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Atomic and Molecular Physics

Electron dosimetry for cancer treatment at the micro-scale

There is growing recognition that molecularly targeted radiopharmaceuticals that incorporate low energy electron emitting radioisotopes can provide a precise means of delivering lethal doses to cancer cells while sparing the neighbouring healthy ones. This unique therapeutic effect is due to the high energy deposition of low-energy electrons passing through the biological medium. 

Dr Greg Tredwell, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Biophysics

RNA tangles and knots? A basic model.

Exploration of simpler entangled structures in 3-space is surpisingly undeveloped. Here we plan to catalogue simpler knots, links and tangled nets via two-dimensional geometry. 

Professor Stephen Hyde

Why does the English willow make the best cricket bat?

In this project, we will investigate the microstructure of wood using 3D microscopes and a host of interesting analytical tools.

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Prof Phil Evans

Using 3D microscopy to understand drought tolerance in plants

Plants have an amazing ability to control water transport through their stems and leaves, with some species able to keep functioning in very hostile conditions. This project will use 3D X-ray microscopy to explore the physical changes in plant cells as a result of water stress.

Prof Adrian Sheppard, Dr Anna Herring, Prof Jodie Bradby

Shape signatures for leaves: an application of topological data analysis

Develop new methods for quantifying the shape of leaves and explore how these are correlated with their physical and biological properties.

Dr Vanessa Robins

Specific ion effects

We are conducting fundamental research into how different ions exert influence in a myriad of systems

Professor Vincent Craig

Protein structure: new topological methods

The notion of protein secondary and tertiary structure is a loose one, that deserves a deeper look. Some proteins are considered to be highly structured in their usual folded state, others lack well defined structures. We are interested in the basic question "what is structure in a folded protein chain"?

Professor Stephen Hyde

Clean Energy

Imaging fluid-fluid interfacial curvatures in porous media: relating physics and geometry

This computational and theoretical project will extract geometric information from sequences of newly obtained 3D x-ray microscope images to better understand how two immiscible fluids interact inside complex porous materials.

Prof Adrian Sheppard, Dr Anna Herring

Engineering in Physics

3D image segmentation using machine learning techniques

We aim to use  machine learning techniques to identify minerals and components of three dimensional images obtained from X-ray micro Computed Tomography (XCT).

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar

Topological data analysis of software crash call stacks

We will apply recent topology-based methods of data analysis to the problem of clustering large collections of induced software exception call stacks. Call stacks are text files produced when a computer program encounters an unanticipated error. Efficient identification of the underlying cause is a key step in reducing software vulnerability.

Dr Vanessa Robins

Impact of surface roughness on fluid equilibribrium

Fluid flow in porous media combines the impacts of many complex phenomena: fluid properties, solid structure, and the infacial interactions between fluids and solid phases. This project aims to uncover the reasons behind some fundamental differences between experiments conducted in glass bead packs and those conducted in geologic systems (rocks).

Dr Anna Herring, Prof Adrian Sheppard

4D structural characterization of carbon-sequestering cements

This project will use high resolution 3D X-ray computed tomography to characterise the evolving structure of reactive magnesium cement materials over months-long time frames, in order to learn how to optimise cement composition and initial structure to enhance CO2 uptake and cement strength, while at the same time minimizing clogging.

Dr Anna Herring, Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Environmental Physics

4D tomography - imaging materials in 3D as they change

The ANU has constructed an X-ray micro-computed tomography facility with a unique helical scanning configuration that enables tomographic images of extremely high quality to be produced.  This experimental project will work with theoreticians to image the evolution of time-changing samples with unprecented time resolution.

Prof Adrian Sheppard, Dr Glenn Myers, Dr Andrew Kingston

Novel methods for remediation of Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination

Perform fundamental research to contribute to a novel means of removal of PFAS from the environment.

Professor Vincent Craig

Surface forces and the behaviour of colloidal systems

We measure the basic forces that operate between molecules that are manifest at interfaces. These forces control the stability of colloidal systems from blood to toothpaste. We use very sensitive techniques that are able to measure tiny forces with sub nanometer distance resolution. Understanding these forces enables us to predict how a huge variety of colloidal systems will behave.

