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

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Coherent control of quantum-mechanical systems

The project studies possibility of the coherent control (i.e. manipulating properties of a quantum system, such as charge density, levels populations, etc., using a suitably tailored laser pulse) for a quantum mechanical model of a molecule.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets

Atomic ionization in super-strong laser fields

Using methods of quantum many-body theory to describe elementary processes in atoms and molecules interacting with strong electromagnetic fields.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets, Dr Igor Ivanov

Attosecond time-resolved atomic reactions

We apply the most advanced quantum-mechanical modeling to resolve electron motion in atoms and molecules on the atto-second (one quintillionth of a second) time scale.  Our theoretical modeling, based on a rigorous, quantitative description of correlated electron dynamics, provides insight into new physics taking place on the atomic time scale.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets, Dr Igor Ivanov

Materials Science and Engineering

Light control with tunable metasurfaces

This project aims to develop several liquid crystal-based tunable devices that can dynamically control light waves. This can be achieved by integrating liquid crystals with composite structures called metasurfaces. By applying external stimuli such as temperature, electric or magnetic field we can observe some fascinating effects in light propagation. The development of such metasurfaces holds an exceptional potential for the next generation of compact tunable optical systems that will find applications in sensing, ranging, and imaging.

Professor Ilya Shadrivov, Dr Yana Izdebskaya

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Engineering optical chirality with nanotechnology

Many phenomena in nature, including multiple chemical and biological processes, are governed by the fundamental property of chirality. An object is called chiral when its mirror image cannot be superimposed with the original object. Many examples of chirality can be found in nature, from seashells to DNA molecules.
 

Professor Yuri Kivshar, Mr Kirill Koshelev, Dr Sergey Kruk

Metaphotonics and Mie-tronics with resonant dielectric structures

This project will address the recently emerged new platform for nanophotonics based on high-index dielectric nanoparticles that opened a whole new realm of all-dielectric Mie-resonant nanophotonics or Mie-tronics. High-index dielectric nanoparticles exhibit strong interaction with light due to the excitation of electric and magnetic dipolar Mie-type resonances.

Professor Yuri Kivshar, Dr Sergey Kruk

Nanoscale light sources with extreme parameters: high harmonics in subwavelength resonators

The project researchers generation of high optical harmonics -- sources of light with extreme properties: very short wavelengths and  very short time scale. We aim to miniaturise such sources of light to the nanoscale

Dr Sergey Kruk

Nanoscale optical isolators: disruptive nanotechnology to control light

This project combines theoretical and experimental research on novel approaches to control propagation of light in nonreciprocal ways, similar to ways we control directions of electric currents with semiconductor diodes and transistors. We aim to achieve a radical miniaturisation of nonreciprocal photonics to the nanoscale.

Dr Sergey Kruk

Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

Engineering optical chirality with nanotechnology

Many phenomena in nature, including multiple chemical and biological processes, are governed by the fundamental property of chirality. An object is called chiral when its mirror image cannot be superimposed with the original object. Many examples of chirality can be found in nature, from seashells to DNA molecules.
 

Professor Yuri Kivshar, Mr Kirill Koshelev, Dr Sergey Kruk

Metaphotonics and Mie-tronics with resonant dielectric structures

This project will address the recently emerged new platform for nanophotonics based on high-index dielectric nanoparticles that opened a whole new realm of all-dielectric Mie-resonant nanophotonics or Mie-tronics. High-index dielectric nanoparticles exhibit strong interaction with light due to the excitation of electric and magnetic dipolar Mie-type resonances.

Professor Yuri Kivshar, Dr Sergey Kruk

Nanoscale light sources with extreme parameters: high harmonics in subwavelength resonators

The project researchers generation of high optical harmonics -- sources of light with extreme properties: very short wavelengths and  very short time scale. We aim to miniaturise such sources of light to the nanoscale

Dr Sergey Kruk

Nanoscale optical isolators: disruptive nanotechnology to control light

This project combines theoretical and experimental research on novel approaches to control propagation of light in nonreciprocal ways, similar to ways we control directions of electric currents with semiconductor diodes and transistors. We aim to achieve a radical miniaturisation of nonreciprocal photonics to the nanoscale.

Dr Sergey Kruk

Light control with tunable metasurfaces

This project aims to develop several liquid crystal-based tunable devices that can dynamically control light waves. This can be achieved by integrating liquid crystals with composite structures called metasurfaces. By applying external stimuli such as temperature, electric or magnetic field we can observe some fascinating effects in light propagation. The development of such metasurfaces holds an exceptional potential for the next generation of compact tunable optical systems that will find applications in sensing, ranging, and imaging.

Professor Ilya Shadrivov, Dr Yana Izdebskaya

Nonlinear topological photonics

The project bridges the fundamental physics of topological phases with nonlinear optics. This promising synergy is expected to unlock advanced functionalities for applications in optical sources, frequency combs, isolators and multiplexers, switches and modulators, both for classical and quantum light. 

Dr Daria Smirnova

Physics of the Nucleus

Quantum drivers to nuclear fission

Large scale quantum many body simulations are performed to study the quantum shell effects that determine the final properties of the nuclear fission fragments. 

Dr Cedric Simenel

Theoretical Physics

Coherent control of quantum-mechanical systems

The project studies possibility of the coherent control (i.e. manipulating properties of a quantum system, such as charge density, levels populations, etc., using a suitably tailored laser pulse) for a quantum mechanical model of a molecule.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets

Atomic ionization in super-strong laser fields

Using methods of quantum many-body theory to describe elementary processes in atoms and molecules interacting with strong electromagnetic fields.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets, Dr Igor Ivanov

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

Combinatorics and integrable systems

We will study links between integrable systems in statistical mechanics, combinatorial problems and special functions in mathematics. This area of research has attracted many scientist's attention during the last decade and revealed unexpected links to other areas of mathematics like enumeration problems and differential equations.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev, Professor Vladimir Bazhanov

Quantum drivers to nuclear fission

Large scale quantum many body simulations are performed to study the quantum shell effects that determine the final properties of the nuclear fission fragments. 

Dr Cedric Simenel

Variational approach to many-body problems

In recent years there was a large boost in development of advanced variational methods which play an important role in analytic and numerical studies of  1D and 2D quantum spin systems. Such methods are based on the ideas coming from the renormalization group theory which states that  physical properties of  spin systems become scale invariant near criticality. One of the most powerful variational algorithms is the corner-transfer matrices (CTM) method which allows to predict properties of large systems based on a simple iterative algorithm.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

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

Attosecond time-resolved atomic reactions

We apply the most advanced quantum-mechanical modeling to resolve electron motion in atoms and molecules on the atto-second (one quintillionth of a second) time scale.  Our theoretical modeling, based on a rigorous, quantitative description of correlated electron dynamics, provides insight into new physics taking place on the atomic time scale.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets, Dr Igor Ivanov

Topological and Structural Science

Nonlinear topological photonics

The project bridges the fundamental physics of topological phases with nonlinear optics. This promising synergy is expected to unlock advanced functionalities for applications in optical sources, frequency combs, isolators and multiplexers, switches and modulators, both for classical and quantum light. 

Dr Daria Smirnova

Updated:  16 August 2022/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster