Potential PhB research projects

The Research School of Physics & Engineering performs research at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines.

By undertaking your own research project at RSPE you could open up an exciting career in science.

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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

Dark matter search from nuclear recoil

An experiment aiming at detecting the recoil of nuclei interacting with the hypothetical Dark Matter surrounding the Earth will take place in a former gold mine in Stawel (Victoria). The project involves participating to various experimental aspects such as background characterisation.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Gregory Lane, Dr Cédric Simenel, Dr Anton Wallner

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Electron scattering from surfaces at high energies

The project aims at establishing the possibilities of high-energy electron scattering in the analysis of thin layers. 

A/Prof Maarten Vos

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

Electron scattering in a magnetic field

A novel approach to low energy electron experiments has been developed, using strong magnetic fields to confine the electron beam. This project will further develop a new apparatus towards making important measurements of scattering cross sections.

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Dr Joshua Machacek

Experimental determination of the Auger yield per nuclear decay

Auger electrons are emitted after nuclear decay and are used for medical purposes. The number of Auger electrons generated per nuclear decay is not known accurately, a fact that  hinders medical applications.  This project aims to obtain a experimental estimate of the number of Auger electrons emitted per nuclear decay.
 

A/Prof Maarten Vos, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Clean Energy

Hydrogen generation by solar water splitting using nitride-based compound semiconductors

This project aims to develop GaN-based semiconductor photoelectrodes for highly efficient solar to hydrogen generation by band bending and surface engineering at the semiconductor-electrolyte interface.

Professor Hoe Tan, Dr Siva Karuturi

Nanowire arrays for next generation high performance photovoltaics

This is an all-encompassing program to integrate highly sophisticated theoretical modelling, material growth and nanofabrication capabilities to develop high performance semiconductor nanowire array solar cells. It will lead to understanding of the underlying photovoltaic mechanisms in nanowires and design of novel solar cell architectures.

A/Prof Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Engineering in Physics

Generation of random numbers from vacuum fluctuations

Aim to generate random numbers by performing a homodyne measurement of the quantum vacuum state.

Mr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Thomas Symul

Topological photonics

Topological photonics is a new rapidly developing area inspired by advanced concepts of solid state physics. A new class of photonic states of matter, such as photonic topological insulators, is emerging, and they will be used for emulating condensed matter systems in a simpleand controllable way. 

Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko

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

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

3D phantoms for X-ray micro-tomography

"Phantoms" are objects used for performance testing and/or calibration of 3D X-ray computed tomography (CT) systems. This project involves designing, 3D printing, and subsequently imaging phantoms at the micro-CT facility of the Applied Maths department.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, A/Prof Adrian Sheppard, Prof Timothy Senden

Electron scattering from surfaces at high energies

The project aims at establishing the possibilities of high-energy electron scattering in the analysis of thin layers. 

A/Prof Maarten Vos

Metamaterials for acoustic waves

This project applies the concepts of engineered artificial material structures to acoustic waves. This will enable a variety of interesting fundamental and applied acoustic phenomena to be observed.

Dr David Powell

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

Hydrogen generation by solar water splitting using nitride-based compound semiconductors

This project aims to develop GaN-based semiconductor photoelectrodes for highly efficient solar to hydrogen generation by band bending and surface engineering at the semiconductor-electrolyte interface.

Professor Hoe Tan, Dr Siva Karuturi

Fundamental investigation of fission tracks for geo- and thermochronology

Study the formation and stability of high energy ion tracks in minerals under controlled environments with importance for geological dating techniques.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

UV nano-LEDs

Development of nanowire LEDs for small, robust and highly portable UV sources.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Professor Hoe Tan

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Nanowire DFB lasers

Developing nanoscale lasers with controlled direction of light emission for use in high density information processing.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Experimental determination of the Auger yield per nuclear decay

Auger electrons are emitted after nuclear decay and are used for medical purposes. The number of Auger electrons generated per nuclear decay is not known accurately, a fact that  hinders medical applications.  This project aims to obtain a experimental estimate of the number of Auger electrons emitted per nuclear decay.
 

A/Prof Maarten Vos, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Visible wavelength nanowire lasers

Utilising nanowire geometry to create visible wavelength nanoscale lasers with reduced footprint, higher efficiency and lower operating powers.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Dr Sudha Mokkapati, Professor Hoe Tan

Nanowire photodetectors - Small devices for the big world

Semiconductor nanowires are emerging nano-materials with substantial opportunities for novel photonic and electronic device applications. This project aims at developing a new generation of high performance NW based photodetectors for a wide range of applications.

A/Prof Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan

Nanowire arrays for next generation high performance photovoltaics

This is an all-encompassing program to integrate highly sophisticated theoretical modelling, material growth and nanofabrication capabilities to develop high performance semiconductor nanowire array solar cells. It will lead to understanding of the underlying photovoltaic mechanisms in nanowires and design of novel solar cell architectures.

A/Prof Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Fundamental investigation of fission tracks for geo- and thermochronology

Study the formation and stability of high energy ion tracks in minerals under controlled environments with importance for geological dating techniques.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

UV nano-LEDs

Development of nanowire LEDs for small, robust and highly portable UV sources.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Professor Hoe Tan

Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

Nanowire DFB lasers

Developing nanoscale lasers with controlled direction of light emission for use in high density information processing.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Visible wavelength nanowire lasers

Utilising nanowire geometry to create visible wavelength nanoscale lasers with reduced footprint, higher efficiency and lower operating powers.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Dr Sudha Mokkapati, Professor Hoe Tan

Metamaterials for acoustic waves

This project applies the concepts of engineered artificial material structures to acoustic waves. This will enable a variety of interesting fundamental and applied acoustic phenomena to be observed.

Dr David Powell

Nanowire photodetectors - Small devices for the big world

Semiconductor nanowires are emerging nano-materials with substantial opportunities for novel photonic and electronic device applications. This project aims at developing a new generation of high performance NW based photodetectors for a wide range of applications.

A/Prof Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan

Topological photonics

Topological photonics is a new rapidly developing area inspired by advanced concepts of solid state physics. A new class of photonic states of matter, such as photonic topological insulators, is emerging, and they will be used for emulating condensed matter systems in a simpleand controllable way. 

Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko

Physics Education

Physics education

Investigate how people learn physics. Develop simulation software for learning. Projects in physics education suit people with interests in: teaching, software development, statistical analysis, or psychology.

Professor Craig Savage

Physics of the Nucleus

Computing nuclei: numerical solution of the Schrödinger equation

Analytic solutions of real-world quantum mechanics problems are rare, and in practise we must use numerical methods to obtain solutions. This project will give you practical experience in solving the static and time-dependent Schrödinger equations using a computer.

Dr Edward Simpson, Dr Cédric Simenel

Dark matter search from nuclear recoil

An experiment aiming at detecting the recoil of nuclei interacting with the hypothetical Dark Matter surrounding the Earth will take place in a former gold mine in Stawel (Victoria). The project involves participating to various experimental aspects such as background characterisation.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Gregory Lane, Dr Cédric Simenel, Dr Anton Wallner

Quantum vibrations in atomic nuclei

We study how atomic nuclei get deformed and vibrate using modern time-dependent quantum simulation codes, advanced 3D visualisation programs, and mathematical tools such as Fourier transforms.  

Dr Cédric Simenel

Testing nuclear foces through direct-reaction studies

Atomic nuclei are complex, many-body quantum systems that exhibit broad variety in behaviour. Special cases close to closed-shell configurations offer opportunities to study nucleon-nucleon interactions in great detail. In this project, the evolution of single-particle structure will be examined experimentally through direct-reaction mechanisms, with comparison of results to theoretical predictions.

Dr AJ Mitchell, Dr Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Exotic nuclear structure from spectroscopy of spontaneous fission fragments

Investigate properties and structure of exotic nuclei using beta-gamma decay-spectroscopy techniques. 

Dr AJ Mitchell, Dr Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Plasma Applications and Technology

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

Quantum Science and Applications

Computing nuclei: numerical solution of the Schrödinger equation

Analytic solutions of real-world quantum mechanics problems are rare, and in practise we must use numerical methods to obtain solutions. This project will give you practical experience in solving the static and time-dependent Schrödinger equations using a computer.

Dr Edward Simpson, Dr Cédric Simenel

Quantum vibrations in atomic nuclei

We study how atomic nuclei get deformed and vibrate using modern time-dependent quantum simulation codes, advanced 3D visualisation programs, and mathematical tools such as Fourier transforms.  

Dr Cédric Simenel

Generation of random numbers from vacuum fluctuations

Aim to generate random numbers by performing a homodyne measurement of the quantum vacuum state.

Mr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Thomas Symul

Topological and Structural Science

3D phantoms for X-ray micro-tomography

"Phantoms" are objects used for performance testing and/or calibration of 3D X-ray computed tomography (CT) systems. This project involves designing, 3D printing, and subsequently imaging phantoms at the micro-CT facility of the Applied Maths department.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, A/Prof Adrian Sheppard, Prof Timothy Senden

3D print pedagogical models of periodic minimal surfaces

Explore the geometry and symmetries of some periodic minimal surfaces and learn about their relevance in chemical and biological self assembly.  

Dr Vanessa Robins

Updated:  15 June 2016/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster