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.

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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The aim of this project is to introduce quantum integrable systems which play a very important role in modern theoretical physics. Such systems provide one of very few ways to analyze nonlinear effects in continuous and discrete quantum systems.

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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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A novel technique devised at ANU has recently given a breakthrough in the precision with which the magnetic moments of picosecond-lived excited states in sd-shell nuclei (i.e. isotopes of oxygen through to calcium) may be measured. A sequence of precise measurements will be performed to comprehensively test the shell model.

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