Potential student research projects

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You may search the complete list of available RSPE projects by visiting our central listing.

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Atomic and Molecular Physics

Hot entanglement with cold atoms

This theoretical physics project aims to develop novel schemes for generating long-lived, thermally-robust entanglement between individual pairs of cold atoms. Theoretical models developed in this project will inform optical tweezer experiments in the lab of Mikkel Andersen at the University of Otago.

Dr Stuart Szigeti

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

Atomic magnetometer for exploring physics beyond the standard model

The Global Network of Optical Magnetometers for Exotic Physics (GNOME) uses precision atomic magnetometers to look new physics.  The concept is to have a global network of magnetometers looking for correlated magnetic field fluctuations that may be caused by strange, and unknown physics.

Dr Ben Buchler, Dr Geoff Campbell

Optimised atom interferometry for space-based experiments

This theoretical physics project aims to optimise the performance of atom interferometry in a space-based environment. Space-based operation requires novel beamsplitting and atomic source production techniques, which will be developed in this project.

Dr Stuart Szigeti, Professor John Close

Multi-component quantum gases : instabilities, turbulence and dynamics

This project aims to explore and measure new or predicted phenomena in complex multicomponent quantum systems.

Dr Nicholas Robins, Dr Angela White

Biophysics

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.

A/Prof Jong Chow

3D imaging of organic and inorganic materials

This project develops optical instruments for 3D imaging of biological and inorganic materials, using a multi-modal approach involving a combination of optical techniques.

A/Prof Jong Chow, Dr Roland Fleddermann, Mr Keshu Huang

Engineering in Physics

Remote Acoustic Sensing with Triangulation

This project has a strong industry focus and investigates using an array of interferometers for acoustic sensing.  It relies on the ultra-sensitivity of these devices and the array's ability to triangulate the source of an acoustic signal to target a range of applications.

A/Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga

Frequency distribution over fibre for next generation Gravitational Wave Detectors

We will investigate the possibility to distribute a phase reference over a 100m long optical fibre with a stability of hundreds of nanoradians. If succesfull this solution will be part of a selection process for implementation into the LIGO observatories.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland, Dr David Gozzard

Development of an advanced 3D volumetric imaging system

This project develops a 3D volumetric imaging system to generate three dimensional images of translucent materials. The project’s goal is to extend and augment the capabilities of existing optical projection tomography systems to address a wider spectrum of imaging needs.

Dr Roland Fleddermann, A/Prof Jong Chow

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, Dr Robert Ward

Wave dispersion in stringed instruments: What makes tuning a piano so hard?

Ideal strings have wave speeds that are identical for all frequencies.  In real life, strings have some stiffness that makes higher frequency waves are faster.  This means building and tuning some stringed instruments, like pianos, is very tricky. This project aims to accurately measure wave speeds on piano strings.

Dr Ben Buchler

Exploring physics with neural networks

Machine learning based on deep neural networks is a powerful method for improving the performance of experiments.  It may also be useful for finding new physics.

Dr Ben Buchler, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Geoff Campbell

Optical Sensors for Inertial Navigation

This project develops fibre optic instruments based on optical interferometry and digital signal processing for the purpose of inertial navigation.

A/Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga , Dr Roland Fleddermann

Field Deployable Laser Stabilisation using Digitally Enhanced Fibre Interferometers

Using an atomic clock and an optical frequency comb as diagnostics, this project investigates laser stabilisation using an optical fibre interferometer for field deployable applications such as in space-based instruments.

A/Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga

Environmental Physics

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.

A/Prof Jong Chow

Materials Science and Engineering

Wave dispersion in stringed instruments: What makes tuning a piano so hard?

Ideal strings have wave speeds that are identical for all frequencies.  In real life, strings have some stiffness that makes higher frequency waves are faster.  This means building and tuning some stringed instruments, like pianos, is very tricky. This project aims to accurately measure wave speeds on piano strings.

Dr Ben Buchler

Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

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.

A/Prof Jong Chow

Remote Acoustic Sensing with Triangulation

This project has a strong industry focus and investigates using an array of interferometers for acoustic sensing.  It relies on the ultra-sensitivity of these devices and the array's ability to triangulate the source of an acoustic signal to target a range of applications.

A/Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga

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

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

Machine learning for optics and controls

Optical cavities are widely used in physics and precision measurement.  This project will explore the use of modern machine learning methods for the control of optical cavities.  

Dr Robert Ward, Dr Bram Slagmolen

Development of an advanced 3D volumetric imaging system

This project develops a 3D volumetric imaging system to generate three dimensional images of translucent materials. The project’s goal is to extend and augment the capabilities of existing optical projection tomography systems to address a wider spectrum of imaging needs.

Dr Roland Fleddermann, A/Prof Jong Chow

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

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

3D imaging of organic and inorganic materials

This project develops optical instruments for 3D imaging of biological and inorganic materials, using a multi-modal approach involving a combination of optical techniques.

A/Prof Jong Chow, Dr Roland Fleddermann, Mr Keshu Huang

Quantum squeezed states for interferometric gravitational-wave detectors

Using non-classical light states on laser interferometric gravitational-wave detectors, to further enhance the best length measurement devices in the world.

Professor David McClelland, Professor Daniel Shaddock, Dr Bram Slagmolen

Optical Sensors for Inertial Navigation

This project develops fibre optic instruments based on optical interferometry and digital signal processing for the purpose of inertial navigation.

A/Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga , Dr Roland Fleddermann

Coherently combined laser systems for space technologies

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, Dr Chathura Bandutunga

Field Deployable Laser Stabilisation using Digitally Enhanced Fibre Interferometers

Using an atomic clock and an optical frequency comb as diagnostics, this project investigates laser stabilisation using an optical fibre interferometer for field deployable applications such as in space-based instruments.

A/Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga

Physics Education

Science education with meriSTEM

meriSTEM is an ANU initiative providing online learning resources and support to Australian senior secondary science teachers and students. We cater to senior physics, chemistry and biology, and Earth and environmental science is coming soon.
The program is free and is made up of the video, worksheet, quiz and other contributions from many academics and students. We welcome everyone to be involved. Undergrad research and internship projects offer students a chance to be a member of the meriSTEM team.

Miss Jay Ridgewell, Professor Joseph Hope, Mr Tim Friel

Physics of Fluids

Few-vortex dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will investigate how the dynamics of few quantum-vortices are altered in the presence of a moving second superfluid component. 

Dr Angela White

Quantum Science and Technology

Quantum super resolution

When two point sources of light are close together, we just see one blurry patch. This project aims to use coherent measurement techniques in quantum optics to measure the separation between the point sources beyond the Rayleigh's limit.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam

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

Hot entanglement with cold atoms

This theoretical physics project aims to develop novel schemes for generating long-lived, thermally-robust entanglement between individual pairs of cold atoms. Theoretical models developed in this project will inform optical tweezer experiments in the lab of Mikkel Andersen at the University of Otago.

Dr Stuart Szigeti

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

Frequency distribution over fibre for next generation Gravitational Wave Detectors

We will investigate the possibility to distribute a phase reference over a 100m long optical fibre with a stability of hundreds of nanoradians. If succesfull this solution will be part of a selection process for implementation into the LIGO observatories.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland, Dr David Gozzard

Instability dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will theoretically model instability dynamics generated at the interface between two superfluids. This is an opportunity for a student to be involved in a theory project that will drive current experiments in the atom laser and sensors group. 

Dr Angela White, Dr Nicholas Robins

Chaotic vortex dynamics in superfluids

This project aims to shed light on a fundamental physics question, what is the role of chaotic events in turbulent flows?

Dr Angela White

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

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, Dr Robert Ward

Optimal control of a spinor condensate for robust entanglement generation

Ultracold atoms are ideal systems to engineer novel states of matter, such as large particle entangled states, promising for quantum technology applications. This project will apply optimal control to multi-component Bose-Einstein condensates, in order to maximize the entanglement between the the spin-components in an experimentally realistic way. 

Dr Angela White

Low-energy tests of the signatures of quantum gravity

This project will investigate the potential of various experimental platforms to search for effects of quantum gravity.

Dr Simon Haine

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, Dr Robert Ward

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

Creating quantum entanglement for improving measurements of gravity

This theoretical project will investigate and theoretically model how to create quantum entanglement within a Bose-Einstein condensate, with the motivation of improving the sensitvity of atom-interferometers used to measure gravitational fields. 

Dr Simon Haine, Professor Joseph Hope

Atomic magnetometer for exploring physics beyond the standard model

The Global Network of Optical Magnetometers for Exotic Physics (GNOME) uses precision atomic magnetometers to look new physics.  The concept is to have a global network of magnetometers looking for correlated magnetic field fluctuations that may be caused by strange, and unknown physics.

Dr Ben Buchler, Dr Geoff Campbell

Optimised atom interferometry for space-based experiments

This theoretical physics project aims to optimise the performance of atom interferometry in a space-based environment. Space-based operation requires novel beamsplitting and atomic source production techniques, which will be developed in this project.

Dr Stuart Szigeti, Professor John Close

Beam matching using machine learning

This project aims to use a machine learning algorithm to perform beam alignment in an optics experiment. It would involve mode-matching two optical beams using motorised mirror mounts. Additional degrees of freedom like lens positions and beam polarisation can be added later.

Dr Syed Assad, Dr Aaron Tranter, Mr Harry Slatyer

Multi-component quantum gases : instabilities, turbulence and dynamics

This project aims to explore and measure new or predicted phenomena in complex multicomponent quantum systems.

Dr Nicholas Robins, Dr Angela White

Exploring physics with neural networks

Machine learning based on deep neural networks is a powerful method for improving the performance of experiments.  It may also be useful for finding new physics.

Dr Ben Buchler, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Geoff Campbell

Space Based Quantum Communications

Develop a satellite quantum communications network in collaboration with RSAA and DST Group. This project will cover advanced satellite free space optical communications using adaptive optics.

Dr Oliver Thearle, Professor Ping Koy Lam

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

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

Exploring the limits of sensing with ultra-cold atoms

This project utilises a state-of-the-art multifield quantum sensor to develop new techniques and technologies for future high precision measurement devices.

Dr Nicholas Robins, Dr Christian Freier, Dr Kyle Hardman

Quantum squeezed states for interferometric gravitational-wave detectors

Using non-classical light states on laser interferometric gravitational-wave detectors, to further enhance the best length measurement devices in the world.

Professor David McClelland, Professor Daniel Shaddock, Dr Bram Slagmolen

Few-vortex dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will investigate how the dynamics of few quantum-vortices are altered in the presence of a moving second superfluid component. 

Dr Angela White

Theoretical Physics

Instability dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will theoretically model instability dynamics generated at the interface between two superfluids. This is an opportunity for a student to be involved in a theory project that will drive current experiments in the atom laser and sensors group. 

Dr Angela White, Dr Nicholas Robins

Chaotic vortex dynamics in superfluids

This project aims to shed light on a fundamental physics question, what is the role of chaotic events in turbulent flows?

Dr Angela White

Low-energy tests of the signatures of quantum gravity

This project will investigate the potential of various experimental platforms to search for effects of quantum gravity.

Dr Simon Haine

Creating quantum entanglement for improving measurements of gravity

This theoretical project will investigate and theoretically model how to create quantum entanglement within a Bose-Einstein condensate, with the motivation of improving the sensitvity of atom-interferometers used to measure gravitational fields. 

Dr Simon Haine, Professor Joseph Hope

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