Atomic and Molecular Physics
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
Motivated by exciting prospects for measurements of the magnetism of rare isotopes produced by the new radioactive beam accelerators internationally, this experimental and 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
This theoretical physics project aims to optimise the performance of atom interferometry in a space-based environment. Space-based operation requires novel beamsplitting and atomic source production techniques, which will be developed in this project.
Dr Stuart Szigeti, Professor John Close
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
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
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
This theoretical physics project aims to develop novel schemes for generating long-lived, thermally-robust entanglement between individual pairs of cold atoms. Theoretical models developed in this project will inform optical tweezer experiments in the lab of Mikkel Andersen at the University of Otago.
Dr Stuart Szigeti
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
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
The project aims at establishing the possibilities of high-energy electron scattering in the analysis of thin layers.
A/Prof Maarten Vos