Erik Rosolowsky, PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Science - Physics


Associate Professor, Faculty of Science - Physics



Professor, University of Alberta, 2022-

Associate Professor, University of Alberta, 2016-2022

Assistant Professor, University of Alberta, 2013-2016

Visiting Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia (Okanagan), 2013-2016

Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia (Okanagan), 2008-2013

NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 2005-2007

PhD (2005) University of California Berkeley, USA

MA (2001) University of California Berkeley, USA

BA (Hons, 1998), Swarthmore College, USA


My research program focuses on understanding the connections between stellar generations in galaxies. I seek a broad understanding how matter gets recycled in the universe, from when stars die and that material mixed into the interstellar medium to where the matter forms into another generation of stars. I regard that as the biggest missing link in understanding the evolution of the universe and the life within it.  My research uses observational data, mostly from radio and submillimetre telescopes coupled with novel algorithmic approaches to reach new discoveries.


I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in astronomy and physics. My teaching style is transitional between traditional lecture delivery and a "flipped" classroom. I prefer to spend our time in the classroom developing skills and answering questions. Thus, my courses usually require students to complete reading and take a quiz on the content before coming to lecture. In lecture, I focus on the topics that students have the most questions about. In problem-based classes, we spend our time completing example problems together since, in physics, we are trying to develop problem solving skills rather than learn a body of facts. 

I enjoy teaching at all levels of the curriculum and I'm excited to share what we have learned about the Universe with you.


Due to limited funding, I am not currently accepting additional students for Fall 2024 admissions. Thank you for your interest.


PHYS 144 - Newtonian Mechanics

This calculus-based course introduces the fundamentals of classical mechanics: general kinematics, Newtonian dynamics, work-energy and energy conservation, impulse-momentum and momentum conservation, rotational kinematics and dynamics, rigid bodies, angular momentum and its conservation. The course concludes with a discussion of the elastic deformation of solids and simple fluid mechanics. Prerequisites: Mathematics 30-1 and Physics 30. Mathematics 31 is strongly recommended. Corequisites: MATH 117 or 144. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of PHYS 124, 144 or EN PH 131.

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Featured Publications

Rosolowsky, E. W.; Pineda, J. E.; Kauffmann, J.; Goodman, A. A.

The Astrophysical Journal. 679