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

Astrophysics

Nucleosynthesis in the laboratory - how elements are formed in stars

A fundamental scientific question is a better understanding of the elemental abundances and the isotopic pattern of our solar system which is a fingerprint of stellar nucleosynthesis. We perform nucleosynthesis in the laboratory at the ANU via a new and powerful tool, accelerator mass spectrometry, to elucidate open questions in these processes.

Dr Anton Wallner

What killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago?

The Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) mass extinction about 66 million yearsa go is believed to be caused by a massive impact, most likely an asteroid or a comet. Within this project we will analyse a sample from this time to search for supernova-signatures.

Dr Anton Wallner

Radioimpurities in particle detectors for dark matter studies

This experiment will characterise dark matter detector material. Lowest levels of natural radioactivity in high purity samples will be analysed via ultra-senstive single atom counting using acclerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Anton Wallner, Dr Stephen Tims, Professor Keith Fifield, Professor Gregory Lane

Search for supernova-signatures on Earth

Detection of supernova‐produced (radio)nuclides in terrestrial archives gives insight into massive star nucleosynthesis; when and where are heavy elements formed. Direct observation of radioactive nuclides from stars and the interstellar medium would provide first experimental constraints on production rate.s We will use the most sensitive technique, accelerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Anton Wallner, Dr Michaela Fröhlich (Srncik)

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

Mid-Infrared astro-photonic components for stellar nulling interferometry & planet hunting

Planetary formation process remain a unresolved issue in our understanding of the universe. Direct observation  is needed and can only be accomplished in the MIR with cancelation of glare from the host star. The quest for earth like planets faces the same challenge. MIR integrated devices can accomplish this and ANU leads the world in this field.

Associate Professor Stephen Madden

The SABRE Dark Matter Experiment

Multiple projects are available to support the SABRE dark matter particle experiment. These include local experiments at ANU, computer simulations to predict backgrounds and the overall experimental sensitivity, data acquisition system development and analysis of the SABRE measurement data.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Ms Yiyi Zhong

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Optimised atom interferometry for space-based experiments

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

Hot entanglement with cold atoms

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

Atomic magnetometer for exploring physics beyond the standard model

The Global Network of Optical Magnetometers for Exotic Physics (GNOME) uses precision atomic magnetometers to look new physics.  The concept is to have a global network of magnetometers looking for correlated magnetic field fluctuations that may be caused by strange, and unknown physics.

Dr Ben Buchler, Dr Geoff Campbell

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

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

Fragmentation of molecules by positronium

Positronium is a bound state between an electron and a positron. It is hydrogen-like with a binding energy half that of hydrogen. Positronium has been found to scatter like an electron for the same velocity. Electrons can fragment molecules by temporary attaching leading to fragmentation. This project will explore the fragmentation of molecules in positronium scattering with molecules.

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

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

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

Measuring and 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 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

Benchmark positron scattering experiments

Using the atomic and molecular physics positron beam at the ANU, the student will undertake measurements of positron scattering from simple targets, providing high accuracy data to test recent theoretical calculations.

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

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

Multi-component quantum gases : instabilities, turbulence and dynamics

This project aims to explore and measure new or predicted phenomena in complex multicomponent quantum systems.

Dr Nicholas Robins, Dr Angela White

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

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

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, Dr Cormac Corr

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

Biophysics

Gas sensing of carbon dioxide

This project has a strong industrial link, and investigates using resonator optics to enhance the measurement sensitivity of the molecular absorption of light.

Dr Jong Chow

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.

Dr Cormac Corr

Specific ion effects

We are conducting fundamental research into how different ions exert influence in a myriad of systems

Professor Vincent Craig

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

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 Edward Simpson, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Clean Energy

Solar cells without p-n junctions

Simplify nanowire solar cell fabrication by eliminating the need for p-n junctions to increase the ultimate device efficiency.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Dr Kaushal Vora

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

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

Engineering in Physics

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

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

Vibration control for optical interferometry

Develop an active vibraiton isolation platform to provide a quiet, small displacement environment for high precision inteferometry.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland, Dr Robert Ward

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

Nuclear lifetimes - developing new apparatus and methods

The measurement of the lifetimes of excited nuclear states is foundational for understanding nuclear excitations. This project covers three measurement methods that together span the nuclear lifetime range from about 100 femtoseconds to many nanoseconds. The project can include equipment development, measurement, and the development of analysis methodology (programming and computation). 

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

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

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

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

Directional Dark Matter Measurements with CYGNUS

This project will develop an R&D prototype particle detector as part of the CYGNUS dark matter collaboration

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Computer simulation of expanding plasmas

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

Professor Roderick Boswell

Frequency distribution over fibre for next generation Gravitational Wave Detectors

We will investigate the possibility to distribute a phase reference over a 100m long optical fibre with a stability of hundreds of nanoradians. If succesfull this solution will be part of a selection process for implementation into the LIGO observatories.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland, Dr David Gozzard

Auger electrons and X-rays from nuclear decay for medical isotopes

Following nuclear decay involving electron capture and/or internal conversion the  daughter atom will be ionised, resulting the emission of a cascade of X-rays and Auger electros. The project is aiming to develop a new model required for basic science and applications, including cancer treatment.

Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Mr Bryan Tee Pi-Ern

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 an advanced 3D volumetric imaging system

This project develops a 3D volumetric imaging system to generate three dimensional images of translucent materials. The project’s goal is to extend and augment the capabilities of existing optical projection tomography systems to address a wider spectrum of imaging needs.

Dr Roland Fleddermann, Dr Jong Chow

Exploring the nature of deep levels in high performance ZnO Schottky diodes

This projects combines ion implantation and deep level transient spectroscopy to study electrically active deep level defects in wide bandgap semiconductors.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

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 Edward Simpson, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Impact of surface roughness on fluid equilibribrium

Fluid flow in porous media combines the impacts of many complex phenomena: fluid properties, solid structure, and the infacial interactions between fluids and solid phases. This project aims to uncover the reasons behind some fundamental differences between experiments conducted in glass bead packs and those conducted in geologic systems (rocks).

Dr Anna Herring, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Environmental Physics

Gas sensing of carbon dioxide

This project has a strong industrial link, and investigates using resonator optics to enhance the measurement sensitivity of the molecular absorption of light.

Dr Jong Chow

Nanobubbles

Nanobubbles are simply nanosized bubbles. What makes them interesting? Theory tells us they should dissolve in less than a second but they are in some cases stable for days.

Professor Vincent Craig

Surface forces and the behaviour of colloidal systems

We measure the basic forces that operate between molecules that are manifest at interfaces. These forces control the stability of colloidal systems from blood to toothpaste. We use very sensitive techniques that are able to measure tiny forces with sub nanometer distance resolution. Understanding these forces enables us to predict how a huge variety of colloidal systems will behave.

Professor Vincent Craig

Crucial fundamental nuclear data for nuclear fusion and nuclear fission

Nuclear data are urgently required in national security, non-proliferation, nuclear criticality safety, medical applications, fundamental science and for the design of advanced reactor concepts (fusion, e.g. ITER), or next generation nuclear power plants (Gen IV, accelerator driven systems, ...).

Dr Anton Wallner

Fusion and Plasma Confinement

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

Diagnosing plasma-surface interactions under fusion-relevant conditions

This project involves studying the complex plasma-surface interaction region of a fusion-relevant plasma environment through laser-based and spectroscopic techniques.

Dr Cormac Corr, Dr Matt Thompson

Materials Science and Engineering

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

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

Semiconductor nano-foams for sensor and energy applications

Investigate the fascinating porous structures of ion irradiated antimony based semiconductors and utlise them to built proptotype sensing devices or thermolectric generators.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth, Dr Christian Notthoff

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

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

Colloidal systems in highly concentrated salt solutions

We are studying colloidal systems in highly concentrated salt solutions. Here a number of surprising and unexplained things happen that are associated with surprisingly long-ranged electrostatic forces

Professor Vincent Craig

Singling out the depletion region in semiconductor devices by scanning electron microscopy

Scanning electron microscopy is a powerful tool for materials and this method is believed to correctly identify depletion regions in semiconductor devices. This project links the electron microscopy contrast  to the depletion regions measured by capacitance-voltage measurements in some devices with an aim to understanding the source of contrast. 

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung, Dr Mark Lockrey

Solar cells without p-n junctions

Simplify nanowire solar cell fabrication by eliminating the need for p-n junctions to increase the ultimate device efficiency.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Dr Kaushal Vora

Using a unique Raman/nanoindentation tool to understand materials under pressure

This new system was built at ANU as part of an ARC Linkage project with a US nanoindentation company.

Prof Jodie Bradby, Emeritus Professor Jim Williams, Dr Christian Notthoff

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

Creating new materials using pressure and diamond anvil cells

New forms of materials can be made using extreme pressures via diamond anvil cells.

Prof Jodie Bradby

Three-dimensional crystalline structures from two-dimensional hyperbolic tilings

A variety of projects are available that will contribute to the enumeration and characterisation of 3-periodic network structures via the tiling of periodic minimal surfaces and thereby enhance our understanding of self-assembled structures in nature.

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde

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

Diagnosing plasma-surface interactions under fusion-relevant conditions

This project involves studying the complex plasma-surface interaction region of a fusion-relevant plasma environment through laser-based and spectroscopic techniques.

Dr Cormac Corr, Dr Matt Thompson

Fundamental investigation of fission tracks for geo- and thermochronology

Study the formation and stability of high energy ion tracks in minerals under controlled environments with importance for geological dating techniques.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

Exploring the nature of deep levels in high performance ZnO Schottky diodes

This projects combines ion implantation and deep level transient spectroscopy to study electrically active deep level defects in wide bandgap semiconductors.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

What determines the equilibrium shapes within a crystalline nanoworld?

The equilibrium shape of voids or crystals is largely influenced by the total surface energies encompassing these 3D objects. This aim of this project is to extract the surface energies of different planes from transmission electron microscopy images of faceted voids and nanowires.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

Functional Nanopore Membranes

Development of novel composite nanopore membranes.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

Exploring novel X-ray scanning trajectories

The first 3D X-ray microscopes used viewing angles evenly spaced in a full 360 degrees around the sample. Recent innovations have freed us from this constraint: the microscopes at the ANU CTLab can utilise ever stranger and more innovative scanning patterns. However, this new freedom is not well explored.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Semiconductor nano-foams for sensor and energy applications

Investigate the fascinating porous structures of ion irradiated antimony based semiconductors and utlise them to built proptotype sensing devices or thermolectric generators.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth, Dr Christian Notthoff

Simulation of x-ray scattering from nano-objects

Develop and utilise computer simulations to analyse synchrotron based scattering from nano-sized objects.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth, Dr Christian Notthoff

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, Dr Liam McGuinness

Colloidal systems in highly concentrated salt solutions

We are studying colloidal systems in highly concentrated salt solutions. Here a number of surprising and unexplained things happen that are associated with surprisingly long-ranged electrostatic forces

Professor Vincent Craig

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

Nanobubbles

Nanobubbles are simply nanosized bubbles. What makes them interesting? Theory tells us they should dissolve in less than a second but they are in some cases stable for days.

Professor Vincent Craig

Singling out the depletion region in semiconductor devices by scanning electron microscopy

Scanning electron microscopy is a powerful tool for materials and this method is believed to correctly identify depletion regions in semiconductor devices. This project links the electron microscopy contrast  to the depletion regions measured by capacitance-voltage measurements in some devices with an aim to understanding the source of contrast. 

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung, Dr Mark Lockrey

Micro-ring lasers for integrated silicon photonics

The project aims to investigate compound semiconductor micro-ring lasers on silicon substrates using selective area growth to engineer the shape of the lasing cavity at the nano/micro-scale. This project will open up new doors to the industry since an integrated laser which is reliable, efficient and easily manufacturable is still elusive in Si photonics.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Optical metamaterials: from science fiction to modern optical technologies

Experimental and theoretical work on the development of novel nanostructured materials with unusual optical properties. Special attention to our research is the development of tunable and functional photonic metamaterials with unusual properties. Of particular interest is the development of ultra-thin metasurfaces with high sensitivity to light intensity.

Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Andrei Komar, Dr Mohsen Rahmani

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

Specific ion effects

We are conducting fundamental research into how different ions exert influence in a myriad of systems

Professor Vincent Craig

Surface forces and the behaviour of colloidal systems

We measure the basic forces that operate between molecules that are manifest at interfaces. These forces control the stability of colloidal systems from blood to toothpaste. We use very sensitive techniques that are able to measure tiny forces with sub nanometer distance resolution. Understanding these forces enables us to predict how a huge variety of colloidal systems will behave.

Professor Vincent Craig

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

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

Fundamental investigation of fission tracks for geo- and thermochronology

Study the formation and stability of high energy ion tracks in minerals under controlled environments with importance for geological dating techniques.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

Electromagnetic Bound States in the Continuum

By borrowing a concept of Bound States in the Continuum from quantum mechanics we can create extremely high quality optical resonators that are highly sought after in many applications.

Professor Ilya Shadrivov, Professor Yuri Kivshar

What determines the equilibrium shapes within a crystalline nanoworld?

The equilibrium shape of voids or crystals is largely influenced by the total surface energies encompassing these 3D objects. This aim of this project is to extract the surface energies of different planes from transmission electron microscopy images of faceted voids and nanowires.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

Functional Nanopore Membranes

Development of novel composite nanopore membranes.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

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

Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

Gas sensing of carbon dioxide

This project has a strong industrial link, and investigates using resonator optics to enhance the measurement sensitivity of the molecular absorption of light.

Dr Jong Chow

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

Integrated quantum photonics

The goal of the project is to understand new physical phenomena arising from quantum and nonlinear optical integration. In the future this research may open doors to new types of computers and simulators with information capacity exceeding the number of elementary particles in the entire universe.

Prof Andrey A. Sukhorukov, Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Kai Wang

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

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

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

Micro-ring lasers for integrated silicon photonics

The project aims to investigate compound semiconductor micro-ring lasers on silicon substrates using selective area growth to engineer the shape of the lasing cavity at the nano/micro-scale. This project will open up new doors to the industry since an integrated laser which is reliable, efficient and easily manufacturable is still elusive in Si photonics.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Optical metamaterials: from science fiction to modern optical technologies

Experimental and theoretical work on the development of novel nanostructured materials with unusual optical properties. Special attention to our research is the development of tunable and functional photonic metamaterials with unusual properties. Of particular interest is the development of ultra-thin metasurfaces with high sensitivity to light intensity.

Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Andrei Komar, Dr Mohsen Rahmani

Optical nanoantennas

Antennas are at the heart of modern radio and microwave frequency communications technologies. They are the front-ends in satellites, cell-phones, laptops and other devices that make communication by sending and receiving radio waves. This project aims to design analog of optical nanoantennas for visible light for advanced optical communiction. 

Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko

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

Coherently combined laser systems for space technologies

Recent advances in laser technology now enable the combination of multiple high-quality lasers into a single high-power beam. The aim of this project is to investigate such `coherently-combined' laser systems within the context of Earth-to-Space laser transmission. Applications of this technology include satellite laser ranging, clock transfer and free-space optical communications, and space debris tracking and remote manouevring.

Dr Robert Ward, Professor Daniel Shaddock, Mr Chathura Bandutunga

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

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

Development of an advanced 3D volumetric imaging system

This project develops a 3D volumetric imaging system to generate three dimensional images of translucent materials. The project’s goal is to extend and augment the capabilities of existing optical projection tomography systems to address a wider spectrum of imaging needs.

Dr Roland Fleddermann, Dr Jong Chow

Whispering Gallery Mode Resonators for Ultra-Sensitive Magnetometry

This projects aims to construct an ultra-sensitive magnetic field sensor from a whispering gallery mode crystal resonator.

Professor Ping Koy Lam

Electromagnetic Bound States in the Continuum

By borrowing a concept of Bound States in the Continuum from quantum mechanics we can create extremely high quality optical resonators that are highly sought after in many applications.

Professor Ilya Shadrivov, Professor Yuri Kivshar

Probabilistic quantum cloning with noiseless linear amplifier

Student will use electro-optic feedforward techniques to implement noiseless linear amplification of information carrying laser light

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Thomas Symul

Mid-Infrared astro-photonic components for stellar nulling interferometry & planet hunting

Planetary formation process remain a unresolved issue in our understanding of the universe. Direct observation  is needed and can only be accomplished in the MIR with cancelation of glare from the host star. The quest for earth like planets faces the same challenge. MIR integrated devices can accomplish this and ANU leads the world in this field.

Associate Professor Stephen Madden

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

Physics Education

Understanding the impact of science education program meriSTEM

meriSTEM is an ANU physics initiative providing learning resources and support to Australian senior secondary classrooms. Understanding what impact it has on students and teachers will require an understanding of existing data, tools and frameworks for analysing and measuring science teaching, learning and assessment.

Miss Jay Ridgewell, Professor Joseph Hope, Mr Tim Friel

Physics of Fluids

Few-vortex dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will investigate how the dynamics of few quantum-vortices are altered in the presence of a moving second superfluid component. 

Dr Angela White

Impact of surface roughness on fluid equilibribrium

Fluid flow in porous media combines the impacts of many complex phenomena: fluid properties, solid structure, and the infacial interactions between fluids and solid phases. This project aims to uncover the reasons behind some fundamental differences between experiments conducted in glass bead packs and those conducted in geologic systems (rocks).

Dr Anna Herring, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Physics of the Nucleus

Nucleosynthesis in the laboratory - how elements are formed in stars

A fundamental scientific question is a better understanding of the elemental abundances and the isotopic pattern of our solar system which is a fingerprint of stellar nucleosynthesis. We perform nucleosynthesis in the laboratory at the ANU via a new and powerful tool, accelerator mass spectrometry, to elucidate open questions in these processes.

Dr Anton Wallner

What killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago?

The Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) mass extinction about 66 million yearsa go is believed to be caused by a massive impact, most likely an asteroid or a comet. Within this project we will analyse a sample from this time to search for supernova-signatures.

Dr Anton Wallner

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 Cedric Simenel

Radioimpurities in particle detectors for dark matter studies

This experiment will characterise dark matter detector material. Lowest levels of natural radioactivity in high purity samples will be analysed via ultra-senstive single atom counting using acclerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Anton Wallner, Dr Stephen Tims, Professor Keith Fifield, Professor Gregory Lane

Nuclear lifetimes - developing new apparatus and methods

The measurement of the lifetimes of excited nuclear states is foundational for understanding nuclear excitations. This project covers three measurement methods that together span the nuclear lifetime range from about 100 femtoseconds to many nanoseconds. The project can include equipment development, measurement, and the development of analysis methodology (programming and computation). 

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

Nuclear fusion and sub-zeptosecond breakup reactions

Fusion probabilities at high energies are significantly smaller than theoretical predicted, in part due to disintegration of the projectile nucleus into lighter nuclei (breakup) on timescales faster than 10-21 s. This project will help us understand these fast, complex breakup processes and their influence on fusion.

Dr Edward Simpson, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta

Nuclear reactions for carbon beam therapy

High energy heavy ion beams can be use to effectively treat cancerous tumours, but nuclear reactions of the 12C beam spread the dose, potentially harming healthy tissue. This project will investigate nuclear reaction cross sections relevant to heavy ion therapy.

Dr Edward Simpson

Nuclear magnetism - magnetic moment measurements

This project builds on our established track record of developing novel methods to measure magnetic moments of picosecond-lived excited states in atomic nuclei, and the theoretical interpretation of those measurements. Students will help establish new methodologies to underpin future international research at the world's leading radioactive beam laboratories.
 

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

Computing nuclei: numerical solution of the Schrödinger equation

Analytic solutions of real-world quantum mechanics problems are rare, and in practise we must use numerical methods to obtain solutions. This project will give you practical experience in solving the static and time-dependent Schrödinger equations using a computer.

Dr Edward Simpson, Dr Cedric Simenel

Search for supernova-signatures on Earth

Detection of supernova‐produced (radio)nuclides in terrestrial archives gives insight into massive star nucleosynthesis; when and where are heavy elements formed. Direct observation of radioactive nuclides from stars and the interstellar medium would provide first experimental constraints on production rate.s We will use the most sensitive technique, accelerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Anton Wallner, Dr Michaela Fröhlich (Srncik)

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 Cedric Simenel

Nuclear spectroscopy with nucleon transfer reactions

Contribute to the development of a new experimental research program at the ANU Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility and investigate the internal structure of atomic nuclei with nucleon transfer reactions. Interested students will have the opportunity to undertake research projects in nuclear instrumentation, software development and fundamental physics. 

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

Directional Dark Matter Measurements with CYGNUS

This project will develop an R&D prototype particle detector as part of the CYGNUS dark matter collaboration

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Nuclear isomers for energy storage and fundamental physics

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

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

Nucleons on a sphere

Quantum chemists have recently found exact solutions to the Schrödinger equation for n electrons on the surface of a sphere. The project is to extend this model to finite range attraction such as those between nucleons in atomic nuclei. 

Dr Cedric 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

Auger electrons and X-rays from nuclear decay for medical isotopes

Following nuclear decay involving electron capture and/or internal conversion the  daughter atom will be ionised, resulting the emission of a cascade of X-rays and Auger electros. The project is aiming to develop a new model required for basic science and applications, including cancer treatment.

Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Mr Bryan Tee Pi-Ern

Measuring and 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 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

High precision electron spectroscopy of electric monopole transitions

The project is aiming to develop a high resolution conversion electron spectrometer to study electric monopole transitions in atomic nuclei. 

Mr Jackson Dowie, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Particle detection with exotic scintillators for nuclear structure research

Compact particle detectors using exotic, new scintillator materials and silicon photomultipliers are being developed for varied roles in our nuclear structure research program.

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

Crucial fundamental nuclear data for nuclear fusion and nuclear fission

Nuclear data are urgently required in national security, non-proliferation, nuclear criticality safety, medical applications, fundamental science and for the design of advanced reactor concepts (fusion, e.g. ITER), or next generation nuclear power plants (Gen IV, accelerator driven systems, ...).

Dr Anton Wallner

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 Cedric Simenel

Lie algebras in particle physics

A reading course on the connections between the representation theory of Lie groups and the properties of fundamental particles within quantum field theory, using Howard Georgi's "Lie Groups in Particle Physics: from Isospin to Unified Theories".

Mr Hong An Le, Dr Cedric Simenel

The SABRE Dark Matter Experiment

Multiple projects are available to support the SABRE dark matter particle experiment. These include local experiments at ANU, computer simulations to predict backgrounds and the overall experimental sensitivity, data acquisition system development and analysis of the SABRE measurement data.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Ms Yiyi Zhong

Plasma Applications and Technology

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

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

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.

Dr 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

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

Computer simulation of expanding plasmas

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

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.

Dr Cormac Corr

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, Dr Cormac Corr

Quantum Devices and Technology

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, Dr Liam McGuinness

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

Laser levitation of a macroscopic mirror

This project aims to be the first in the world to use the radiation pressure forces of laser beams to coherently levitate a macroscopic mirror. Applications of this scheme include precision metrology and test of new physics theories.

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Ben Buchler

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

Dual torsion pendulum for quantum noise limited sensing

Construct a small dual tosion pendulum which have their centre of mass co-incide and their rotational axis colinear. Inital diagnostics will be done using shadow sensors.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland, Dr Robert Ward

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

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

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

Frequency distribution over fibre for next generation Gravitational Wave Detectors

We will investigate the possibility to distribute a phase reference over a 100m long optical fibre with a stability of hundreds of nanoradians. If succesfull this solution will be part of a selection process for implementation into the LIGO observatories.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland, Dr David Gozzard

Diamond quantum computing and communications

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

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Andrew Horsley

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

Whispering Gallery Mode Resonators for Ultra-Sensitive Magnetometry

This projects aims to construct an ultra-sensitive magnetic field sensor from a whispering gallery mode crystal resonator.

Professor Ping Koy Lam

Multi-component quantum gases : instabilities, turbulence and dynamics

This project aims to explore and measure new or predicted phenomena in complex multicomponent quantum systems.

Dr Nicholas Robins, Dr Angela White

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

Probabilistic quantum cloning with noiseless linear amplifier

Student will use electro-optic feedforward techniques to implement noiseless linear amplification of information carrying laser light

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Thomas Symul

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

Exploring the limits of sensing with ultra-cold atoms

This project utilises a state-of-the-art multifield quantum sensor to develop new techniques and technologies for future high precision measurement devices.

Dr Nicholas Robins, Dr Christian Freier, Dr Kyle Hardman

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 Science and Applications

Optimised atom interferometry for space-based experiments

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

Hot entanglement with cold atoms

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

Atomic magnetometer for exploring physics beyond the standard model

The Global Network of Optical Magnetometers for Exotic Physics (GNOME) uses precision atomic magnetometers to look new physics.  The concept is to have a global network of magnetometers looking for correlated magnetic field fluctuations that may be caused by strange, and unknown physics.

Dr Ben Buchler, Dr Geoff Campbell

Creating quantum entanglement for improving measurements of gravity

This theoretical project will investigate and theoretically model how to create quantum entanglement within a Bose-Einstein condensate, with the motivation of improving the sensitvity of atom-interferometers used to measure gravitational fields. 

Dr Simon Haine, Professor Joseph Hope

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

Vibration control for optical interferometry

Develop an active vibraiton isolation platform to provide a quiet, small displacement environment for high precision inteferometry.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland, Dr Robert Ward

Laser levitation of a macroscopic mirror

This project aims to be the first in the world to use the radiation pressure forces of laser beams to coherently levitate a macroscopic mirror. Applications of this scheme include precision metrology and test of new physics theories.

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Ben Buchler

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

Integrated quantum photonics

The goal of the project is to understand new physical phenomena arising from quantum and nonlinear optical integration. In the future this research may open doors to new types of computers and simulators with information capacity exceeding the number of elementary particles in the entire universe.

Prof Andrey A. Sukhorukov, Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Kai Wang

Dual torsion pendulum for quantum noise limited sensing

Construct a small dual tosion pendulum which have their centre of mass co-incide and their rotational axis colinear. Inital diagnostics will be done using shadow sensors.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Professor David McClelland, Dr Robert Ward

Computing nuclei: numerical solution of the Schrödinger equation

Analytic solutions of real-world quantum mechanics problems are rare, and in practise we must use numerical methods to obtain solutions. This project will give you practical experience in solving the static and time-dependent Schrödinger equations using a computer.

Dr Edward Simpson, Dr Cedric Simenel

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

Diamond quantum computing and communications

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

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Andrew Horsley

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 Cedric Simenel, Dr Edward Simpson

Chaotic vortex dynamics in superfluids

This project aims to shed light on a fundamental physics question, what is the role of chaotic events in turbulent flows?

Dr Angela White

Instability dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will theoretically model instability dynamics generated at the interface between two superfluids. This is an opportunity for a student to be involved in a theory project that will drive current experiments in the atom laser and sensors group. 

Dr Angela White, Dr Nicholas Robins

Multi-component quantum gases : instabilities, turbulence and dynamics

This project aims to explore and measure new or predicted phenomena in complex multicomponent quantum systems.

Dr Nicholas Robins, Dr Angela White

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

Few-vortex dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will investigate how the dynamics of few quantum-vortices are altered in the presence of a moving second superfluid component. 

Dr Angela White

Exploring the limits of sensing with ultra-cold atoms

This project utilises a state-of-the-art multifield quantum sensor to develop new techniques and technologies for future high precision measurement devices.

Dr Nicholas Robins, Dr Christian Freier, Dr Kyle Hardman

Theoretical Physics

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 Cedric Simenel

Creating quantum entanglement for improving measurements of gravity

This theoretical project will investigate and theoretically model how to create quantum entanglement within a Bose-Einstein condensate, with the motivation of improving the sensitvity of atom-interferometers used to measure gravitational fields. 

Dr Simon Haine, Professor Joseph Hope

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

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

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

Nuclear fusion and sub-zeptosecond breakup reactions

Fusion probabilities at high energies are significantly smaller than theoretical predicted, in part due to disintegration of the projectile nucleus into lighter nuclei (breakup) on timescales faster than 10-21 s. This project will help us understand these fast, complex breakup processes and their influence on fusion.

Dr Edward Simpson, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta

Nuclear magnetism - magnetic moment measurements

This project builds on our established track record of developing novel methods to measure magnetic moments of picosecond-lived excited states in atomic nuclei, and the theoretical interpretation of those measurements. Students will help establish new methodologies to underpin future international research at the world's leading radioactive beam laboratories.
 

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

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

Optical nanoantennas

Antennas are at the heart of modern radio and microwave frequency communications technologies. They are the front-ends in satellites, cell-phones, laptops and other devices that make communication by sending and receiving radio waves. This project aims to design analog of optical nanoantennas for visible light for advanced optical communiction. 

Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko

Nucleons on a sphere

Quantum chemists have recently found exact solutions to the Schrödinger equation for n electrons on the surface of a sphere. The project is to extend this model to finite range attraction such as those between nucleons in atomic nuclei. 

Dr Cedric Simenel

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 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 Cedric Simenel, Dr Edward Simpson

Chaotic vortex dynamics in superfluids

This project aims to shed light on a fundamental physics question, what is the role of chaotic events in turbulent flows?

Dr Angela White

Instability dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will theoretically model instability dynamics generated at the interface between two superfluids. This is an opportunity for a student to be involved in a theory project that will drive current experiments in the atom laser and sensors group. 

Dr Angela White, Dr Nicholas Robins

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

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 Cedric Simenel

Lie algebras in particle physics

A reading course on the connections between the representation theory of Lie groups and the properties of fundamental particles within quantum field theory, using Howard Georgi's "Lie Groups in Particle Physics: from Isospin to Unified Theories".

Mr Hong An Le, Dr Cedric Simenel

Topological and Structural Science

Simulation of x-ray scattering from nano-objects

Develop and utilise computer simulations to analyse synchrotron based scattering from nano-sized objects.

A/Prof Patrick Kluth, Dr Christian Notthoff

Three-dimensional crystalline structures from two-dimensional hyperbolic tilings

A variety of projects are available that will contribute to the enumeration and characterisation of 3-periodic network structures via the tiling of periodic minimal surfaces and thereby enhance our understanding of self-assembled structures in nature.

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde

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:  4 September 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster