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

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

Reducing Entropy in Lunar Supply Chains

It costs a lot to get material to the Moon. Can available materials on the Moon's surface be used? 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Understanding drought-resistance in Australian plants with 3D X-ray microscopy

This project will use unique, ANU-designed 3D X-ray microscopes to directly observe the physiological responses of drought-tolerant Australian plants when subjected to water stress. The results will help us understand the mechanisms that underpin drought-tolerance, helping resolve ongoing debates and potentially improving the performance of dryland crops.

Prof Adrian Sheppard

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

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

Underground carbon sequestration looks essential if the world is going to keep global warming below 2oC.  This project will explore the physics underlying migration of injected carbon dioxide, to better understand the conditions 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


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

Updated:  27 November 2021/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster