, and Professor Kubota live from Japan·        

Robotics demonstrations from UC EngineeringCareers advice for those wanting to pursue a career in this field.

Date: Tuesday 1st July
Time: 3:30pm- 6:00pm
Place: C2 Lecture theatre, Central Lecture Block, University of Canterbury, Ilam, Christchurch
Parking: often difficult, try to park in the street and walk in, or use the many buses that travel to campus..
Register interest if possible: outreach

Smoking gun for the Big Bang!

Researchers believe they have found the signal left in the sky by the super-rapid expansion of space that must have occurred just fractions of a second after everything came into being.
It takes the form of a distinctive twist in the oldest light detectable with telescopes.
The work will be scrutinised carefully, but already there is talk of a Nobel.
"This is spectacular," commented Prof Marc Kamionkowski, from Johns Hopkins University.

See more here at BBC News, Science & Environment


Mt John University Observatory 50th Anniversary Symposium
7th -8th May 2015

  • It will include presentations by former graduate students, reminiscences on the past history of Mt John, and talks on the future of NZ astronomy.
  • All former graduate students and BSc Hons and BSc students in astronomy, all former Mt John staff, and all those interested in optical astronomy in New Zealand are cordially invited.
  • Mt John night visit and observing.
  • Banquet on Thursday evening.
  • The symposium will be followed by the annual conference of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand (RASNZ website)
    (Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, 8 – 10 May 2015).
  • A small registration fee will be levied.

For more information and to register your interest goto the Mount John Observatory 50th Anniversary Symposium website.

Get to know Department Staff with nUCleus

The aim of nUCleus is to provide a connection between the academic staff of the physics and astronomy department at the University of Canterbury to the wider public. In these videos on the nUCleus youtube channel you will be able to get to know the staff better, find out what goes on in the department and learn new and interesting facts regarding physics and astronomy.

PhD Studentship opportunities

Calculator Checks

Calculator checks for tests/exams will take place in Rutherford, Room 813, each Wednesday from 12.45 - 1.15 during semester 2.


Archive of Departmental conferences and other conferences hosted and/or sponsored by the Department


Sean Gourley (Dept Alumni) interviewed for "The Cashmere Circuit" produced by Cashmere Highschool. Article by Ella Jacobs


Department of Physics News Archive

  • Department of Physics and Astronomy
    University of Canterbury,
    Private Bag 4800,
    Christchurch 8140,
    New Zealand.
    Phone: +64 3 364 2404
    Fax: +64 3 364 2469
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