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.

A quantum state has "coherence" if it is in a superposition of some classical states. In some way, coherence measures the quantumness of that state. We aim to study the coherence of simple systems and also establish a relationship between coherence and quantum metrology.

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We apply the most advanced quantum-mechanical modeling to resolve electron motion in atoms and molecules on the atto-second (one quintillionth of a second) time scale.  Our theoretical modeling, based on a rigorous, quantitative description of correlated electron dynamics, provides insight into new physics taking place on the atomic time scale.

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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.

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Fusion probabilities at high energies are significantly smaller than theoretical predicted, in part due to disintegration of the projectile nucleus into lighter nuclei (breakup) on timescales faster than 10-21 s. This project will help us understand these fast, complex breakup processes and their influence on fusion.

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