The physical properties of atoms and molecules, underpin the nature of all matter and as such their study represents a fundamental discipline. The School has a number of research programs in this area.
The School partially hosts the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Atom Optics, and plays a leading role in the development of laser and magnetic cooling systems designed to create Bose Einstein condensates and atomic beams. RSPhysSE recently became one of only four groups in the world to achieve a BEC using excited metastable helium.
The School is a partial host to The ARC Centre of Excellence for Antimatter-Matter Studies whose experimental and theoretical program is based around the study of the interaction of positrons with matter. Anti-particles give a unique insight into the structure and properties of matter with applications in fundamental science, medicine and nanoscale materials. This work is complimented by a strong research effort in electron physics, especially electron momentum spectroscopy.
We also study ultra violet physics and problems of atmospheric, aeronomic and astrophysical significance, relating to the interaction of vacuum ultraviolet radiation with gaseous matter. Such studies are fundamental to understanding the distribution of ozone, and the behaviour of atmospheric pollutants. Quantum mechanical modelling of spectra is used to interpret photoabsorption spectroscopy measurements.
Potential student research projects
You could be doing your own research into fusion and plasma confinement. Below are some examples of student physics research projects available in RSPE.
Motivated by exciting prospects for measurements of the magnetism of rare isotopes produced by the new radioactive beam accelerators internationally, this experimental and computational project seeks to understand the enormous magnetic fields produced at the nucleus...
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...
Low temperature plasmas are being exploited for new medical therapy techniques and in engineering applications in agriculture. This project explores the fundamental behaviour of how electrons penetrate a liquid surface, such as the skin of the body.
This project aims to explore and measure new or predicted phenomena in complex multicomponent quantum systems.
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...
Please browse our full list of available physics research projects to find a student research project that interests you.