Quantum science and technology

The discovery of quantum physics opened a realm of wondrous phenomena which have come to underpin our modern world. Scientists at ANU are part of this new era – unravelling fundamental quantum effects, harnessing them to create the next generation of technologies and bring them to market.

Some of our theoreticians work on the basic formulism of quantum theory, while others apply it to quantum information, many-body systems like nuclei or Bose-Einstein condensates, polariton-excitons, photonics and even quantum gravity.

We are exploring how to use the extreme sensitivity of quantum systems for sensing technology – ranging from sensors of gravity and motion, to electromagnetic fields – to enhancing the detection of gravitational waves, to atomic clocks and quantum microscopy – the imaging of individual atoms.

ANU hosts a comprehensive array of enabling technologies that enable the design of novel quantum materials and technologies. Our large suite of nanofabrication facilities include MOCVD growth systems, diagnostic capabilities and testing facilities, and features one of Australia’s leading nuclear physics establishments, the Heavy-Ion Accelerator Facility.

We are developing quantum computers and the algorithms to run on them, but also land- and space-based quantum network technology and encryption protocols for enhanced security. By integrating these networks and computers we are working to build a quantum internet that stretches across the globe.

We have launched quantum technology start-up companies across all domains of quantum technology: sensing, cryptography, computing and enabling classical technologies. We also have major projects with Defence in precision navigation, gravimetry and secure quantum communications.

We’re partners in four ARC Centres of Excellence, working on developing next generation quantum computing and communication technology (CQC2T), quantum materials, engines and precision imaging systems for quantum machines (EQUS), quantum noise reduction technology, and applying it to gravitational wave astrophysics (OzGrav), and low-energy electronics based on quantum materials (FLEET).

Students at all levels have the chance to engage with our researchers and take part in cutting-edge research, via undergraduate research topics, our selection of Masters programs, through to PhD research.

Potential student research projects

You could be doing your own research into quantum science and technology. Below are some examples of student physics research projects available in RSPE.

Quantum multi-parameter estimation

Multi-parameter state estimation at the fundamental precision limit

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Lorcan Conlon

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.

Professor Ben Buchler

Non-equilibrium quantum condensation of microcavity exciton polaritons

This project combines theoretical and experimental research on exciton polaritons in semiconductor microcavities. We investigate emergent quantum phenomena far from equilibrium and their applications for next-generation optoelectronics devices.

Prof Elena Ostrovskaya, Professor Andrew Truscott

Satellite based geodesy

Precise Earth gratitational field measurements with laser-ranging interferometry.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Lorcan Conlon

Please browse our full list of available physics research projects to find a student research project that interests you.