The University of Waterloo made a quantum leap this afternoon with the official opening of the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum Nano centre.

An impressive building and an impressive guest list, with world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking  on hand for the ribbon cutting.

“I am delighted to be here in Waterloo for this occasion of global scientific significance. As you know I have a research chair at perimeter institute … I am getting to know Waterloo well I am clear that this place is special." says Hawking.

Hundreds of students clamored up against windows and doors of the new building just to get a peak of Hawking. The world's leading scientist, made a rare appearance to celebrate the opening of the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum Nano center.

It’s now a world base for scientific innovation in quantum information and Nano technology under one roof.

Lazaridis, the former Co CEO of RIM has invested more than 100 million of his own money to make this all come together.

The university will host an open house for the public on September 29, at 10:00 am. The community will get a chance to explore the state of art facility in the heart of the campus.

The curious can tour the cutting edge laboratories, meet the scientists and learn about the incredible quantum devices and nanotechnologies being pioneered in Waterloo.