Theoretical physics

Much of the theoretical work in the School compliments the experimental programs in areas such as the transport studies in semiconductors, photonics and optical communications.

One of the most exciting areas of modern theoretical physics is the modelling of the behaviour of complex systems such as climate patterns and the turbulent flow of fluids. RSPhysSE is one of the major players in the ARC Research Network for Complex Systems with many of our researchers undertaking research in this field.

The School also has strong research interests in Nonlinear optics and solitons, developing basic theories of solitons for optical systems that including all-optical information transmission lines and ultra-short pulse lasers. This work also extends to the design of specific novel planar and fibre light processing devices, including those with the potential for commercialisation.

Selected research highlights

Potential student research projects

You could be doing your own research into fusion and plasma confinement. Below are some examples of student physics research projects available in RSPE.

Please browse our full list of available physics research projects to find a project that interests you.

When two composite objects (molecules, atoms, atomic nuclei...) collide, they may transfer particles. Understanding how this transfer occurs in quantum mechanics is an important challenge in quantum physics. 

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In recent years there was a large boost in development of advanced variational methods which play an important role in analytic and numerical studies of  1D and 2D quantum spin systems. Such methods are based on the ideas coming from the renormalization group theory which states that  physical properties of  spin systems become scale invariant near criticality. One of the most powerful variational algorithms is the corner-transfer matrices (CTM) method which allows to predict properties of large systems based on a simple iterative algorithm.

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Superheavy elements can only be created in the laboratory by the fusion of two massive nuclei. Our measurements give the clearest information on the characteristics and timescales of quasifission, the major competitor to fusion in these reactions.

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Quantum tunnelling is a fundamental process in physics. How this process occurs with composite (many-body) systems, and in particular how it relates to decoherence and dissipation, are still open questions.

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Updated:  15 June 2016/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster