You can challenge yourself as an undergraduate physics student by working on a cutting-edge research project with our world-class researchers.
In your first year, the ‘Step into Research’ program offers the chance to undertake a small research project with one of the research groups in the school. In second and third years, it’s through the 'Taste of Research' program.
All research projects can be done voluntarily, or can earn course credits. If you are applying for credit you must formally enroll in PHYS1200, PHYS4200, SCIF2041, or SCIF3041. You can read more about these below.
Now that you’re familiar with course structures, explore the research projects you can work on through the 'Taste of Research' or 'Step into Research' programs. Below our researchers share the details of projects they are leading. These projects are available to undergraduate students in 2022.
My group’s research revolves around the physics of the early Universe and in particular what observations can tell us about the Universe’s history, composition and origin. Depending on students' prior knowledge and interest, I offer projects on topics such as cosmic inflation, Big Bang Nucleosynthesis, the cosmic microwave background, the formation of the Universe’s large scale structure, or machine learning for data analysis.
My research group works in the area of galactic archaeology, using the present-day properties of the Milky Way to investigate its history and evolution. I am offering projects studying the chemical compositions and orbits of stars in our galaxy, including:
These projects all involve python programming, and no prior programming experience is required.
My research group studies exoplanets--worlds orbiting stars other than our own sun--and the physics of their host stars. To answer these questions, we use data from the NASA Kepler and TESS missions, two surveys that together have obtained long-term observations of the brightnesses of millions of stars. These data can be used to detect the presence of planetary systems as well as understand stellar activity like starspots, flares, and magnetic cycles. Students involved in these projects will have the opportunity to work with large data sets and explore statistical data analysis methods to study planets, stars, and interactions between the two.
My research involves the theory and simulation of quantum materials and devices. My group has developed a number of computational tools and techniques to model and simulate physical mechanisms governing qubit operations, lifetimes, and coherence. With these methods, we collaborate with experimental groups to understand measurements, and to design and optimize quantum hardware. Our specialization is on silicon qubits hosted in dopants and quantum dots, but we also work on III-V material qubits. We also work on nano-electronic devices, including novel transistors beyond Moore's Law. Our goal is to utilize novel properties of emerging materials such as 2D and topological materials to design novel transistors and optical devices.
I am a theoretical physicist working on astroparticle physics and physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. My research focuses on neutrino and dark matter physics and relations of them to other physics. I am offering undergraduate research projects on neutrino oscillations, collider physics and the use of symmetries in particle physics, among others. Depending on the project there is a mix of analytical and numerical calculations. Please contact me if you would like to discuss possible projects.
Convection in the atmosphere is a high-Reynolds-number chaotic flow. This is complicated by phase changes of water which lead to localised heating and drag forces. We use explicit numerical simulations to explore its behaviour in idealised settings, so as to develop and test better convection models. These can be used to more accurately determine its role in weather and climate changes, including extreme rainfall. We also simulate realistic situations to better interpret observations, and explore the global implications of convective behaviour. Student projects are possible that involve working with big data, machine learning, development and testing of simple theoretical models, and examination of satellite, radar and/or other meteorological observations. Note that other staff in the CCRC may also be available to supervise projects in other areas of environmental physics such as ocean, land surface or larger-scale geophysical fluid dynamics.
Quantum simulation using donor-based quantum dots
Phosphorus-doped silicon quantum dots fabricated with scanning tunnelling microscopy lithography show promise for analogue quantum simulation. We will be performing research on potential applications of these devices for analogue quantum simulation of various physical systems.
Fast, high-fidelity spin readout
Electron spin readout requires the application of fast voltages to control the potential of quantum dots. We will be examining the use of machine learning to optimise the accuracy of which we can determine the electron spin state.
Characterisation and optimisation of STM tip preparation
Phosphors donor qubits and their control structures are fabricated with atomic precision by means of scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) hydrogen lithography. Our STMs depend on ultra sharp, chemically etched, tungsten tips to both image and perform the lithography of the hydrogen mask. The number of steps in our current fabrication process of these tips is limited, limiting their lithographic performance and device throughput. This project will look to characterise STM tips using a scanning electron microscope to try to understand the variation in tip quality and help us further optimise the tip preparation recipe. Both ex-situ and in-situ (inside the ultra high vacuum chamber of our STMs) treatment processes are to be consider and explored.
Quantum Algorithms on near-term physical devices
Quantum algorithms have been shown to provide a way of speeding up certain computationally demanding classical algorithms, across an extensive range of problem types, including optimisation, solving linear algebra problems and factoring large numbers. In these projects we will examine two broad aspects of quantum algorithms: how best can quantum algorithms be formulated to run on near-term physical devices, specifically the silicon hardware being developed at SQC; what other potential real-world applications can quantum algorithms solve.
Most quantum algorithms have sub-routines that are very commonly used. One of these sub-routines is the quantum Fourier transform, which is normally used before the measurement read-out step. In this project we will exam other types of transforms that could potentially rival the quantum Fourier transform.
There are certain operations that are repeatedly used during the course of a classical algorithm. Quantum analogues of these operations are also essential for quantum algorithms. In this project we will use classical machine learning routines to design quantum circuits for various essential operations.
One active area of research for quantum algorithms is finance, with quantum algorithms already developed to speed-up derivate pricing, portfolio optimisation and risk assessment. In this project we will consider solving portfolio optimisation with a quantum computer.
As mentioned above, quantum algorithms to solve the computationally demanding Monte Carlo simulations in the finance sector have recently been developed. These quantum algorithms are based on the quantum phase estimation algorithm. In this project, we will consider improvements and extensions to the quantum Monte Carlo simulation algorithm.
Many real-world problems can be mapped to a system of differential equations. In fact, a large percentage of the computational time of most high-performance computing facilities is spent on solving systems of differential equations. In this project we will consider various ways of improving the way differential equations are solved with quantum algorithms.
High fidelity 2 qubit gates in atom qubits in silicon (theory/experiment)
Electric-dipole spin resonance is a method to electrically control semiconductor spin qubits. We will be performing combined theoretical and experimental research on the fabrication, control, and measurement of 2 qubits gates using this technique based on phosphorus in silicon quantum dot qubits.
Characterisation of donor based quantum registers
The nuclear spins of the Phosphorus atoms in multi-donor quantum dots can serve as qubits forming nuclear spin quantum registers. These quantum registers can be operated in different regimes, for example with an electron present or completely ionised. We will experimentally study and analyse their characteristics during different modes of operation.
My research group studies how galaxies form and evolve over cosmic time by combining observations from the most powerful space and ground-based telescopes. My team connects observations of galaxies in the distant universe to understand how galaxies like our own Milky Way formed. Student research projects focus on learning how to analyse high resolution imaging taken at multiple wavelengths with the Hubble Space Telescope. These are used to measure galaxy properties with a focus on gravitational lenses.
The research in our group is focused on unconventional magnetism. This includes topologically protected spin systems such as skyrmions, or novel multifunctional materials. For example, multiferroics feature a simultaneous electric polarization and magnetic ordering, and both properties can even be switched by each other. I.e., with an applied electric field the magnetic order can be changed and vice versa. This opens new opportunities for technological applications such as new computer hard drives or in spintronics. We are investigating these materials by SQUID magnetometry, optical Laser spectroscopy and neutron scattering, in order to obtain a deeper knowledge about the involved physics.