Potential student research projects

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Astrophysics

Planetary atmospheres

Telescopic observations, analysis of spacecraft data, and numerical modeling of atmospheric chemsitry on Venus

Dr Stephen Gibson

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Fundamental tests of quantum mechanics with matter waves

We create the coldest stuff in the Universe – a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) – by laser-cooling helium atoms to within a millionth of a degree Kelvin. At these extremely low temperatures particles behave more like waves.  You will use the BEC to study fundamental quantum mechanics and for applications like atom interferometry.

Assoc. Prof Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

The signature of large-amplitude vibrational motions encoded into small polyatomic molecular spectra

This project uses the Australian National University's world-leading state-of-the-art spectrometer to examine state-resolved chemistry, which has been a target of chemical physics for several decades.  It will verify the long suspected existence of large amplitude vibrational eigenstates organised along the isomerization path, that are the signatures of the "holy grail" of chemical dynamics. This provides for previously unimagined schemes for efficient, rationally designed external control of chemical reactions.

Dr Stephen Gibson

Australia's climate: Aerosols, chemistry, precipitation, and clouds

Analysis of regional climate observations and model simulations.  Development of a local solar radiation and cloud measurement network. 

Dr Stephen Gibson

Planetary atmospheres

Telescopic observations, analysis of spacecraft data, and numerical modeling of atmospheric chemsitry on Venus

Dr Stephen Gibson

How does a quantum system reach equilibrium?

The idea of equilibration is ubiquitous throughout nature. Out-of-equilibrium dynamics – be it caused by a disturbance and subsequent “rethermalisation”, or by passing through a phase transition – is a difficult question to characterise. This project looks at both equilibration and phase transitions in a Bose-Einstein condensate of metastable helium atoms.

Assoc. Prof Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

Clean Energy

Solar energy forecasting

Measurement and simulation of spatial and temporal variations in surface solar radiation due to clouds and aerosols

Dr Stephen Gibson

Engineering in Physics

Particle levitation with structured laser beams

The experimental studies of optical and thermal forces induced by a vortex or Bessel laser beam in air and in vacuum.

Professor Andrei Rode

Environmental Physics

Solar energy forecasting

Measurement and simulation of spatial and temporal variations in surface solar radiation due to clouds and aerosols

Dr Stephen Gibson

Australia's climate: Aerosols, chemistry, precipitation, and clouds

Analysis of regional climate observations and model simulations.  Development of a local solar radiation and cloud measurement network. 

Dr Stephen Gibson

Materials Science and Engineering

Intergration of nonlinear materials in photonic circuits

The vision is to combine passive, active and nonlinear waveguide platforms to enhance the performance of the photonic circuits.

Dr Khu Vu, Associate Professor Stephen Madden, Professor Barry Luther-Davies

Ultra-short laser induced micro-explosion: A new route to synthesise novel high-pressure phases

This project aims to synthesise novel metastable material phases by ultrafast laser-induced microexplosion confined within a material’s bulk.

Professor Andrei Rode, Associate Professor Eugene Gamaly

Two-dimensional black phosphorous infrared photodetectors

Black phosphorus (BP) is an emerging 2-dimentional (2D) materials that has exhibited superieor properties for optoelctronic applications. By employing an innovative oxygen plasma etching method, we aim to demonstate high quality, air-stable mono- and few-layer BP films for near- and mid- infrared photodetector applications.

Dr Xin Gai, Dr Ziyuan Li, A/Prof Lan Fu

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Nanomechanical control of qubits in diamond

This project aims to engineer nano-mechanical devices that aid in the control of qubits in diamond. The outcomes of this project have applications in nanoscale force/ motion sensing and quantum information processing.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Professor Neil Manson

Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

Ultrafast optical micro-domain structuring for advanced nonlinear photonic devices

This project aims to develop a breakthrough all-optical approach to create micro-domain patterns in nonlinear optical media using tightly focused femtosecond pulses. It will lead to the first flexible all-optically formed quasi-phase matched structures, enabling access to a broad range of applications for exceptional control over both photons and phonons.

Dr Yan Sheng

Storing quantum entangled states of light

In this project you will demonstrate the storage of quantum entangled states of light using quantum memories based on rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Dr Rose Ahlefeldt, Dr Kate Ferguson

Intergration of nonlinear materials in photonic circuits

The vision is to combine passive, active and nonlinear waveguide platforms to enhance the performance of the photonic circuits.

