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

Astrophysics

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

Launching nano-satellites from the Earth's Moon

Generally chemical propulsion is used to launch satellites from the moon. Is it possible to use available resources instead?

Professor Roderick Boswell

Design a rail gun to operate in vacuum producing a force of 1mN

Can electrical launch systems replace chemical systems in launching nano-satellites from the Moon?

Professor Roderick Boswell

Exotic nuclear structure towards the neutron dripline

Investigate the properties of exotic nuclei and their impact on fundamental models and creation of the elements when stars explode. 

Dr AJ Mitchell

Determining the orbital characteristics of a constellation of nano-sats orbiting the Moon

There is no lunar GPS so how will satellite orbits be determined for safety and efficiency in designing missions.

Professor Roderick Boswell

In space, no-one can hear you scream. Is this true?

Thrusters for propulsion generally require nozzles but is this necessary in the vaccum of space?

Professor Roderick Boswell

Active orbital control systems for nano-sats orbiting the Moon

Active plasma thrusters are needs for in orbit manouvers and for arranging constellations of satellites. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Space radiation modelling

Modelling space radiation environments to inform ground-based radiation testing at the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility (HIAF).

Dr Ian Carter, Mr Ben Coombes

Atomic and Molecular Physics

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

Biophysics

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

Engineering in Physics

Nuclear structure studies with particle transfer reactions

This project will use nuclear reactions to study the basic make-up of atomic nuclei at the quantum level, and investigate the impact of nuclear structure on sub-atomic forces and fundamental physics. 

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

Launching nano-satellites from the Earth's Moon

Generally chemical propulsion is used to launch satellites from the moon. Is it possible to use available resources instead?

Professor Roderick Boswell

Design a rail gun to operate in vacuum producing a force of 1mN

Can electrical launch systems replace chemical systems in launching nano-satellites from the Moon?

Professor Roderick Boswell

Determining the orbital characteristics of a constellation of nano-sats orbiting the Moon

There is no lunar GPS so how will satellite orbits be determined for safety and efficiency in designing missions.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Ultra-fast lifetime measurements of nuclear excited states

Use ultra-fast gamma-ray detectors to perform excited-state lifetime measurements and investigate single-particle and collective features of atomic nuclei. 

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

In space, no-one can hear you scream. Is this true?

Thrusters for propulsion generally require nozzles but is this necessary in the vaccum of space?

Professor Roderick Boswell

Active orbital control systems for nano-sats orbiting the Moon

Active plasma thrusters are needs for in orbit manouvers and for arranging constellations of satellites. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Environmental Physics

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

Physics of the Nucleus

Nuclear structure studies with particle transfer reactions

This project will use nuclear reactions to study the basic make-up of atomic nuclei at the quantum level, and investigate the impact of nuclear structure on sub-atomic forces and fundamental physics. 

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

Exotic nuclear structure towards the neutron dripline

Investigate the properties of exotic nuclei and their impact on fundamental models and creation of the elements when stars explode. 

Dr AJ Mitchell

Characterisation and optimisation of an ionization detector system for probing dissipation effects

Characterisation and optimisation of ionization detector system for probing dissipation effects in multi-nucleon transfer reactions

Dr Ian Carter, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta, Professor David Hinde, Mr Ben Swinton-Bland

Ultra-fast lifetime measurements of nuclear excited states

Use ultra-fast gamma-ray detectors to perform excited-state lifetime measurements and investigate single-particle and collective features of atomic nuclei. 

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

Nuclear batteries: Energy-storage applications of nuclear isomers

Nuclear metastable states, known colloquially as isomers, have energy densities millions of times greater than chemical batteries. This project investigates nuclear pathways for reliably extracting this energy from candidate isotopes on demand. 

Dr AJ Mitchell, Professor Gregory Lane

Space radiation modelling

Modelling space radiation environments to inform ground-based radiation testing at the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility (HIAF).

Dr Ian Carter, Mr Ben Coombes

Creating new superheavy elements

The discovery of new elements is of fundamental importance in progressing our society – new elements have contributed human history toward an affluent society. This project aims at proposing the best way to create new superheavy elements based on our studies, and at creating new superheavy elements with the best way. 

Dr Taiki Tanaka, Professor David Hinde, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta

Updated:  24 May 2022/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster