Erik Rosolowsky, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Science - Physics


Professor, Faculty of Science - Physics
2-115 Centennial Ctr For Interdisciplinary SCS II
11335 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5



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 and Relativity

A calculus-based course for students majoring in the physical sciences. Newtonian mechanics, including kinematics, dynamics, conservation of momentum and energy, rotational motion and angular momentum; special relativistic kinematics and dynamics, including length contraction, time dilation, and the conservation of energy and momentum in special relativity. Prerequisites: Mathematics 30-1 and Physics 30. Mathematics 31 is strongly recommended. Corequisites: MATH 117 or 144. Note: MATH 113 or 114 is not acceptable as a co-requisite but may be used as a pre-requisite in place of MATH 117 or 144. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of PHYS 124, 144, EN PH 131 or SCI 100.

PHYS 499 - Undergraduate Research Project

Undergraduate physics research project under the direction of a faculty member. Projects must involve a strong physics connection and involve some original research component. Prerequisites: A 300-level physics course and consent of department. Credit for this course may be obtained more than once provided it is for completely separate projects

Browse more courses taught by Erik Rosolowsky

Featured Publications

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

The Astrophysical Journal. 679