Dr Khu Vu, Associate Professor Stephen Madden, Professor Barry Luther-Davies

Ultra-short laser induced micro-explosion: A new route to synthesise novel high-pressure phases

This project aims to synthesise novel metastable material phases by ultrafast laser-induced microexplosion confined within a material’s bulk.

Professor Andrei Rode, Associate Professor Eugene Gamaly

Particle levitation with structured laser beams

The experimental studies of optical and thermal forces induced by a vortex or Bessel laser beam in air and in vacuum.

Professor Andrei Rode

Developing a planar waveguide photonic quantum processor

This project aims to develop a photonic quantum processor based on a planar waveguide architecture incorporating rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Associate Professor Stephen Madden

Developing a quantum memory for the 1550 nm optical communication band

In this project you will develop a quantum memory for storing light at 1550 nm using erbium doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars

Two-dimensional black phosphorous infrared photodetectors

Black phosphorus (BP) is an emerging 2-dimentional (2D) materials that has exhibited superieor properties for optoelctronic applications. By employing an innovative oxygen plasma etching method, we aim to demonstate high quality, air-stable mono- and few-layer BP films for near- and mid- infrared photodetector applications.

Dr Xin Gai, Dr Ziyuan Li, A/Prof Lan Fu

Quantum Devices and Technology

Storing quantum entangled states of light

In this project you will demonstrate the storage of quantum entangled states of light using quantum memories based on rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Dr Rose Ahlefeldt, Dr Kate Ferguson

Diamond spintronics

Spintronics exploits both electron charge and spin to store and compute information. It has the potential to overcome the limitations of conventional electronics, with the ultimate limit being the realisation of spin quantum computing. This project aims to pursue an innovative approach to engineer quantum spintronics devices in diamond.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Professor Neil Manson

Developing a planar waveguide photonic quantum processor

This project aims to develop a photonic quantum processor based on a planar waveguide architecture incorporating rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Associate Professor Stephen Madden

Nanomechanical control of qubits in diamond

This project aims to engineer nano-mechanical devices that aid in the control of qubits in diamond. The outcomes of this project have applications in nanoscale force/ motion sensing and quantum information processing.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Professor Neil Manson

Discovering quantum defects in diamond and related materials

Quantum defects in diamond have been used to realise new frontiers in quantum technology. This project aims to investigate the properties of the known quantum defects in diamond in order to determine how superior defects in diamond and its related materials can be either engineered or rapidly discovered.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Professor Neil Manson

Developing a quantum memory for the 1550 nm optical communication band

In this project you will develop a quantum memory for storing light at 1550 nm using erbium doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars

Quantum Science and Applications

Experimental quantum simulation with ultracold metastable Helium atoms in an optical lattice

This project will construct a 3D optical lattice apparatus for ultracold metastable Helium atoms, which will form an experimental quantum-simulator to investigate quantum many-body physics. A range of experiments will be performed such as studying higher order quantum correlations across the superfluid to Mott insulator phase transition.

Dr Sean Hodgman, Assoc. Prof Andrew Truscott

Fundamental tests of quantum mechanics with matter waves

We create the coldest stuff in the Universe – a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) – by laser-cooling helium atoms to within a millionth of a degree Kelvin. At these extremely low temperatures particles behave more like waves.  You will use the BEC to study fundamental quantum mechanics and for applications like atom interferometry.

Assoc. Prof Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

Diamond spintronics

Spintronics exploits both electron charge and spin to store and compute information. It has the potential to overcome the limitations of conventional electronics, with the ultimate limit being the realisation of spin quantum computing. This project aims to pursue an innovative approach to engineer quantum spintronics devices in diamond.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Professor Neil Manson

How does a quantum system reach equilibrium?

The idea of equilibration is ubiquitous throughout nature. Out-of-equilibrium dynamics – be it caused by a disturbance and subsequent “rethermalisation”, or by passing through a phase transition – is a difficult question to characterise. This project looks at both equilibration and phase transitions in a Bose-Einstein condensate of metastable helium atoms.

Assoc. Prof Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

Discovering quantum defects in diamond and related materials

Quantum defects in diamond have been used to realise new frontiers in quantum technology. This project aims to investigate the properties of the known quantum defects in diamond in order to determine how superior defects in diamond and its related materials can be either engineered or rapidly discovered.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Professor Neil Manson

Updated:  15 June 2016/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Laser Physics/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster