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.

Synthetic multi-dimensional photonics

This project goal is to investigate, theoretically and experimentally, photonic systems with synthetic dimensionality exceeding the three spatial dimensions, and reveal new opportunities for applications in optical signal switching and sensing in classical and quantum photonics.

Prof Andrey Sukhorukov, Dr Jihua Zhang

Mass-entangled ultracold helium atoms

This experimental project aims to create entangled states of ultracold helium atoms where the entanglement is between atoms of different mass. By manipulating the entangled pairs using laser induced Bragg transitions and measuring the resulting correlations, we will study how gravity affects mass-entangled particles.

Dr Sean Hodgman, Professor Andrew Truscott

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.

Prof Andrey Sukhorukov, Dr Jinyong Ma, Dr Jihua Zhang, Prof Dragomir Neshev

Satellite based geodesy

Precise Earth gratitational field measurements with laser-ranging interferometry.

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

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