Potential student research projects

The Research School of Physics & Engineering performs research at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines.

By undertaking your own research project at RSPE you could open up an exciting career in science.

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Atomic and Molecular Physics

Quantum limited magnetometry

Develop  new techniques to enhance vapor cell quantum magnetometry.

Professor John Close

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

Space based quantum limited accelerometers for satellite control

The aim of this project is to design, construct and test a space based quantum accelerometer for satellite navigation.

Professor John Close

Engineering in Physics

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

Generation of random numbers from vacuum fluctuations

Aim to generate random numbers by performing a homodyne measurement of the quantum vacuum state.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Jing-Yan Haw

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

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

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

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

An atom trap in the vacuum of space

The aim of this project is to design, construct and test an atom trap that exploits the vacuum of space to reduce size, weight and power of standard technology and make it more suitable for space deployment.

Professor John Close

Bayesian estimation of min-entropy

In order to build a random number generator, we need to estimate the amount of randomness it has. Our aim to estimate the min-entropy of a finite sample of data using the Bayesian and Frequencist estimators.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam

Quantum Devices and Technology

Quantum limited magnetometry

Develop  new techniques to enhance vapor cell quantum magnetometry.

Professor John Close

Source-independent quantum random number generator

We aim to generate random numbers by performing orthogonal quadrature homodyne measurements without actually knowing or trusting the quantum state that we are measuring.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Jing-Yan Haw

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, Mr Aaron Tranter, Mr Harry Slatyer

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

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

Microfabricated quantum gravimeters

In this project, we will design, construct and test a microfabcircated free-fall, gravimeter.

Professor John Close

Quantum Squeezing Atomic Ensembles

The aim of this project is to explore theoretically the application of quantum squeezing to a variety of quantum sensors and to incorporate optimal quantum squeezing into the design quantum gravimeters and quantum magnetometers.

Professor John Close, Dr Stuart Szigeti

Space based quantum limited accelerometers for satellite control

The aim of this project is to design, construct and test a space based quantum accelerometer for satellite navigation.

Professor John Close

Quantum Wavelets

In this project, we represent an expanding quantum wavepacket in a wavelet basis and use the representation to analyse new data from a state of the art quantum gravity sensor.

Professor John Close, Dr Stuart Szigeti

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

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

An atom trap in the vacuum of space

The aim of this project is to design, construct and test an atom trap that exploits the vacuum of space to reduce size, weight and power of standard technology and make it more suitable for space deployment.

Professor John Close

Quantum Science and Applications

Quantum coherence and metrology

A quantum state has "coherence" if it is in a superposition of some classical states. In some way, coherence measures the quantumness of that state. We aim to study the coherence of simple systems and also establish a relationship between coherence and quantum metrology.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam

Source-independent quantum random number generator

We aim to generate random numbers by performing orthogonal quadrature homodyne measurements without actually knowing or trusting the quantum state that we are measuring.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Jing-Yan Haw

Microfabricated quantum gravimeters

In this project, we will design, construct and test a microfabcircated free-fall, gravimeter.

Professor John Close

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

Generation of random numbers from vacuum fluctuations

Aim to generate random numbers by performing a homodyne measurement of the quantum vacuum state.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Jing-Yan Haw

Two-parameter estimation with Gaussian state probes

How well we can estimate the position and momentum of a Gaussian probe?

Dr Syed Assad, Mr Mark Bradshaw

Bayesian estimation of min-entropy

In order to build a random number generator, we need to estimate the amount of randomness it has. Our aim to estimate the min-entropy of a finite sample of data using the Bayesian and Frequencist estimators.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam

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

Theoretical Physics

Quantum coherence and metrology

A quantum state has "coherence" if it is in a superposition of some classical states. In some way, coherence measures the quantumness of that state. We aim to study the coherence of simple systems and also establish a relationship between coherence and quantum metrology.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam

Quantum Squeezing Atomic Ensembles

The aim of this project is to explore theoretically the application of quantum squeezing to a variety of quantum sensors and to incorporate optimal quantum squeezing into the design quantum gravimeters and quantum magnetometers.

Professor John Close, Dr Stuart Szigeti

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

Quantum Wavelets

In this project, we represent an expanding quantum wavepacket in a wavelet basis and use the representation to analyse new data from a state of the art quantum gravity sensor.

Professor John Close, Dr Stuart Szigeti

Some other physics related research projects may be found at the ANU College of Engineering & Computer Science and the Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics

Updated:  29 April 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster