UC student earns Rhodes scholarship

17 November 2014 When UC physics student Hadleigh Frost heads to Oxford next year, he will be the fifth Canterbury student in five years to earn a Rhodes doctoral studies scholarship. (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. 

‘An international student could not be treated better, or feel more welcome...’

Ojas Mahapatra PhD in Physics
CEO, Photonic Innovations Ltd
(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.

The Dept's admin office will reopen on Monday 5th January


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

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 go to the Mount John Observatory 50th Anniversary Symposium website.

2014 Physics and Astronomy Annual Department Conference and BBQ-Thursday 4th September

2014 Conference Programme (PDF 876KB).

Congratulations to our winners of the best student talks: Nezihe Uzun winning first place, Doug Walker (Second), Sebastian Horvath (Third), and Rodrigo Martinez Gazoni (Fourth). Thank you to all who presented and to all who attended.

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.

Vacancy - Post Doctoral Fellow - Physics and Astronomy (Superconductivity and Switching in Nanoparticle Films) 

  •  Full time, 37.5 hours per week (1.0 FTE)
  • 2 year fixed term position
Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a two year fixed term post doctoral fellowship working on both fundamental properties and applications of nanoscale electronic devices in New Zealand. The successful applicant will undertake research into superconductivity and switching (memory) behaviour in films of nanoparticles (or “clusters”). The main research goals are to understand novel switching behavior (similar to memristor behaviour) in a percolating system and, in very similar samples, the resistance of superconducting networks of nanoparticles The project has been funded by the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, a national Centre of Research Excellence, and the successful applicant will enjoy access to the facilities and programs of the Institute. Applications and more details can be found at http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/joinus, job ID 2338.

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.
  • hod-secretary@phys.canterbury.ac.nz
    Phone: +64 3 364 2404
    Fax: +64 3 364 2469
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