Professor Vincent Craig

Nanobubbles

Nanobubbles are simply nanosized bubbles. What makes them interesting? Theory tells us they should dissolve in less than a second but they are stable for days. Additionally, they have lots of interesting properties being implicated in medical treatments and cleaning technologies.

Professor Vincent Craig

Materials Science and Engineering

Three-dimensional crystalline structures from two-dimensional hyperbolic tilings

A variety of projects are available that will contribute to the enumeration and characterisation of 3-periodic network structures via the tiling of periodic minimal surfaces and thereby enhance our understanding of self-assembled structures in nature.

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde

Why does the English willow make the best cricket bat?

In this project, we will investigate the microstructure of wood using 3D microscopes and a host of interesting analytical tools.

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Prof Phil Evans

Soft Condensed Matter: Molecules made by Threading

Of great recent interest is the subject of rotaxanes.  Rotaxanes are molecules  where one or more ring
components is threaded onto an axle that is capped on both ends with stoppers to prevent the rings from
falling o ff. These systems exhibit complex and fascinating physics.

Professor David Williams

Compression of 3D X-ray imaging data

The CT lab hosts several 3D X-ray imaging systems, each generating ~240GB/day of data. The student will: (i) explore various data compression schemes; (ii) theoretically and empirically analyse interactions between data compression, X-ray image processing, and 3D analysis; (iii) develop new 3D imaging methods, based on successful data compression schemes

Dr Glenn Myers, Dr Andrew Kingston, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Force networks in granular materials: imaging, pattern recognition and data mining

This project employs an integrated experimental and analytical approach to interrogate granular materials (e.g., soil, sand and sedimentary rocks, powder, colloidal systems, coal, snow etc.).  The experimental part, undertaken at ANU, involves the accurate experimental measurement and 3D visualisation of contact forces at the contacts between particles. The analytical part, undertaken at UoM, focuses on “mining” hidden patterns in the experimental data, using new tools from mathematics and statistics of complex systems.

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar

Patterns on closed curved surfaces

In this project, we will study the formation of regular patterns, as well as defects, on closed curved surfaces such as boundaries of granular packings.

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Dr Nicolas Francois, Professor Stephen Hyde, Prof Timothy Senden

3D phantoms for X-ray micro-tomography

"Phantoms" are objects used for performance testing and/or calibration of 3D X-ray computed tomography (CT) systems. This project involves designing, 3D printing, and subsequently imaging phantoms at the micro-CT facility of the Applied Maths department.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, Prof Adrian Sheppard, Prof Timothy Senden

Multi-spectral x-ray micro-tomography

The ANU X-ray micro-tomography facility images over a broad spectrum (or range) of X-ray energies. The behaviour of specimens of interest at different X-ray energies can tell us a lot about its composition. This project will explore 1) techniques to image specimens at various X-ray spectral-bands, and 2) methods to analyse the results.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Granular materials: understanding their geometry and physics

What is a granular material from geometry and physics perspective? We'll try to understand the fundementals of granular materials in this project.

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Dr Nicolas Francois, Dr Vanessa Robins, Prof Timothy Senden

High-density artifact correction in x-ray micro-tomography

High-density objects in specimens of interest (e.g., metal-pins in biological specimens), can cause significant quality degradation of 3D images produced at our micro-tomography facility. This project explores/compares techniques in hardware to avoid the problem and techniques in software to correct for the problems caused by these objects.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Intelligent 3D X-ray imaging, for improved analysis of complex 3D images.

This project will develop new methods for "intelligent" processing of 3D X-ray data (i.e. methods which use a priori information). These new methods will double as a non-traditional approach to automated image analysis; the project will compare this new approach with more traditional methods.

Dr Glenn Myers, Dr Andrew Kingston, Prof Adrian Sheppard

3D print pedagogical models of periodic minimal surfaces

Explore the geometry and symmetries of some periodic minimal surfaces and learn about their relevance in chemical and biological self assembly.

Dr Vanessa Robins

4D structural characterization of carbon-sequestering cements

This project will use high resolution 3D X-ray computed tomography to characterise the evolving structure of reactive magnesium cement materials over months-long time frames, in order to learn how to optimise cement composition and initial structure to enhance CO2 uptake and cement strength, while at the same time minimizing clogging.

Dr Anna Herring, Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Specific ion effects

We are conducting fundamental research into how different ions exert influence in a myriad of systems

Professor Vincent Craig

Surface forces and the behaviour of colloidal systems

We measure the basic forces that operate between molecules that are manifest at interfaces. These forces control the stability of colloidal systems from blood to toothpaste. We use very sensitive techniques that are able to measure tiny forces with sub nanometer distance resolution. Understanding these forces enables us to predict how a huge variety of colloidal systems will behave.

Professor Vincent Craig

Nanobubbles

Nanobubbles are simply nanosized bubbles. What makes them interesting? Theory tells us they should dissolve in less than a second but they are stable for days. Additionally, they have lots of interesting properties being implicated in medical treatments and cleaning technologies.

Professor Vincent Craig

Physics of Fluids

Using 3D microscopy to understand drought tolerance in plants

Plants have an amazing ability to control water transport through their stems and leaves, with some species able to keep functioning in very hostile conditions. This project will use 3D X-ray microscopy to explore the physical changes in plant cells as a result of water stress.

Prof Adrian Sheppard, Dr Anna Herring, Prof Jodie Bradby

Impact of surface roughness on fluid equilibribrium

Fluid flow in porous media combines the impacts of many complex phenomena: fluid properties, solid structure, and the infacial interactions between fluids and solid phases. This project aims to uncover the reasons behind some fundamental differences between experiments conducted in glass bead packs and those conducted in geologic systems (rocks).

Dr Anna Herring, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Imaging fluid-fluid interfacial curvatures in porous media: relating physics and geometry

This computational and theoretical project will extract geometric information from sequences of newly obtained 3D x-ray microscope images to better understand how two immiscible fluids interact inside complex porous materials.

Prof Adrian Sheppard, Dr Anna Herring

Physics of the Nucleus

Electron dosimetry for cancer treatment at the micro-scale

There is growing recognition that molecularly targeted radiopharmaceuticals that incorporate low energy electron emitting radioisotopes can provide a precise means of delivering lethal doses to cancer cells while sparing the neighbouring healthy ones. This unique therapeutic effect is due to the high energy deposition of low-energy electrons passing through the biological medium. 

Dr Greg Tredwell, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Theoretical Physics

Soft Condensed Matter: Molecules made by Threading

Of great recent interest is the subject of rotaxanes.  Rotaxanes are molecules  where one or more ring
components is threaded onto an axle that is capped on both ends with stoppers to prevent the rings from
falling o ff. These systems exhibit complex and fascinating physics.

Professor David Williams

Compression of 3D X-ray imaging data

The CT lab hosts several 3D X-ray imaging systems, each generating ~240GB/day of data. The student will: (i) explore various data compression schemes; (ii) theoretically and empirically analyse interactions between data compression, X-ray image processing, and 3D analysis; (iii) develop new 3D imaging methods, based on successful data compression schemes

Dr Glenn Myers, Dr Andrew Kingston, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Topological Crystallography: Graphs and surfaces with symmetry

What are the underlying geometric and topological properties of periodic structures that guarantee large and stable porosity in nano-porous crystalline materials required for gas storage and efficient catalysis?

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde, Dr Olaf Delgado-Friedrichs

Multi-spectral x-ray micro-tomography

The ANU X-ray micro-tomography facility images over a broad spectrum (or range) of X-ray energies. The behaviour of specimens of interest at different X-ray energies can tell us a lot about its composition. This project will explore 1) techniques to image specimens at various X-ray spectral-bands, and 2) methods to analyse the results.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, Prof Adrian Sheppard

High-density artifact correction in x-ray micro-tomography

High-density objects in specimens of interest (e.g., metal-pins in biological specimens), can cause significant quality degradation of 3D images produced at our micro-tomography facility. This project explores/compares techniques in hardware to avoid the problem and techniques in software to correct for the problems caused by these objects.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Intelligent 3D X-ray imaging, for improved analysis of complex 3D images.

This project will develop new methods for "intelligent" processing of 3D X-ray data (i.e. methods which use a priori information). These new methods will double as a non-traditional approach to automated image analysis; the project will compare this new approach with more traditional methods.

Dr Glenn Myers, Dr Andrew Kingston, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Topological and Structural Science

RNA tangles and knots? A basic model.

Exploration of simpler entangled structures in 3-space is surpisingly undeveloped. Here we plan to catalogue simpler knots, links and tangled nets via two-dimensional geometry. 

Professor Stephen Hyde

Three-dimensional crystalline structures from two-dimensional hyperbolic tilings

A variety of projects are available that will contribute to the enumeration and characterisation of 3-periodic network structures via the tiling of periodic minimal surfaces and thereby enhance our understanding of self-assembled structures in nature.

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde

3D image segmentation using machine learning techniques

We aim to use  machine learning techniques to identify minerals and components of three dimensional images obtained from X-ray micro Computed Tomography (XCT).

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar

Topological data analysis of software crash call stacks

We will apply recent topology-based methods of data analysis to the problem of clustering large collections of induced software exception call stacks. Call stacks are text files produced when a computer program encounters an unanticipated error. Efficient identification of the underlying cause is a key step in reducing software vulnerability.

Dr Vanessa Robins

Shape signatures for leaves: an application of topological data analysis

Develop new methods for quantifying the shape of leaves and explore how these are correlated with their physical and biological properties.

Dr Vanessa Robins

4D tomography - imaging materials in 3D as they change

The ANU has constructed an X-ray micro-computed tomography facility with a unique helical scanning configuration that enables tomographic images of extremely high quality to be produced.  This experimental project will work with theoreticians to image the evolution of time-changing samples with unprecented time resolution.

Prof Adrian Sheppard, Dr Glenn Myers, Dr Andrew Kingston

Protein structure: new topological methods

The notion of protein secondary and tertiary structure is a loose one, that deserves a deeper look. Some proteins are considered to be highly structured in their usual folded state, others lack well defined structures. We are interested in the basic question "what is structure in a folded protein chain"?

Professor Stephen Hyde

Force networks in granular materials: imaging, pattern recognition and data mining

This project employs an integrated experimental and analytical approach to interrogate granular materials (e.g., soil, sand and sedimentary rocks, powder, colloidal systems, coal, snow etc.).  The experimental part, undertaken at ANU, involves the accurate experimental measurement and 3D visualisation of contact forces at the contacts between particles. The analytical part, undertaken at UoM, focuses on “mining” hidden patterns in the experimental data, using new tools from mathematics and statistics of complex systems.

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar

Topological Crystallography: Graphs and surfaces with symmetry

What are the underlying geometric and topological properties of periodic structures that guarantee large and stable porosity in nano-porous crystalline materials required for gas storage and efficient catalysis?

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde, Dr Olaf Delgado-Friedrichs

Patterns on closed curved surfaces

In this project, we will study the formation of regular patterns, as well as defects, on closed curved surfaces such as boundaries of granular packings.

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Dr Nicolas Francois, Professor Stephen Hyde, Prof Timothy Senden

3D phantoms for X-ray micro-tomography

"Phantoms" are objects used for performance testing and/or calibration of 3D X-ray computed tomography (CT) systems. This project involves designing, 3D printing, and subsequently imaging phantoms at the micro-CT facility of the Applied Maths department.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, Prof Adrian Sheppard, Prof Timothy Senden

Granular materials: understanding their geometry and physics

What is a granular material from geometry and physics perspective? We'll try to understand the fundementals of granular materials in this project.

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Dr Nicolas Francois, Dr Vanessa Robins, Prof Timothy Senden

3D print pedagogical models of periodic minimal surfaces

Explore the geometry and symmetries of some periodic minimal surfaces and learn about their relevance in chemical and biological self assembly.

Dr Vanessa Robins

Updated:  17 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Department/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster