Potential 3rd year special topics

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

Nucleosynthesis in the laboratory - how elements are formed in stars

A fundamental scientific question is a better understanding of the elemental abundances and the isotopic pattern of our solar system which is a fingerprint of stellar nucleosynthesis. We perform nucleosynthesis in the laboratory at the ANU via a new and powerful tool, accelerator mass spectrometry, to elucidate open questions in these processes.

Dr Anton Wallner

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

Search for supernova-signatures on Earth

Detection of supernova‐produced (radio)nuclides in terrestrial archives gives insight into massive star nucleosynthesis; when and where are heavy elements formed. Direct observation of radioactive nuclides from stars and the interstellar medium would provide first experimental constraints on production rate.s We will use the most sensitive technique, accelerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Anton Wallner

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

Constraining toroidal equilibria to accretion disc observations

In this project we would compare the construction of accretion disc and magnetic configuration Grad-Shafranov problems, and apply a recently developed toroidal magnetic confinement equilibrium code to model an accretion disc. A focus of the project will be constraining free functions to observational data. 

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole, Dr Michael Fitzgerald

Modelling a solar fare by MRXMHD

In this project, we apply multiple-region relaxed MHD model, designed to describe the fractal fix of chaotic field lines, magentic islands, and flux surfaces in toroidal magnetic confinement, to describe a solar flare.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole

Planetary atmospheres

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

Dr Stephen Gibson

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Double electron photo-ionization of a 1D helium atom

The project studies double photon ionization of a helium atom using simplified one-dimensional model. This allows to elucidate some features of the process (such as possible existence of the effect of the Rabi oscillations in the double ionization probabilities), which (for computational reasons) are difficult to study using the 3D model.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Measuring free-ion hyperfine fields

This experimental project will characterize the hyperfine fields of ions emerging from target foils as highly charged ions. The data will test theoretical models we are developing, and underpin nuclear magnetism measurements on rare isotopes produced at international radioactive beam facilities such as GANIL (France), ISOLDE-CERN (Switzerland) and NSCL (USA).

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Dr Gregory Lane, Dr Matthew Reed

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

Auger-cascade modelling for targeted cancer therapy

The emission rate of low-energy Auger electrons and X-rays from radiosotopes through the Auger cascade are extremely important for basic science and applications, especially for medical isotopes. The project is aiming to understand the nature of the Auger cascade and develop a new computational model of it for the research in targeted radioisotopes therapy.

Mr Boon Quan Lee, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi

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

Modelling free-ion hyperfine fields

Motivated by exciting prospects for measurements of the magnetism of rare isotopes produced by the new radioactive beam accelerators internationally, this computational project seeks to understand the enormous magnetic fields produced at the nucleus of highly charged ions by their atomic electron configuration.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Mr Boon Quan Lee

Optical quantum memory

An optical quantum memory will capture a pulse of light, store it and then controllably release it. This has to be done without ever knowing what you have stored, because a measurement will collapse the quantum state. We are exploring a "photon echo" process to achieve this goal.

Dr Ben Buchler

Coherent control of quantum-mechanical systems

The project studies possibility of the coherent control (i.e. manipulating properties of a quantum system, such as charge density, levels populations, etc., using a suitably tailored laser pulse) for a quantum mechanical model of a molecule.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets

Planetary atmospheres

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

Dr Stephen Gibson

Biophysics

Three-dimensional crystalline structures from two-dimensional hyperbolic tilings

A variety of projects are available that will contribute to the enumeration and characterisation of 3-periodic network structures via the tiling of periodic minimal surfaces and thereby enhance our understanding of self-assembled structures in nature.

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde

Origomu

The energy lansdscape of folded spheres, assuming elastic membranes and sticky inner surfaces, will be explored. 

Professor Stephen Hyde

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

Gas sensing of carbon dioxide

This project has a strong industrial link, and investigates using resonator optics to enhance the measurement sensitivity of the molecular absorption of light.

Dr Jong Chow, Dr Timothy Lam, Mr Jarrod Dong

Clean Energy

Imaging fluid-fluid interfacial curvatures in porous media: relating physics and geometry

This computational and theoretical project will extract geometric information from sequences of newly obtained 3D x-ray microscope images to better understand how two immiscible fluids interact inside complex porous materials.

A/Prof Adrian Sheppard, Dr Anna Herring

Organic-inorganic perovskite materials for high performance photovoltaics

In this project, we will characterise actual device solar cell structures with electron microscopy techniques and seek to understand the microscopic effects behind the device performance and reliability

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

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

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

Solar energy forecasting

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

Dr Stephen Gibson

Inclusion of toroidal flow into multiple relaxed region MHD

A new model, multiple relaxed region MHD, has been developed to describe magnetic islands and chaotic fields in toroidal magentic cofinement. This project would extend that model to include toroidal flow.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole, Dr Graham Dennis, Emeritus Professor Robert Dewar

Solar Hydrogen Generation from Rust using 3-D Nanostructured Photoelectrodes

There is an imminent need to reduce our dependence on carbon-based fuels in order to minimize the
potential adverse outcomes associated with climate change. This project aims to develop an efficient means of producing clean hydrogen fuel by splitting water under sunlight using novel hematite based semiconductor electrodes for efficient solar hydrogen generation.

Dr Siva Karuturi, Professor Hoe Tan

Application of data-mining techniques to plasma waves in H-1

Datamining techniques extract information from H-1 essential to understanding instabilities that threaten the viability of fusion as the ultimate clean energy source.

Dr Boyd Blackwell

Lorentz forces in a tokamak

In this project we will examine the forces generated in superconductoring magnetics, and scope the forces generated during a disruption.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole

Chaotic energy harvesters

Energy harvesting systems based on piezoelectric conversion have the ability to transform vibrational energy from the environment into electricity. The goal of this project is to investigate how nonlinear effects and chaos can improve the performance of a harvesting system.

Dr Andre Carvalho

Engineering in Physics

Vibration control for optical interferometry

Develop an active vibraiton isolation platform to provide a quiet, small displacement environment for high precision inteferometry.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland

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

Exploring the nature of deep levels in high performance ZnO Schottky diodes

This projects combines ion implantation and deep level transient spectroscopy to study electrically active deep level defects in wide bandgap semiconductors.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

3D image segmentation using machine learning techniques

We aim to use  machine learning techniques to identify minerals and components of three dimensional images obtained from X-ray micro Computed Tomography (XCT).

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Dr Shane Latham

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

Nuclear lifetimes - direct timing with LaBr3 detectors

The lifetimes of excited quantum states in the atomic nucleus give extremely important information about nuclear structure and the shape of the nucleus. This project will commission a new array of of LaBr3 detectors to measure nuclear lifetimes, with the aim to replace conventional analog electronics with digital signal processing.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Matthew Reed, Dr Gregory Lane, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Chaotic energy harvesters

Energy harvesting systems based on piezoelectric conversion have the ability to transform vibrational energy from the environment into electricity. The goal of this project is to investigate how nonlinear effects and chaos can improve the performance of a harvesting system.

Dr Andre Carvalho

Environmental Physics

4D tomography

The ANU has constructed an X-ray micro-computed tomography facility with a unique helical scanning configuration that enables tomographic images of extremely high quality to be produced.  This experimental project will work with theoreticians to image the evolution of time-changing samples with unprecented time resolution.

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

Solar energy forecasting

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

Dr Stephen Gibson

Nanobubbles

Nanobubbles are simply nanosized bubbles. What makes them interesting? Theory tells us they should dissolve in less than a second but they are stable for days. Additionally, they have lots of interesting properties being implicated in medical treatments and cleaning technologies.

Professor Vincent Craig

Crucial fundamental nuclear data for nuclear fusion and nuclear fission

Nuclear data are urgently required in national security, non-proliferation, nuclear criticality safety, medical applications, fundamental science and for the design of advanced reactor concepts (fusion, e.g. ITER), or next generation nuclear power plants (Gen IV, accelerator driven systems, ...).

Dr Anton Wallner

Inertial effects during immiscible multiphase fluid displacements in porous media

When fluids flow through porous rocks, the relatively slow bulk fluid front advances via a series of very small, very rapid jumps. This project investigates how the distribution and occurance of these jumps are influenced by experimental conditions such as flow rate and intermittentcy.

Dr Anna Herring, A/Prof Adrian Sheppard

Fusion and Plasma Confinement

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

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

Plasma-material interactions under exreme fusion-relevant conditions

This research aims to resolve scientific issues surrounding plasma-material interactions to guide and facilitate development of future advanced materials for fusion reactors.

