Peter Watson learned physics and math at Edinburgh and Durham universities, and joined Carleton University in 1974, becoming chair of the Physics Department and then Dean of Science. He has worked at CERN (Switzerland) and Oxford and Edinburgh Universities, and spent two years in Nigeria.
In addition to a 40 year research career in theoretical physics, he has taught a wide variety of courses at all levels, many involving innovative teaching methods. Although he retired in June 2008, he has continued to teach, give public lectures and do research.
Dr. Watson has offered several (sold out) lecture series and single lectures within the Learning in Retirement program. Read what participants have said they enjoyed most about Dr. Watson’s single lecture “50 Years of Darkness: Why we STILL Don’t Know What the Universe is Made Of”:
- I have taken a number of lectures with Dr. Watson now and have just loved them all. Very informative, well-structured and all delivered with a great sense of humour. What’s not to like?
- The lecturer and the topic. He presented what could be a very arcane subject both in a comprehensible and humorous fashion. The exchange with attendees who had the requisite physics background demonstrated his complete ease with the subject, yet it was still available to those of us without the same background. An excellent presenter: as I told him after the lecture, had I had him as a lecturer I would probably have chosen science rather than social sciences as a preferred area of study.
- The way the entire scientific story of this topic from a century ago to today was masterfully presented.
- This was my first lecture on physics and it has without a doubt stimulated my interest in the subject!
Read what participants have said about Dr. Watson’s 2019 lecture series “Time is just a Four Letter Word”:
- Dr. Watson gave me a new appreciation for the space-time continuum by focusing on time and its relation to gravity, relativity and the speed of light.
- The quality of the information and knowledge level of the professor were outstanding. The course was not only intriguing and thought-provoking but also thoroughly enjoyable with the professor’s sense of humour and excellent teaching skills.
- Dr. Watson presented a well designed, organized, informative and brilliant course. His knowledge of the subject was awe-inspiring and while I have no background in physics he made the topic understandable to the lay person. He made us think about the philosophical underpinnings of the topic and he answered some difficult questions which demonstrated his knowledge. Dr. Watson epitomizes what a University lecturer should be. As well, his good natured and humorous approach made this course one of the best I have taken. Thank you Dr. Watson. May you have a long, long TIME to spread your knowledge!
- Peter Watson is an excellent lecturer. I liked the way materials were brought in from literature, visual art, and music as well as physics.
- I learned a great deal about something I knew nothing about!! The lecturer was amazing!! He has an excellent sense of humour and he used a wide variety of references to art, literature, and music to illustrate his points.
- The professor is EXTRAORDINARY! Please convey to him my gratitude for such a wonderful course. I enjoyed every minute of his thought provoking and entertaining classes.
- It was very interesting to study a topic which is totally out of my comfort zone. The lectures were informative and stretched my thinking! I enjoyed our professor’s style of teaching. He was very humourous and brought art, music and literature into the realm of physics. It was a great experience!