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.

Interactions between antimatter and ultracold atoms

Antiparticles and antimatter have progressed from theory and science fiction to become an important and exciting area of pure and applied science. This fundamental atomic physics project will investigate how antimatter and matter interact by experimentally studying the interaction of positrons (the electron anti-particle) with trapped ultracold rubidium atoms.

Dr Sean Hodgman, Professor Stephen Buckman, Dr Joshua Machacek

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.

Distinguished Prof David McClelland, Professor Daniel Shaddock, Dr Bram Slagmolen

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

Synthesising non-Hermitian gauge fields for microcavity exciton polaritons

This project aims to realise various useful artificial gauge fields for cavity photons and exciton polaritons. These fields are expected to be non-Hermitian and can be used to combine effects of non-Hermiticity and topology, e.g. topological edge states and non-Hermitian skin effect. Realising these non-Hermitian fields is an important step towards practical applications of exciton-polariton condensates and superfluids.

Dr Eliezer Estrecho, Prof Elena Ostrovskaya

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