Dr Cormac Corr

Inclusion of toroidal flow into multiple relaxed region MHD

A new model, multiple relaxed region MHD, has been developed to describe magnetic islands and chaotic fields in toroidal magentic cofinement. This project would extend that model to include toroidal flow.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole, Dr Graham Dennis, Emeritus Professor Robert Dewar

Positron studies of fusion reactor materials

This projects will use positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy to investigate damage to fusion relevant materials. 

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Dr Cormac Corr

Constraining toroidal equilibria to accretion disc observations

In this project we would compare the construction of accretion disc and magnetic configuration Grad-Shafranov problems, and apply a recently developed toroidal magnetic confinement equilibrium code to model an accretion disc. A focus of the project will be constraining free functions to observational data. 

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole, Dr Michael Fitzgerald

Modelling a solar fare by MRXMHD

In this project, we apply multiple-region relaxed MHD model, designed to describe the fractal fix of chaotic field lines, magentic islands, and flux surfaces in toroidal magnetic confinement, to describe a solar flare.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole

Application of data-mining techniques to plasma waves in H-1

Datamining techniques extract information from H-1 essential to understanding instabilities that threaten the viability of fusion as the ultimate clean energy source.

Dr Boyd Blackwell

Lorentz forces in a tokamak

In this project we will examine the forces generated in superconductoring magnetics, and scope the forces generated during a disruption.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole

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

Materials Science and Engineering

What determines the equilibrium shapes within a crystalline nanoworld?

The equilibrium shape of voids or crystals is largely influenced by the total surface energies encompassing these 3D objects. This aim of this project is to extract the surface energies of different planes from transmission electron microscopy images of faceted voids and nanowires.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

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

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

Functional Nanopore Membranes

Development of novel composite nanopore membranes.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

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

Nanoporous antimonides

Investigate the fascinating porous structures of ion irradiated GaSb and InSb

A/Prof Patrick Kluth, A/Prof. James Sullivan

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

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

UV nano-LEDs

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

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Professor Hoe Tan

Measuring phonon dispersion using inelastic neutron scattering

Phonon excitations will be modelled and measured using the neutron time-of-flight spectrometer PELICAN at the Bragg Institute, ANSTO.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Gail Iles

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

Organic-inorganic perovskite materials for high performance photovoltaics

In this project, we will characterise actual device solar cell structures with electron microscopy techniques and seek to understand the microscopic effects behind the device performance and reliability

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

Singling out the depletion region in semiconductor devices by scanning electron microscopy

Scanning electron microscopy is a powerful tool for materials and this method is believed to correctly identify depletion regions in semiconductor devices. This project links the electron microscopy contrast  to the depletion regions measured by capacitance-voltage measurements in some devices with an aim to understanding the source of contrast. 

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung, Dr Mark Lockrey

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

Exploring the nature of deep levels in high performance ZnO Schottky diodes

This projects combines ion implantation and deep level transient spectroscopy to study electrically active deep level defects in wide bandgap semiconductors.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

Plasma-material interactions under exreme fusion-relevant conditions

This research aims to resolve scientific issues surrounding plasma-material interactions to guide and facilitate development of future advanced materials for fusion reactors.

Dr Cormac Corr

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

Solar cells without p-n junctions

Simplify nanowire solar cell fabrication by eliminating the need for p-n junctions to increase the ultimate device efficiency.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Dr Kaushal Vora

Soft Condensed Matter: Molecules made by Threading

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.

Professor David Williams

Knots, links and tangled nets

Exploration of simpler entangled structures in 3-space is surpisingly undeveloped. Here we plan to catalogue simpler knots, links and tangled nets via two-dimensional geometry. 

Professor Stephen Hyde

Positron studies of fusion reactor materials

This projects will use positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy to investigate damage to fusion relevant materials. 

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Dr Cormac Corr

Multi-spectral x-ray micro-tomography

The ANU X-ray micro-tomography facility images over a broad spectrum (or range) of X-ray energies. The behaviour of specimens of interest at different X-ray energies can tell us a lot about its composition. This project will explore 1) techniques to image specimens at various X-ray spectral-bands, and 2) methods to analyse the results.

