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.

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.

» Find out more about this project

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.

» Find out more about this project

Using methods of quantum many-body theory to describe elementary processes in atoms and molecules interacting with strong electromagnetic fields.

» Find out more about this project

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.

» Find out more about this project

Updated:  17 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster