Potential student research projects

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

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

Filter projects

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

Environmental Physics

Surface forces and the behaviour of colloidal systems

We measure the basic forces that operate between molecules that are manifest at interfaces. These forces control the stability of colloidal systems from blood to toothpaste. We use very sensitive techniques that are able to measure tiny forces with sub nanometer distance resolution. Understanding these forces enables us to predict how a huge variety of colloidal systems will behave.

Professor Vincent Craig

Migration of carbon dioxide injected in aquifers: convection, diffusion and dissolution

Underground carbon sequestration looks to be essential if the world is to keep global warming below 2oC.  This project will explore the physics underlying migration of injected carbon dioxide, to better understand when it will dissolve and sink to the deep earth before there is any chance of it migrating upwards.

Prof Adrian Sheppard, Professor Vincent Craig

High pressure non-equilibrium plasma discharges in chemically reactive systems

The goal of this research is to study high pressure non-equilibrium plasma discharges in chemically reactive systems with applications to space, waste treatment and material science.

A/Prof Cormac Corr

Electron and positron scattering from hydroxide, water and hydrogen peroxide

Electron and positron scattering processes are both complex and important in a range of processes. This project will use the R-Matrix technique to perform ab initio calculations of positron and electron scattering from OH, H2O and H2O2.

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Dr Edward Simpson

Total recall – memory effects in negative ion sources

This project investigates contamination effects in negative ion sources used for accelerator mass spectrometry particularly relevant for the measurement of ultra-trace amounts of the long-lived radionuclides Chlorine-36 and Iodine-129 in environmental samples.

Dr Stefan Pavetich, Emeritus Professor Keith Fifield

Nanobubbles

Nanobubbles are simply nanosized bubbles. What makes them interesting? Theory tells us they should dissolve in less than a second but they are in some cases stable for days.

Professor Vincent Craig

Radioactivity in our environment

Radionuclides such as 236U and 239Pu were introduced into the environment by the atmospheric nuclear weapon tests and an be readily measured by accelerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Michaela Froehlich