UC Alumnus helps save historic telescope

1 October 2015 The University of Canterbury has announced that the quake-damaged Townsend Telescope will again search the starry skies above the Arts Centre in central Christchurch. (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. 

‘UC has brilliant staff members that inspire students with their passion for teaching and leading research...’

James McKay Studying towards a MSc in Physics
(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.

Job Vacancy: Lecturer in Astronomy

Applications are invited for the continuing position of Lecturer in Astronomy in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. This is equivalent to a (tenured) Assistant Professor in the US system. More information click here

The Townsend Telescope Restoration

The Physics & Astronomy Department of the University of Canterbury is currently making plans to restore the optics and mechanics of the Townsend Telescope and these will ultimately be re-housed within a replica of the Observatory tower in The Art centre of Christchurch(Formally Canterbury College). Follow the progress on the Townsend Telescope Facebook page.

You can now also donate to the restoration of the Townsend Telescope via givealittle by clicking DONATE HERE below.

Townsend Telescope Restoration Video.

You can also donate to the restoration of the Townsend Telescope via the Townsend Observatory Restoration Fund on the
Alumni and Fundraising donation page.

Restoring the Telescope and Observatory

You can also donate to the restoration of the Townsend Telescope via the Townsend Observatory Restoration Fund on the Alumni and Fundraising donation page.

RSIC Construction Webcam and Timelapse of the Old Maths demolition.

Construction on the Rutherford Science and Innovation Centre can be viewed via a webcam in realtime here http://rsiccam1.canterbury.ac.nz and a timelapse of the demolition of the Old Math building can be veiwed here http://youtu.be/uordCOGzjug.

Calculator Checks

Calculator checks will resume in the first week of Semester 1 2015 for tests/exams that require it and will take place each
Wednesday, 12.45 - 1.15 in Rutherford 809b, Physics side of the Rutherford building. If your test is before the next checking time, you may borrow an approved calculator from the UCSA.

If you have any queries regarding this, please contact Examination Arrangements Senior Co-ordinator, Barbara Alberston on barbara.albertson@canterbury.ac.nz

2014 Dept Group Photo

Here is the 2014 Dept group photo taken during the Annual Dept Conference held on 4th September. In the past the dept photo was taken on the steps of the Old Maths building however Old Maths was being prepared for demolition at that time and is now down. This year's department photo is the first of many to be taken in its new location on the steps of the Puaka-James Hight, Central library.

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


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

News Archive

Department of Physics News Archive

  • Department of Physics and Astronomy
    University of Canterbury,
    Private Bag 4800,
    Christchurch 8140,
    New Zealand.
  • hod-secretary@phys.canterbury.ac.nz
    Phone: +64 3 364 2404
    Fax: +64 3 364 2469
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