Potential student research projects

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Astrophysics

Mid-Infrared astro-photonic components for stellar nulling interferometry & planet hunting

Planetary formation process remain a unresolved issue in our understanding of the universe. Direct observation  is needed and can only be accomplished in the MIR with cancelation of glare from the host star. The quest for earth like planets faces the same challenge. MIR integrated devices can accomplish this and ANU leads the world in this field.

Associate Professor Stephen Madden

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.

Professor Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

Positron applications in medical physics

This is a multi-faceted project which can be adapted to students at the honours level and above. A number of possibilities exist to perform experiments directed towards improving the use of positrons in medice, mostly focussed on Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Professor Stephen Buckman, Dr Joshua Machacek

The inverse swarm problem with neural networks

The traditional approach transport simulation is to measure cross sections and feed them into a code package. However, some cross sections are very difficult to both measure and calculate. The "inverse swarm problem" seeks to extract these cross sections from transport measruements such as current profiles or annihilation rates.

Dr Daniel Cocks, A/Prof. James Sullivan, Dr Joshua Machacek

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.

Professor Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

Benchmark positron scattering experiments

Using the atomic and molecular physics positron beam at the ANU, the student will undertake measurements of positron scattering from simple targets, providing high accuracy data to test recent theoretical calculations.

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Professor Stephen Buckman, Dr Joshua Machacek

Electron-liquid interface scattering

Low temperature plasmas are being exploited for new medical therapy techniques and in engineering applications in agriculture. This project explores the fundamental behaviour of how electrons penetrate a liquid surface, such as the skin of the body.

Dr Daniel Cocks, Dr Cormac Corr

Biophysics

Positron applications in medical physics

This is a multi-faceted project which can be adapted to students at the honours level and above. A number of possibilities exist to perform experiments directed towards improving the use of positrons in medice, mostly focussed on Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Professor Stephen Buckman, Dr Joshua Machacek

Engineering in Physics

Quantum Device Engineering

For quantum technologies to transition to real-world applications, there are a multitude of engineering challenges to be solved. Using diamond NV centres, our group is developing small-scale quantum computers, and quantum microscopes sensing electric and magnetic fields down to the nanoscale. Available project themes include instrumentation, experiment control, machine learning, and optimal control. 

Dr Andrew Horsley, Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson

Materials Science and Engineering

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, Dr Ludovic Rapp

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Quantum microscopes for revolutionary interdisciplinary science

This project aims to invent and apply quantum microscopes to solve major problems across science.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson, Dr Liam McGuinness

Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

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, Dr Kate Ferguson

Mid-Infrared astro-photonic components for stellar nulling interferometry & planet hunting

Planetary formation process remain a unresolved issue in our understanding of the universe. Direct observation  is needed and can only be accomplished in the MIR with cancelation of glare from the host star. The quest for earth like planets faces the same challenge. MIR integrated devices can accomplish this and ANU leads the world in this field.

Associate Professor Stephen Madden

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

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 Duk-Yong Choi

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, Dr Ludovic Rapp

Plasma Applications and Technology

Electron-liquid interface scattering

Low temperature plasmas are being exploited for new medical therapy techniques and in engineering applications in agriculture. This project explores the fundamental behaviour of how electrons penetrate a liquid surface, such as the skin of the body.

Dr Daniel Cocks, Dr Cormac Corr

Quantum Devices and Technology

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, Dr Kate Ferguson

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

Quantum Device Engineering

For quantum technologies to transition to real-world applications, there are a multitude of engineering challenges to be solved. Using diamond NV centres, our group is developing small-scale quantum computers, and quantum microscopes sensing electric and magnetic fields down to the nanoscale. Available project themes include instrumentation, experiment control, machine learning, and optimal control. 

Dr Andrew Horsley, Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson

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 Duk-Yong Choi

Diamond quantum computing and communications

This project aims to engineer diamond quantum computers and communication networks.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Andrew Horsley

Quantum microscopes for revolutionary interdisciplinary science

This project aims to invent and apply quantum microscopes to solve major problems across science.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson, Dr Liam McGuinness

Discovering quantum defects in diamond and related materials

This project aims to discover and study defects in diamond and related materials that are suitable for quantum technology.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Professor Neil Manson

Quantum Science and Applications

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.

Professor Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

Diamond quantum computing and communications

This project aims to engineer diamond quantum computers and communication networks.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Andrew Horsley

Discovering quantum defects in diamond and related materials

This project aims to discover and study defects in diamond and related materials that are suitable for quantum technology.

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.

Professor Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

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, Professor Andrew Truscott

Updated:  15 January 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Laser Physics/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster