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.

Filter projects

Astrophysics

Constraining toroidal equilibria to accretion disc observations

In this project we would compare the construction of accretion disc and magnetic configuration Grad-Shafranov problems, and apply a recently developed toroidal magnetic confinement equilibrium code to model an accretion disc. A focus of the project will be constraining free functions to observational data. 

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole, Dr Michael Fitzgerald

Positrons and Dust Grains

Positron emitters are embedded in clouds of dust grains produced by supernova. This project will explore the transport of positrons in dust grains using Monte-Carlo techniques to improve our understanding of positron transport in an astrophysically relevant setting.

Dr Joshua Machacek, Dr Daniel Murtagh

Modelling a solar flare by MRXMHD

In this project, we apply multiple-region relaxed MHD model, designed to describe the fractal fix of chaotic field lines, magentic islands, and flux surfaces in toroidal magnetic confinement, to describe a solar flare.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Quantum limited magnetometry

Develop  new techniques to enhance vapor cell quantum magnetometry.

Professor John Close

The inverse swarm problem with neural networks

The traditional approach transport simulation is to measure cross sections and feed them into a code package. However, some cross sections are very difficult to both measure and calculate. The "inverse swarm problem" seeks to extract these cross sections from transport measruements such as current profiles or annihilation rates.

Dr Daniel Cocks, A/Prof. James Sullivan, Dr Joshua Machacek

Modelling free-ion hyperfine fields

Motivated by exciting prospects for measurements of the magnetism of rare isotopes produced by the new radioactive beam accelerators internationally, this computational project seeks to understand the enormous magnetic fields produced at the nucleus of highly charged ions by their atomic electron configuration.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Mr Brendan McCormick

Electron scattering from surfaces at high energies

The project aims at establishing the possibilities of high-energy electron scattering in the analysis of thin layers. 

A/Prof Maarten Vos

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

Experimental determination of the Auger yield per nuclear decay

Auger electrons are emitted after nuclear decay and are used for medical purposes. The number of Auger electrons generated per nuclear decay is not known accurately, a fact that  hinders medical applications.  This project aims to obtain a experimental estimate of the number of Auger electrons emitted per nuclear decay.

A/Prof Maarten Vos, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Positron applications in medical physics

This is a multi-faceted project which can be adapted to students at the honours level and above. A number of possibilities exist to perform experiments directed towards improving the use of positrons in medice, mostly focussed on Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Professor Stephen Buckman, Dr Joshua Machacek

Fundamental tests of quantum mechanics with matter waves

We create the coldest stuff in the Universe – a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) – by laser-cooling helium atoms to within a millionth of a degree Kelvin. At these extremely low temperatures particles behave more like waves.  You will use the BEC to study fundamental quantum mechanics and for applications like atom interferometry.

Professor Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

Positrons and Dust Grains

Positron emitters are embedded in clouds of dust grains produced by supernova. This project will explore the transport of positrons in dust grains using Monte-Carlo techniques to improve our understanding of positron transport in an astrophysically relevant setting.

Dr Joshua Machacek, Dr Daniel Murtagh

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

Measuring free-ion hyperfine fields

This experimental project will characterize the hyperfine fields of ions emerging from target foils as highly charged ions. The data will test theoretical models we are developing, and underpin nuclear magnetism measurements on rare isotopes produced at international radioactive beam facilities such as GANIL (France), ISOLDE-CERN (Switzerland) and NSCL (USA).

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Gregory Lane, Mr Timothy Gray

Biophysics

Radiobiology at the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility

This project aims to develop biophysics and radiobiological applications of beams from the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility with a view to advancing the medical applications of nuclear technology.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Greg Tredwell, Dr Edward Simpson, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Mechanical properties of plant cells

This project aims to investigate how the mechnical properties of plant cells change with 'poking' from an external source. In nature the poking is by a pathogen. We mimic this effect with a diamond tip.

Prof Jodie Bradby, Ms Toby Hendy

Positron applications in medical physics

This is a multi-faceted project which can be adapted to students at the honours level and above. A number of possibilities exist to perform experiments directed towards improving the use of positrons in medice, mostly focussed on Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Professor Stephen Buckman, Dr Joshua Machacek

Clean Energy

Lorentz forces in a tokamak

In this project we will examine the forces generated in superconductoring magnetics, and scope the forces generated during a disruption.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole

Nanowire arrays for next generation high performance photovoltaics

This is an all-encompassing program to integrate highly sophisticated theoretical modelling, material growth and nanofabrication capabilities to develop high performance semiconductor nanowire array solar cells. It will lead to understanding of the underlying photovoltaic mechanisms in nanowires and design of novel solar cell architectures.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Organic-inorganic perovskite materials for high performance photovoltaics

In this project, we will characterise actual device solar cell structures with electron microscopy techniques and seek to understand the microscopic effects behind the device performance and reliability

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

Engineering in Physics

Quantum Device Engineering

For quantum technologies to transition to real-world applications, there are a multitude of engineering challenges to be solved. Using diamond NV centres, our group is developing small-scale quantum computers, and quantum microscopes sensing electric and magnetic fields down to the nanoscale. Available project themes include instrumentation, experiment control, machine learning, and optimal control. 

Dr Andrew Horsley, Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson

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

Nuclear lifetimes - direct timing with LaBr3 detectors

The lifetimes of excited quantum states in the atomic nucleus give extremely important information about nuclear structure and the shape of the nucleus. This project will commission a new array of of LaBr3 detectors to measure nuclear lifetimes, with the aim to replace conventional analog electronics with digital signal processing.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Professor Gregory Lane, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Mr Aqeel Akber

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

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

Fusion and Plasma Confinement

Lorentz forces in a tokamak

In this project we will examine the forces generated in superconductoring magnetics, and scope the forces generated during a disruption.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole

Constraining toroidal equilibria to accretion disc observations

In this project we would compare the construction of accretion disc and magnetic configuration Grad-Shafranov problems, and apply a recently developed toroidal magnetic confinement equilibrium code to model an accretion disc. A focus of the project will be constraining free functions to observational data. 

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole, Dr Michael Fitzgerald

Modelling a solar flare by MRXMHD

In this project, we apply multiple-region relaxed MHD model, designed to describe the fractal fix of chaotic field lines, magentic islands, and flux surfaces in toroidal magnetic confinement, to describe a solar flare.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole

Nano-bubble formation in fusion relevant materials

Fusion energy promises millions of years of clean energy, but puts extreme stress on materials. This research will resolve scientific issues surrounding plasma-material interactions to guide and facilitate development of future advanced materials for fusion reactors.

Dr Cormac Corr, A/Prof Patrick Kluth, Dr Matt Thompson

Materials Science and Engineering

Electron scattering from surfaces at high energies

The project aims at establishing the possibilities of high-energy electron scattering in the analysis of thin layers. 

A/Prof Maarten Vos

3D phantoms for X-ray micro-tomography

"Phantoms" are objects used for performance testing and/or calibration of 3D X-ray computed tomography (CT) systems. This project involves designing, 3D printing, and subsequently imaging phantoms at the micro-CT facility of the Applied Maths department.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, Prof Adrian Sheppard, Prof Timothy Senden

Mechanical properties of plant cells

This project aims to investigate how the mechnical properties of plant cells change with 'poking' from an external source. In nature the poking is by a pathogen. We mimic this effect with a diamond tip.

Prof Jodie Bradby, Ms Toby Hendy

Soft Condensed Matter: Molecules made by Threading

Of great recent interest is the subject of rotaxanes.  Rotaxanes are molecules  where one or more ring
components is threaded onto an axle that is capped on both ends with stoppers to prevent the rings from
falling o ff. These systems exhibit complex and fascinating physics.

Professor David Williams

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

Nuclear moments and intense hyperfine fields in ferromagnetic media

This project evaluates data at the interface of nuclear, atomic and solid-state physics with a view to discovering new physics and providing reliable data on the magnetic moments of short-lived nuclear quantum states. It assists the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide reliable nuclear data for research and applications.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Mr Timothy Gray, Mr Ben Coombes, Mr Brendan McCormick

Organic-inorganic perovskite materials for high performance photovoltaics

In this project, we will characterise actual device solar cell structures with electron microscopy techniques and seek to understand the microscopic effects behind the device performance and reliability

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

Nano-bubble formation in fusion relevant materials

Fusion energy promises millions of years of clean energy, but puts extreme stress on materials. This research will resolve scientific issues surrounding plasma-material interactions to guide and facilitate development of future advanced materials for fusion reactors.

Dr Cormac Corr, A/Prof Patrick Kluth, Dr Matt Thompson

Investigating extreme environments using diamond anvil cells

High pressure diamond anvil cells often use a gas or salt solids a form of pressure medium. However, the effect of being squeezed with such materials is unknown for many systems including the novel forms of amorphous silicon, germanium and carbon studied by this ANU-based group.

Prof Jodie Bradby

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Nanowire photodetectors - Small devices for the big world

Semiconductor nanowires are emerging nano-materials with substantial opportunities for novel photonic and electronic device applications. This project aims at developing a new generation of high performance NW based photodetectors for a wide range of applications.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan

Quantum microscopes for revolutionary interdisciplinary science

This project aims to invent and apply quantum microscopes to solve major problems across science.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson

Experimental determination of the Auger yield per nuclear decay

Auger electrons are emitted after nuclear decay and are used for medical purposes. The number of Auger electrons generated per nuclear decay is not known accurately, a fact that  hinders medical applications.  This project aims to obtain a experimental estimate of the number of Auger electrons emitted per nuclear decay.

A/Prof Maarten Vos, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Ultra-compact nanowire lasers for application in nanophotonics

This project aims to investigate the concepts and strategies required to produce electrically injected semiconductor nanowire lasers by understanding light interaction in nanowires, designing appropriate structures to inject current, engineer the optical profile and developing nano-fabrication technologies. Electrically operated nanowire lasers would enable practical applications in nanophotonics.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Professor Hoe Tan

Nanowire arrays for next generation high performance photovoltaics

This is an all-encompassing program to integrate highly sophisticated theoretical modelling, material growth and nanofabrication capabilities to develop high performance semiconductor nanowire array solar cells. It will lead to understanding of the underlying photovoltaic mechanisms in nanowires and design of novel solar cell architectures.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Quantum-well nanowire light emitting devices

In this project we aim to design and demonstrate  III-V compound semiconductor based quantum well nanowire light emitting devices with wavelength ranging from 1.3 to 1.6 μm for optical communication applications.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

Developing a quantum memory for the 1550 nm optical communication band

In this project you will develop a quantum memory for storing light at 1550 nm using erbium doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Dr Kate Ferguson

Nanowire photodetectors - Small devices for the big world

Semiconductor nanowires are emerging nano-materials with substantial opportunities for novel photonic and electronic device applications. This project aims at developing a new generation of high performance NW based photodetectors for a wide range of applications.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan

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

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

Ultra-compact nanowire lasers for application in nanophotonics

This project aims to investigate the concepts and strategies required to produce electrically injected semiconductor nanowire lasers by understanding light interaction in nanowires, designing appropriate structures to inject current, engineer the optical profile and developing nano-fabrication technologies. Electrically operated nanowire lasers would enable practical applications in nanophotonics.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Professor Hoe Tan

Developing a planar waveguide photonic quantum processor

This project aims to develop a photonic quantum processor based on a planar waveguide architecture incorporating rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Associate Professor Duk-Yong Choi

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

Storing quantum entangled states of light

In this project you will demonstrate the storage of quantum entangled states of light using quantum memories based on rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Dr Rose Ahlefeldt, Dr Kate Ferguson

Quantum-well nanowire light emitting devices

In this project we aim to design and demonstrate  III-V compound semiconductor based quantum well nanowire light emitting devices with wavelength ranging from 1.3 to 1.6 μm for optical communication applications.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

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

Ultrafast optical micro-domain structuring for advanced nonlinear photonic devices

This project aims to develop a breakthrough all-optical approach to create micro-domain patterns in nonlinear optical media using tightly focused femtosecond pulses. It will lead to the first flexible all-optically formed quasi-phase matched structures, enabling access to a broad range of applications for exceptional control over both photons and phonons.

Dr Yan Sheng

Physics of the Nucleus

Time-correlated gamma-ray coincidence spectroscopy of atomic nuclei

Investigate the internal structure of atomic nuclei by constructing the spectrum of excited states using time-correlated, gamma-ray coincidence spectroscopy.

Professor Gregory Lane, Dr AJ Mitchell, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Modelling free-ion hyperfine fields

Motivated by exciting prospects for measurements of the magnetism of rare isotopes produced by the new radioactive beam accelerators internationally, this computational project seeks to understand the enormous magnetic fields produced at the nucleus of highly charged ions by their atomic electron configuration.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Mr Brendan McCormick

Nuclear magnetism - magnetic moment measurements

A novel technique devised at ANU has recently given a breakthrough in the precision with which the magnetic moments of picosecond-lived excited states in sd-shell nuclei (i.e. isotopes of oxygen through to calcium) may be measured. A sequence of precise measurements will be performed to comprehensively test the shell model.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Gregory Lane, Mr Brendan McCormick

Sub-zeptosecond processes in reactions of stable and radioactive weakly-bound nuclei

This project uses novel techniques to investigate reactions of light weakly-bound nuclei, both stable and exotic, which challenge our understanding of nuclear reaction dynamics.

Dr Kaitlin Cook, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta, Professor David Hinde

Spectroscopy of radioactive fission fragments

Investigate the properties of radioactive nuclei using spectroscopic techniques. 

Dr AJ Mitchell, Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Nuclear lifetimes - direct timing with LaBr3 detectors

The lifetimes of excited quantum states in the atomic nucleus give extremely important information about nuclear structure and the shape of the nucleus. This project will commission a new array of of LaBr3 detectors to measure nuclear lifetimes, with the aim to replace conventional analog electronics with digital signal processing.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Professor Gregory Lane, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Mr Aqeel Akber

Nuclear models in nuclear structure and reactions

Nuclei are complex quantum systems and thus require advanced modelling to understand their structure properties. This project uses such models to interpret experimental data taken at the ANU and at overseas nuclear facilities.

Dr Edward Simpson, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Cédric Simenel

Nuclear moments and intense hyperfine fields in ferromagnetic media

This project evaluates data at the interface of nuclear, atomic and solid-state physics with a view to discovering new physics and providing reliable data on the magnetic moments of short-lived nuclear quantum states. It assists the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide reliable nuclear data for research and applications.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Mr Timothy Gray, Mr Ben Coombes, Mr Brendan McCormick

How to create new super-heavy elements

Superheavy elements can only be created in the laboratory by the fusion of two massive nuclei. Our measurements give the clearest information on the characteristics and timescales of quasifission, the major competitor to fusion in these reactions.

Professor David Hinde, Dr Kaushik Banerjee, Dr Cédric Simenel

Theory of nuclear fission

Heavy atomic nuclei may fission in lighter fragments, releasing a large amount of energy which is used in reactors. Advanced models of many-body quantum dynamics are developed and used to describe this process.

Dr Cédric Simenel

Nuclear lifetimes - Doppler broadened line shape method

The measurement of the lifetimes of excited nuclear states is foundational for understanding nuclear excitations. This project will solve a current puzzle in nuclear lifetime measurements based on the Doppler-broadened line shape method and also develop a generalized analysis program for such measurements.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Gregory Lane, Mr Ben Coombes

Measuring free-ion hyperfine fields

This experimental project will characterize the hyperfine fields of ions emerging from target foils as highly charged ions. The data will test theoretical models we are developing, and underpin nuclear magnetism measurements on rare isotopes produced at international radioactive beam facilities such as GANIL (France), ISOLDE-CERN (Switzerland) and NSCL (USA).

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Gregory Lane, Mr Timothy Gray

Plasma Applications and Technology

The principles and design of a plasma wakefield accelerator

In this project the principles and design of a plasma wakefield accelerator will be reviewed, and the opportunities for a low-cost wakefield accelerator explored.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole

Quantum Devices and Technology

Quantum limited magnetometry

Develop  new techniques to enhance vapor cell quantum magnetometry.

Professor John Close

Discovering quantum defects in diamond and related materials

This project aims to discover and study defects in diamond and related materials that are suitable for quantum technology.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Professor Neil Manson

Developing a quantum memory for the 1550 nm optical communication band

In this project you will develop a quantum memory for storing light at 1550 nm using erbium doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Dr Kate Ferguson

Quantum Device Engineering

For quantum technologies to transition to real-world applications, there are a multitude of engineering challenges to be solved. Using diamond NV centres, our group is developing small-scale quantum computers, and quantum microscopes sensing electric and magnetic fields down to the nanoscale. Available project themes include instrumentation, experiment control, machine learning, and optimal control. 

Dr Andrew Horsley, Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson

Diamond quantum computing and communications

This project aims to engineer diamond quantum computers and communication networks.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Andrew Horsley

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

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

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 microscopes for revolutionary interdisciplinary science

This project aims to invent and apply quantum microscopes to solve major problems across science.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson

Developing a planar waveguide photonic quantum processor

This project aims to develop a photonic quantum processor based on a planar waveguide architecture incorporating rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Associate Professor Duk-Yong Choi

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

Microfabricated quantum gravimeters

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

Professor John Close

Storing quantum entangled states of light

In this project you will demonstrate the storage of quantum entangled states of light using quantum memories based on rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Dr Rose Ahlefeldt, Dr Kate Ferguson

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quantum Science and Applications

Discovering quantum defects in diamond and related materials

This project aims to discover and study defects in diamond and related materials that are suitable for quantum technology.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Professor Neil Manson

Diamond quantum computing and communications

This project aims to engineer diamond quantum computers and communication networks.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Andrew Horsley

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

Experimental quantum simulation with ultracold metastable Helium atoms in an optical lattice

This project will construct a 3D optical lattice apparatus for ultracold metastable Helium atoms, which will form an experimental quantum-simulator to investigate quantum many-body physics. A range of experiments will be performed such as studying higher order quantum correlations across the superfluid to Mott insulator phase transition.

Dr Sean Hodgman, Professor Andrew Truscott

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 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

Sub-zeptosecond processes in reactions of stable and radioactive weakly-bound nuclei

This project uses novel techniques to investigate reactions of light weakly-bound nuclei, both stable and exotic, which challenge our understanding of nuclear reaction dynamics.

Dr Kaitlin Cook, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta, Professor David Hinde

Microfabricated quantum gravimeters

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

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

Fundamental tests of quantum mechanics with matter waves

We create the coldest stuff in the Universe – a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) – by laser-cooling helium atoms to within a millionth of a degree Kelvin. At these extremely low temperatures particles behave more like waves.  You will use the BEC to study fundamental quantum mechanics and for applications like atom interferometry.

Professor Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

Quantum tunnelling in many-body systems

Quantum tunnelling is a fundamental process in physics. How this process occurs with composite (many-body) systems, and in particular how it relates to decoherence and dissipation, are still open questions.

Dr Cédric Simenel, Dr Edward Simpson

Causality vs free will in quantum correlations

The strong correlations between entangled quantum systems can be explained only by giving up one of determinism, relativistic locality, or experimental free will. In the latter case, the choice of experimental settings is statistically dependent on hidden system variables. This project examines information properties of such a dependence.

Dr Michael Hall

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

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

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

Theoretical Physics

Stochastic dynamics of interacting systems and integrability

There are many interesting physical statistical systems which never reach thermal equilibrium. Examples include surface growth, diffusion processes or traffic flow. In the absence of general theory of such systems a study of particular models plays a very important role. Integrable systems provide examples of such systems where one can analyze time dynamics using analytic methods.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

Nuclear magnetism - magnetic moment measurements

A novel technique devised at ANU has recently given a breakthrough in the precision with which the magnetic moments of picosecond-lived excited states in sd-shell nuclei (i.e. isotopes of oxygen through to calcium) may be measured. A sequence of precise measurements will be performed to comprehensively test the shell model.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Gregory Lane, Mr Brendan McCormick

Introduction to quantum integrable systems

The aim of this project is to introduce quantum integrable systems which play a very important role in modern theoretical physics. Such systems provide one of very few ways to analyze nonlinear effects in continuous and discrete quantum systems.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

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

Soft Condensed Matter: Molecules made by Threading

Of great recent interest is the subject of rotaxanes.  Rotaxanes are molecules  where one or more ring
components is threaded onto an axle that is capped on both ends with stoppers to prevent the rings from
falling o ff. These systems exhibit complex and fascinating physics.

Professor David Williams

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

Quantum tunnelling in many-body systems

Quantum tunnelling is a fundamental process in physics. How this process occurs with composite (many-body) systems, and in particular how it relates to decoherence and dissipation, are still open questions.

Dr Cédric Simenel, Dr Edward Simpson

Causality vs free will in quantum correlations

The strong correlations between entangled quantum systems can be explained only by giving up one of determinism, relativistic locality, or experimental free will. In the latter case, the choice of experimental settings is statistically dependent on hidden system variables. This project examines information properties of such a dependence.

Dr Michael Hall

Nuclear models in nuclear structure and reactions

Nuclei are complex quantum systems and thus require advanced modelling to understand their structure properties. This project uses such models to interpret experimental data taken at the ANU and at overseas nuclear facilities.

Dr Edward Simpson, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Cédric Simenel

Theory of nuclear fission

Heavy atomic nuclei may fission in lighter fragments, releasing a large amount of energy which is used in reactors. Advanced models of many-body quantum dynamics are developed and used to describe this process.

Dr Cédric Simenel

New trends in separation of variables

A separation of variables is a standard technique in classical mechanics which allows to reduce a complicated dynamics with many degrees of freedom to a set of one-dimensional problems. Surprisingly this method finds its natural generalization in the theory of quantum integrable systems. This project aims to study such systems and apply results to the theory of special functions in one and several variables.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

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

Topological and Structural Science

3D phantoms for X-ray micro-tomography

"Phantoms" are objects used for performance testing and/or calibration of 3D X-ray computed tomography (CT) systems. This project involves designing, 3D printing, and subsequently imaging phantoms at the micro-CT facility of the Applied Maths department.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, Prof Adrian Sheppard, Prof Timothy Senden

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