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Astrophysics

Positrons and Dust Grains

Positron emitters are embedded in clouds of dust grains produced by supernova. This project will explore the transport of positrons in dust grains using Monte-Carlo techniques to improve our understanding of positron transport in an astrophysically relevant setting.

Dr Joshua Machacek, Dr Daniel Murtagh

Atomic and Molecular Physics

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

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

Positrons and Dust Grains

Positron emitters are embedded in clouds of dust grains produced by supernova. This project will explore the transport of positrons in dust grains using Monte-Carlo techniques to improve our understanding of positron transport in an astrophysically relevant setting.

Dr Joshua Machacek, Dr Daniel Murtagh

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

Foundations of light particles in liquids

Although much progress has been made in understand how electrons and positrons move throughout liquids, one cruicial property, V0, the "background energy" is poorly understood. This project aims to calculate V0 using an ab initio model.

Dr Daniel Cocks

Fragmentation of molecules by positronium

Positronium is a bound state between an electron and a positron. It is hydrogen-like with a binding energy half that of hydrogen. Positronium has been found to scatter like an electron for the same velocity. Electrons can fragment molecules by temporary attaching leading to fragmentation. This project will explore the fragmentation of molecules in positronium scattering with molecules.

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

Positrons in plasma

Characterising plasmas is difficult. This project will explore the possibilty of probing a plasma using positrons by building a model and simulating a positron beam incident on a low-temperature plasma.

Dr Daniel Cocks, Dr Cormac Corr, 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

Low-temperature plasma nitrogen fixation for enhancing plant growth

Plasma agriculture is an innovative field that applies plasma to agriculture processes such as farming, food production, food processing, and food preservation.  In agriculture, plasmas may be used to eradicate all microorganisms; bacterial, fungal and viral particles in fruit and vegetables.

Dr Cormac Corr

Clean Energy

Efficient one-step plasma synthesis of high surface area nanostructures

This project aims to develop new plasma processing techniques which can be used to generate complex nanostructured surface morphologies on a range of mateirals. These materials have potential applications in a wide range of areas, including catalysis, high energy-density batteries, and anti-reflection coatings.

Mr Matt Thompson, Dr Cormac Corr

Fusion and Plasma Confinement

Nano-bubble formation in fusion relevant materials

Fusion energy promises millions of years of clean energy, but puts extreme stress on materials. This research will resolve scientific issues surrounding plasma-material interactions to guide and facilitate development of future advanced materials for fusion reactors.

Dr Cormac Corr, A/Prof Patrick Kluth, Mr Matt Thompson

Diagnosing plasma-surface interactions under fusion-relevant conditions

This project involves studying the complex plasma-surface interaction region of a fusion-relevant plasma environment through laser-based and spectroscopic techniques.

Dr Cormac Corr, Mr Matt Thompson

Turbulence and Particle transport in linear and toroidal magnetic geometries

Turbulence is known to affect the plasma in toroidal magnetic confinement devices for fusion, and linear magnetic devices. This project involves the use of langmuir probes on both the H-1 and MAGPIE devices for evaluating the total and fluctuation-induced particle flux and address fundamental physics of turbulence in these devices.

Dr Clive Michael, Dr Boyd Blackwell

Materials Science and Engineering

Nano-bubble formation in fusion relevant materials

Fusion energy promises millions of years of clean energy, but puts extreme stress on materials. This research will resolve scientific issues surrounding plasma-material interactions to guide and facilitate development of future advanced materials for fusion reactors.

Dr Cormac Corr, A/Prof Patrick Kluth, Mr Matt Thompson

Diagnosing plasma-surface interactions under fusion-relevant conditions

This project involves studying the complex plasma-surface interaction region of a fusion-relevant plasma environment through laser-based and spectroscopic techniques.

Dr Cormac Corr, Mr Matt Thompson

Plasma Applications and Technology

Positrons in plasma

Characterising plasmas is difficult. This project will explore the possibilty of probing a plasma using positrons by building a model and simulating a positron beam incident on a low-temperature plasma.

Dr Daniel Cocks, Dr Cormac Corr, Dr Joshua Machacek

Efficient one-step plasma synthesis of high surface area nanostructures

This project aims to develop new plasma processing techniques which can be used to generate complex nanostructured surface morphologies on a range of mateirals. These materials have potential applications in a wide range of areas, including catalysis, high energy-density batteries, and anti-reflection coatings.

Mr Matt Thompson, Dr Cormac Corr

Plasma-liquid interactions

Plasma–liquid interactions are an important topic in the field of plasma science and technology. The interaction of non-equilibrium plasmas with a liquid have many important applications ranging from environmental remediation to material science and health care.

Dr Cormac Corr

Physics of pulsed negative ion plasmas

This project is concerned with studying pulsed electronegative plasmas which can open new frontiers for both basic and applied studies. 

Dr Cormac Corr

Turbulence and Particle transport in linear and toroidal magnetic geometries

Turbulence is known to affect the plasma in toroidal magnetic confinement devices for fusion, and linear magnetic devices. This project involves the use of langmuir probes on both the H-1 and MAGPIE devices for evaluating the total and fluctuation-induced particle flux and address fundamental physics of turbulence in these devices.

Dr Clive Michael, Dr Boyd Blackwell

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

Low-temperature plasma nitrogen fixation for enhancing plant growth

Plasma agriculture is an innovative field that applies plasma to agriculture processes such as farming, food production, food processing, and food preservation.  In agriculture, plasmas may be used to eradicate all microorganisms; bacterial, fungal and viral particles in fruit and vegetables.

Dr Cormac Corr

Theoretical Physics

Foundations of light particles in liquids

Although much progress has been made in understand how electrons and positrons move throughout liquids, one cruicial property, V0, the "background energy" is poorly understood. This project aims to calculate V0 using an ab initio model.

Dr Daniel Cocks

Updated:  17 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Department/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster