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

Plasma Applications and Technology

Electron-liquid interface scattering

Low temperature plasmas are being exploited for new medical therapy techniques and in engineering applications in agriculture. This project explores the fundamental behaviour of how electrons penetrate a liquid surface, such as the skin of the body.

Dr Daniel Cocks, A/Prof Cormac Corr

Computer simulation of expanding plasmas

Experimental work on expanding plasmas is greatly aided by computer simulation using plasma fluid codes. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Particle simulation of dual frequency processing plasmas

We employ Particle in Cell simulations that are inexpensive true computer experiments to complement the use of costly industrial microchip plasma systems.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Low-temperature plasma nitrogen fixation for enhancing plant growth

Plasma agriculture is an innovative field that applies plasma to agriculture processes such as farming, food production, food processing, and food preservation.  In agriculture, plasmas may be used to eradicate all microorganisms; bacterial, fungal and viral particles in fruit and vegetables.

A/Prof Cormac Corr

Plasma surface interactions under extreme conditions

High power ion beams can be used to replace lasers as sources for evaporated coating material. Work with industry to discover the physics.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Plasma-liquid interactions

Plasma–liquid interactions are an important topic in the field of plasma science and technology. The interaction of non-equilibrium plasmas with a liquid have many important applications ranging from environmental remediation to material science and health care.

A/Prof Cormac Corr

Magnetic nozzles and plasma generated by a remote source.

When plasmas are decoupled from their source of power, much can be learned about non-local effects of energy transport.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Plasma Thrusters for Spacecraft

Low Earth Orbit satellites such as CubeSats can have their lifetime boosted by using our unique plasma thrusters to insert them into higher orbits. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Efficient one-step plasma synthesis of high surface area nanostructures

This project aims to develop new plasma processing techniques which can be used to generate complex nanostructured surface morphologies on a range of mateirals. These materials have potential applications in a wide range of areas, including catalysis, high energy-density batteries, and anti-reflection coatings.

Dr Matt Thompson, A/Prof Cormac Corr

System calculations for hunter killer satellites

Space junk is a major problem for space travel. We use an energetic particle beam to manoeuvre a satellite close to junk then blast it with the particle beam to deorbit the junk

Professor Roderick Boswell

Updated:  23 July 2020/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster