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The Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics is a leading centre for scientific research, training and educational outreach in foundational theoretical physics. 

The Perimeter Institute is located in an award-winning building that opened its doors in 2004, and with increasing demand, it completed the Stephen Hawking Addition in 2010. 

This institute attracts great thinkers from around the world and presents their ideas through a series of lectures often open to the public. Neil Turok is the director of the institute and Stephen Hawking, having accepted the distinguished research chair, assumes a visiting position at the institute. 

Not much was known about theoretical physics back in 1999. Year after year, however, we have seen the quality of its research rise. This was illustrated in a recent study that showed Canada ranked first in citation impact in physics among G8 countries in 2010; without Perimeter Institute, it would have ranked fourth. The Institute houses 40 researchers-in-residence and up to 30 visitor and associate members. At present the fields of concentration include a subset of the following areas: quantum gravity, string theory, quantum information theory, foundations of quantum theory and elementary particle physics. 

Stephen Hawking has been quoted as saying “Perimeter Institute is now one of the world’s leading centres in theoretical physics, if not the leading centre.” The scientific research and breakthroughs coming out of this facility will undoubtedly change the way we view the world – science so powerful that Waterloo is earning a global reputation as Quantum Valley.

Picture of Perimeter Institute
Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, Waterloo


Founded by Waterloo’s own Mike Lazaridis in 1999, the institute’s mission is to advance our understanding of the universe at the most fundamental level, stimulating the breakthroughs that could transform our future.

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