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

Understanding carrier transport and doping in semiconductor nanowires through characterization

This project will concentrate on developing metal contacts on nanowires for Hall measurements which will provide quantitative determination of the doping concentration and carrier mobilities in the nanowires, which is crucial to optimize performance of nanowire optoelectronic devices.

Dr Shagufta Naureen, Dr Naeem Shahid, Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Compression of 3D X-ray imaging data

The CT lab hosts several 3D X-ray imaging systems, each generating ~240GB/day of data. The student will: (i) explore various data compression schemes; (ii) theoretically and empirically analyse interactions between data compression, X-ray image processing, and 3D analysis; (iii) develop new 3D imaging methods, based on successful data compression schemes

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

Improving the properties of Nanowires through surface passivation

Due to the large surface area to volume ratio in nanowires, surface defects could be detrimental for performance of nanowire optoelectronic devices. This project aims to develope effective passivation methods to reduce the surface recombination rate by passivating the surface states of nanowires.

Dr Shagufta Naureen, Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

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

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Monte-Carlo simulation of x-ray scattering from nano-objects

Develop and utilise computer simulations to analyse synchrotron based scattering from nano-sized objects.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

What determines the equilibrium shapes within a crystalline nanoworld?

The equilibrium shape of voids or crystals is largely influenced by the total surface energies encompassing these 3D objects. This aim of this project is to extract the surface energies of different planes from transmission electron microscopy images of faceted voids and nanowires.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

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

Functional Nanopore Membranes

Development of novel composite nanopore membranes.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

Nanoporous antimonides

Investigate the fascinating porous structures of ion irradiated GaSb and InSb

A/Prof Patrick Kluth, A/Prof. James Sullivan

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

UV nano-LEDs

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

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Professor Hoe Tan

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

Singling out the depletion region in semiconductor devices by scanning electron microscopy

Scanning electron microscopy is a powerful tool for materials and this method is believed to correctly identify depletion regions in semiconductor devices. This project links the electron microscopy contrast  to the depletion regions measured by capacitance-voltage measurements in some devices with an aim to understanding the source of contrast. 

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung, Dr Mark Lockrey

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

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

Solar cells without p-n junctions

Simplify nanowire solar cell fabrication by eliminating the need for p-n junctions to increase the ultimate device efficiency.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Dr Kaushal Vora

Solar Hydrogen Generation from Rust using 3-D Nanostructured Photoelectrodes

There is an imminent need to reduce our dependence on carbon-based fuels in order to minimize the
potential adverse outcomes associated with climate change. This project aims to develop an efficient means of producing clean hydrogen fuel by splitting water under sunlight using novel hematite based semiconductor electrodes for efficient solar hydrogen generation.

Dr Siva Karuturi, Professor Hoe Tan

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

Nanobubbles

Nanobubbles are simply nanosized bubbles. What makes them interesting? Theory tells us they should dissolve in less than a second but they are stable for days. Additionally, they have lots of interesting properties being implicated in medical treatments and cleaning technologies.

Professor Vincent Craig

Optical metamaterials: from Harry Potter to modern technologies

Experimental and theoretical work on the development of novel nano-structured materials with unusual optical properties. Special attention to our research is the development of tunable and functional photonic metamaterials with unusual properties. Of particular interest are the development of ultra-thin metasurfaces with high sensitivity to light intensity.

Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko

Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

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

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

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

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

Whispering Gallery Mode Resonators for Ultra-Sensitive Magnetometry

This projects aims to construct an ultra-sensitive magnetic field sensor from a whispering gallery mode crystal resonator.

Professor Ping Koy Lam

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

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

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

Optical nanoantennas

Antennas are at the heart of modern radio and microwave frequency communications technologies. They are the front-ends in satellites, cell-phones, laptops and other devices that make communication by sending and receiving radio waves. This project aims to design analog of optical nanoantennas for visible light for advanced optical communiction. 

Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko, Prof Dragomir Neshev

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

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

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

Coherently combined laser systems for space technologies and free space optical communications

Recent advances in laser technology now enable the combination of multiple high-quality lasers into a single high-power beam. The aim of this project is to investigate such `coherently-combined' laser systems within the context of Earth-to-Space laser transmission. Applications of this technology include satellite laser ranging, clock transfer and free-space optical communications, and space debris tracking and remote manouevring.

Dr Robert Ward, Professor Daniel Shaddock, Mr Lyle Roberts

Probabilistic quantum cloning with noiseless linear amplifier

Student will use electro-optic feedforward techniques to implement noiseless linear amplification of information carrying laser light

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Thomas Symul

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

Second Harmonic Generation for Quantum Optics Applications

Student will develop a source of laser light at 775nm that will be utilised for pumping of squeezing cavities  

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Ben Buchler

Integrated quantum photonics

The goal of the project is to understand new physical phenomena arising from quantum and nonlinear optical integration. In the future this research may open doors to new types of computers and simulators with information capacity exceeding the number of elementary particles in the entire universe.

Dr Alexander Solntsev, A/Prof Andrey A. Sukhorukov, Prof Dragomir Neshev

Gas sensing of carbon dioxide

This project has a strong industrial link, and investigates using resonator optics to enhance the measurement sensitivity of the molecular absorption of light.

Dr Jong Chow, Dr Timothy Lam, Mr Jarrod Dong

Development of Squeezed Laser Sources for Quantum Communication

Student will build and characterise a new source of quantum squeezed light genearted from an optical parametric oscillator

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Ben Buchler

Optical metamaterials: from Harry Potter to modern technologies

Experimental and theoretical work on the development of novel nano-structured materials with unusual optical properties. Special attention to our research is the development of tunable and functional photonic metamaterials with unusual properties. Of particular interest are the development of ultra-thin metasurfaces with high sensitivity to light intensity.

Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko

Improving the properties of Nanowires through surface passivation

Due to the large surface area to volume ratio in nanowires, surface defects could be detrimental for performance of nanowire optoelectronic devices. This project aims to develope effective passivation methods to reduce the surface recombination rate by passivating the surface states of nanowires.

Dr Shagufta Naureen, Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

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 Fluids

Imaging fluid-fluid interfacial curvatures in porous media: relating physics and geometry

This computational and theoretical project will extract geometric information from sequences of newly obtained 3D x-ray microscope images to better understand how two immiscible fluids interact inside complex porous materials.

A/Prof Adrian Sheppard, Dr Anna Herring

Inertial effects during immiscible multiphase fluid displacements in porous media

When fluids flow through porous rocks, the relatively slow bulk fluid front advances via a series of very small, very rapid jumps. This project investigates how the distribution and occurance of these jumps are influenced by experimental conditions such as flow rate and intermittentcy.

Dr Anna Herring, A/Prof Adrian Sheppard

Physics of the Nucleus

Nucleosynthesis in the laboratory - how elements are formed in stars

A fundamental scientific question is a better understanding of the elemental abundances and the isotopic pattern of our solar system which is a fingerprint of stellar nucleosynthesis. We perform nucleosynthesis in the laboratory at the ANU via a new and powerful tool, accelerator mass spectrometry, to elucidate open questions in these processes.

Dr Anton Wallner

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

Nuclear models in nuclear structure and reactions

Nuclei are complex quantum systems and thus require advanced modelling to understand their structure properties. This project uses such models to interpret experimental data taken at the ANU and at overseas nuclear facilities.

Dr Edward Simpson, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Cédric Simenel

Nuclear reactions for carbon beam therapy

High energy heavy ion beams can be use to effectively treat cancerous tumours, but nuclear reactions of the 12C beam spread the dose, potentially harming healthy tissue. This project will investigate nuclear reaction cross sections relevant to heavy ion therapy.

Dr Edward Simpson

Nuclear magnetism - magnetic moment measurements

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.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Dr Gregory Lane, Dr Matthew Reed

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

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

Nuclear lifetimes - Doppler broadened line shape method

The measurement of the lifetimes of excited nuclear states is foundational for understanding nuclear excitations. This project will solve a current puzzle in nuclear lifetime measurements based on the Doppler-broadened line shape method and also develop a generalized analysis program for such measurements.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Dr Gregory Lane

Search for supernova-signatures on Earth

Detection of supernova‐produced (radio)nuclides in terrestrial archives gives insight into massive star nucleosynthesis; when and where are heavy elements formed. Direct observation of radioactive nuclides from stars and the interstellar medium would provide first experimental constraints on production rate.s We will use the most sensitive technique, accelerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Anton Wallner

Measuring free-ion hyperfine fields

This experimental project will characterize the hyperfine fields of ions emerging from target foils as highly charged ions. The data will test theoretical models we are developing, and underpin nuclear magnetism measurements on rare isotopes produced at international radioactive beam facilities such as GANIL (France), ISOLDE-CERN (Switzerland) and NSCL (USA).

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Dr Gregory Lane, Dr Matthew Reed

Auger-cascade modelling for targeted cancer therapy

The emission rate of low-energy Auger electrons and X-rays from radiosotopes through the Auger cascade are extremely important for basic science and applications, especially for medical isotopes. The project is aiming to understand the nature of the Auger cascade and develop a new computational model of it for the research in targeted radioisotopes therapy.

Mr Boon Quan Lee, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Nuclear fusion and sub-zeptosecond breakup reactions

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.

Dr Edward Simpson, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta

Transferring quantum particles

When two composite objects (molecules, atoms, atomic nuclei...) collide, they may transfer particles. Understanding how this transfer occurs in quantum mechanics is an important challenge in quantum physics. 

Dr Cédric Simenel, Dr Edward Simpson

Theory of nuclear fission

Heavy atomic nuclei may fission in lighter fragments, releasing a large amount of energy which is used in reactors. Advanced models of many-body quantum dynamics are developed and used to describe this process.

Dr Cédric Simenel

Nuclear lifetimes - direct timing with LaBr3 detectors

The lifetimes of excited quantum states in the atomic nucleus give extremely important information about nuclear structure and the shape of the nucleus. This project will commission a new array of of LaBr3 detectors to measure nuclear lifetimes, with the aim to replace conventional analog electronics with digital signal processing.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Matthew Reed, Dr Gregory Lane, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Modelling free-ion hyperfine fields

Motivated by exciting prospects for measurements of the magnetism of rare isotopes produced by the new radioactive beam accelerators internationally, this computational project seeks to understand the enormous magnetic fields produced at the nucleus of highly charged ions by their atomic electron configuration.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Mr Boon Quan Lee

How to create new super-heavy elements

Superheavy elements can only be created in the laboratory by the fusion of two massive nuclei. Our measurements give the clearest information on the characteristics and timescales of quasifission, the major competitor to fusion in these reactions.

Professor David Hinde, Dr Elizabeth Williams, 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

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

Crucial fundamental nuclear data for nuclear fusion and nuclear fission

Nuclear data are urgently required in national security, non-proliferation, nuclear criticality safety, medical applications, fundamental science and for the design of advanced reactor concepts (fusion, e.g. ITER), or next generation nuclear power plants (Gen IV, accelerator driven systems, ...).

Dr Anton Wallner

Plasma Applications and Technology

The principles and design of a plasma wakefield accelerator

In this project the principles and design of a plasma wakefield accelerator will be reviewed, and the opportunities for a low-cost wakefield accelerator explored.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole

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

Quantum Devices and Technology

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

Whispering Gallery Mode Resonators for Ultra-Sensitive Magnetometry

This projects aims to construct an ultra-sensitive magnetic field sensor from a whispering gallery mode crystal resonator.

Professor Ping Koy Lam

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

Source-independent quantum random number generator

We aim to generate random numbers by performing orthogonal quadrature homodyne measurements without actually knowing or trusting the quantum state that we are measuring.

Mr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Jing-Yan Haw

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

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

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

Probabilistic quantum cloning with noiseless linear amplifier

Student will use electro-optic feedforward techniques to implement noiseless linear amplification of information carrying laser light

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Thomas Symul

Laser levitation of a macroscopic mirror

This project aims to be the first in the world to use the radiation pressure forces of laser beams to coherently levitate a macroscopic mirror. Applications of this scheme include precision metrology and test of new physics theories.

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Ben Buchler

Dual torsion pendulum for quantum noise limited sensing

Construct a small dual tosion pendulum which have their centre of mass co-incide and their rotational axis colinear. Inital diagnostics will be done using shadow sensors.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland

Second Harmonic Generation for Quantum Optics Applications

Student will develop a source of laser light at 775nm that will be utilised for pumping of squeezing cavities  

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Ben Buchler

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

Understanding carrier transport and doping in semiconductor nanowires through characterization

This project will concentrate on developing metal contacts on nanowires for Hall measurements which will provide quantitative determination of the doping concentration and carrier mobilities in the nanowires, which is crucial to optimize performance of nanowire optoelectronic devices.

Dr Shagufta Naureen, Dr Naeem Shahid, Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Optical quantum memory

An optical quantum memory will capture a pulse of light, store it and then controllably release it. This has to be done without ever knowing what you have stored, because a measurement will collapse the quantum state. We are exploring a "photon echo" process to achieve this goal.

Dr Ben Buchler

Development of Squeezed Laser Sources for Quantum Communication

Student will build and characterise a new source of quantum squeezed light genearted from an optical parametric oscillator

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Ben Buchler

Quantum Science and Applications

Vibration control for optical interferometry

Develop an active vibraiton isolation platform to provide a quiet, small displacement environment for high precision inteferometry.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland

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

Controlling chaos: from semiclassical to quantum

Classically chaotic systems display an unpredictability associated with small variations in the initial conditions. However, strategies exist to steer chaotic trajectories towards stable fixed points. This project will investigate if similar strategies can be used to control chaos in the quantum regime. 

Dr Andre Carvalho

Source-independent quantum random number generator

We aim to generate random numbers by performing orthogonal quadrature homodyne measurements without actually knowing or trusting the quantum state that we are measuring.

Mr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Jing-Yan Haw

Quantum tunnelling in many-body systems

Quantum tunnelling is a fundamental process in physics. How this process occurs with composite (many-body) systems, and in particular how it relates to decoherence and dissipation, are still open questions.

Dr Cédric Simenel, Dr Edward Simpson

Measuring phonon dispersion using inelastic neutron scattering

Phonon excitations will be modelled and measured using the neutron time-of-flight spectrometer PELICAN at the Bragg Institute, ANSTO.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Gail Iles

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

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

Two-parameter estimation with Gaussian state probes

How well we can estimate the position and momentum of a Gaussian probe?

Mr Syed Assad

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

Laser levitation of a macroscopic mirror

This project aims to be the first in the world to use the radiation pressure forces of laser beams to coherently levitate a macroscopic mirror. Applications of this scheme include precision metrology and test of new physics theories.

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Ben Buchler

Dual torsion pendulum for quantum noise limited sensing

Construct a small dual tosion pendulum which have their centre of mass co-incide and their rotational axis colinear. Inital diagnostics will be done using shadow sensors.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland

Theory of nuclear fission

Heavy atomic nuclei may fission in lighter fragments, releasing a large amount of energy which is used in reactors. Advanced models of many-body quantum dynamics are developed and used to describe this process.

Dr Cédric Simenel

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

Integrated quantum photonics

The goal of the project is to understand new physical phenomena arising from quantum and nonlinear optical integration. In the future this research may open doors to new types of computers and simulators with information capacity exceeding the number of elementary particles in the entire universe.

Dr Alexander Solntsev, A/Prof Andrey A. Sukhorukov, Prof Dragomir Neshev

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

Coherent feedback control in quantum systems

This project aims at analysing and designing coherent quantum feedback schemes to control the quantum state of circuit quantum electrodynamics and optomechanical systems.

Dr Andre Carvalho

Theoretical Physics

Double electron photo-ionization of a 1D helium atom

The project studies double photon ionization of a helium atom using simplified one-dimensional model. This allows to elucidate some features of the process (such as possible existence of the effect of the Rabi oscillations in the double ionization probabilities), which (for computational reasons) are difficult to study using the 3D model.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets

Nuclear models in nuclear structure and reactions

Nuclei are complex quantum systems and thus require advanced modelling to understand their structure properties. This project uses such models to interpret experimental data taken at the ANU and at overseas nuclear facilities.

Dr Edward Simpson, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Cédric Simenel

Quantum tunnelling in many-body systems

Quantum tunnelling is a fundamental process in physics. How this process occurs with composite (many-body) systems, and in particular how it relates to decoherence and dissipation, are still open questions.

Dr Cédric Simenel, Dr Edward Simpson

Stochastic dynamics of interacting systems and integrability

There are many interesting physical statistical systems which never reach thermal equilibrium. Examples include surface growth, diffusion processes or traffic flow. In the absence of general theory of such systems a study of particular models plays a very important role. Integrable systems provide examples of such systems where one can analyze time dynamics using analytic methods.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

Optical nanoantennas

Antennas are at the heart of modern radio and microwave frequency communications technologies. They are the front-ends in satellites, cell-phones, laptops and other devices that make communication by sending and receiving radio waves. This project aims to design analog of optical nanoantennas for visible light for advanced optical communiction. 

Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko, Prof Dragomir Neshev

Nuclear magnetism - magnetic moment measurements

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.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Dr Gregory Lane, Dr Matthew Reed

New trends in separation of variables

A separation of variables is a standard technique in classical mechanics which allows to reduce a complicated dynamics with many degrees of freedom to a set of one-dimensional problems. Surprisingly this method finds its natural generalization in the theory of quantum integrable systems. This project aims to study such systems and apply results to the theory of special functions in one and several variables.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

Soft Condensed Matter: Molecules made by Threading

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.

Professor David Williams

Combinatorics and integrable systems

We will study links between integrable systems in statistical mechanics, combinatorial problems and special functions in mathematics. This area of research has attracted many scientist's attention during the last decade and revealed unexpected links to other areas of mathematics like enumeration problems and differential equations.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev, Professor Vladimir Bazhanov

Nuclear fusion and sub-zeptosecond breakup reactions

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.

Dr Edward Simpson, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta

Transferring quantum particles

When two composite objects (molecules, atoms, atomic nuclei...) collide, they may transfer particles. Understanding how this transfer occurs in quantum mechanics is an important challenge in quantum physics. 

Dr Cédric Simenel, Dr Edward Simpson

Variational approach to many-body problems

In recent years there was a large boost in development of advanced variational methods which play an important role in analytic and numerical studies of  1D and 2D quantum spin systems. Such methods are based on the ideas coming from the renormalization group theory which states that  physical properties of  spin systems become scale invariant near criticality. One of the most powerful variational algorithms is the corner-transfer matrices (CTM) method which allows to predict properties of large systems based on a simple iterative algorithm.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

Introduction to quantum integrable systems

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.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

Multi-spectral x-ray micro-tomography

The ANU X-ray micro-tomography facility images over a broad spectrum (or range) of X-ray energies. The behaviour of specimens of interest at different X-ray energies can tell us a lot about its composition. This project will explore 1) techniques to image specimens at various X-ray spectral-bands, and 2) methods to analyse the results.

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

How to create new super-heavy elements

Superheavy elements can only be created in the laboratory by the fusion of two massive nuclei. Our measurements give the clearest information on the characteristics and timescales of quasifission, the major competitor to fusion in these reactions.

Professor David Hinde, Dr Elizabeth Williams, Dr Cédric Simenel

Compression of 3D X-ray imaging data

The CT lab hosts several 3D X-ray imaging systems, each generating ~240GB/day of data. The student will: (i) explore various data compression schemes; (ii) theoretically and empirically analyse interactions between data compression, X-ray image processing, and 3D analysis; (iii) develop new 3D imaging methods, based on successful data compression schemes

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

Coherent control of quantum-mechanical systems

The project studies possibility of the coherent control (i.e. manipulating properties of a quantum system, such as charge density, levels populations, etc., using a suitably tailored laser pulse) for a quantum mechanical model of a molecule.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets

Topological and Structural Science

Monte-Carlo simulation of x-ray scattering from nano-objects

Develop and utilise computer simulations to analyse synchrotron based scattering from nano-sized objects.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

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

4D tomography

The ANU has constructed an X-ray micro-computed tomography facility with a unique helical scanning configuration that enables tomographic images of extremely high quality to be produced.  This experimental project will work with theoreticians to image the evolution of time-changing samples with unprecented time resolution.

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

Three-dimensional crystalline structures from two-dimensional hyperbolic tilings

A variety of projects are available that will contribute to the enumeration and characterisation of 3-periodic network structures via the tiling of periodic minimal surfaces and thereby enhance our understanding of self-assembled structures in nature.

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde

3D image segmentation using machine learning techniques

We aim to use  machine learning techniques to identify minerals and components of three dimensional images obtained from X-ray micro Computed Tomography (XCT).

Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Dr Shane Latham

Origomu

The energy lansdscape of folded spheres, assuming elastic membranes and sticky inner surfaces, will be explored. 

Professor Stephen Hyde

Knots, links and tangled nets

Exploration of simpler entangled structures in 3-space is surpisingly undeveloped. Here we plan to catalogue simpler knots, links and tangled nets via two-dimensional geometry. 

Professor Stephen Hyde

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