Members of the School participate in an active and internationally recognised research program in Physics. Research areas include:
- Atmospheric Physics
- Environmental Luminescence
- Experimental and Theoretical Particle Physics
- High Energy Astrophysics
- Medical Physics
- Optics and Photonics
- Theoretical Physics
- Other research interest areas include: Mathematical Physics, Particle & Nuclear Theory
We also host 1 joint venture and 3 Research Centres:
- IPAS - Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing
- Centre of Excellence in Particle Physics at the Tera-scale (CoEPP)
- The Centre for Complex Systems & the Structure of Matter (C2SSM)
- The Centre for Advanced Nanomaterials (CAN)
- Centre for Energy Technology (CET)
- Adelaide Radar Research Centre
The Atmospheric Physics group is interested in all aspects of the physics of the atmosphere (and ionosphere) from the ground up to altitudes near 100 km. It develops and exploits new radar, passive and active optical techniques and GPS and other satellite techniques for remote sensing of the atmosphere. Examples of research projects include:
- Meteoroid fragmentation with radio holography
- GPS measurements for ground and space
- Radar investigation of the turbulence and radio-wave scatters in the lower atmosphere
- LIDAR and passive optical studies of the atmosphere.
- Radar imaging and radar interferometry of the atmosphere.
- Measurement for climate and meteorological numerical models.
Research focuses on the application of luminescence to sensing, particularly the measurement of ionising radiation dose and trace substance detection. The Optical Dating method enables our use of natural and artificial materials as radiation. Key facilities enable dosimetric, imaging, spectral and kinetic analysis. We operate in partnership with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).
Examples of research projects include:
- Post-radiological event dose reconstruction using concrete, salt, glass etc
- Photoluminescence detection of trace quantities of explosives
- Radiation sensing optical fibres
- Optical Dating applications in Archaeology & Earth Sciences
For futher information contact Adjunct Prof Nigel Spooner.
Through the new CoEPP, this group will be involved in the latest search for new physics at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. This includes the search for the Higgs particle, dark matter, supersymmetry, extra dimensions and quite generally new physical laws.
- Search for new Laws of Nature governing matter not seen since a billionth of a second after the Big Bang.
- Experimental participation in the ATLAS experiment.
- Theoretical investigations into super-symmetry and the search for dark matter
- Collider phenomenology and data analysis
The High Energy Astrophysics group studies the most extreme processes in astrophysics through observations of highly energetic cosmic rays, X-rays, gamma-rays and neutrinos, and associated theoretical investigations. Radio and optical observations are also undertaken to support the high-energy studies. Members of the group are leading players in several of the world's most important particle-astrophysics experiments. Highlights of the activities include:
- Extreme energy particle astrophysics with the Pierre Auger Observatory
- TeV gamma-ray observations with H.E.S.S.
- Astrophysical neutrinos searches with the IceCube detector at the South Pole
- Using the Moon as a giant neutrino detector with LUNASKA
- Millimetre radio observations with Mopra and Nantem to study dense gas in energetic environments
- Theory of acceleration and propagation of energetic particles in the Universe
This Medical Physics program operates in collaboration with Medical Physicists in Adelaide hospitals. The main areas of research are modelling of the growth and radiation kill of tumours, verification of dose delivered in radiotherapy and image reconstruction techniques. Other projects include:
- Dose distribution measurements in prostate brachytherapy
- Investigation of heavy ion energy deposition in a cellular matrix
- Monte carlo modelling of radiation beams and techniques
For further information contact Associate Professor Eva Bezak.
Research in the Optics and Photonics group encompasses all aspects of photonics including the development of optical fibres, lasers and their applications. It includes collaborations with exciting international projects to develop gravitational astronomy (LIGO, VIRGO and TAMA), for next-generation optical telescopes (Gemini) and remote sensing (BoM, WA DoE). The group also has world-leading facilities for the development and fabrication of new optical fibres, lasers and nove sensors, including facilities to produce soft and silica glass fibres.
- LIDAR development (including laser sources) for water vapour detection, upper atmosphere temperature profiling and pollution transport studies
- The development of novel fibres for high power lasers, mid-infrared fibre lasers, single photon sources and extreme non-linear effects.
- The development of advanced optical fibres for advanced sensing including the detection of viruses and water quality
- Surface functionalisation of glass and fibre devices (in conjunction with Chemistry)
For further informtion contact: Professor Tanya Monro, Professor Jesper Munch, Professor Andre Luiten, Associate Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem, Associate Professor Murray Hamilton, Assoicate Professor David Lancaster, Associate Professor Peter Veitch, Dr David Ottaway, Dr Shahraam Afshar, Dr Alexandre Francois, Dr David Ottaway, Dr Yinlan Ruan.
This group is internationally renowned for their research exploring the fundamental quantum field theories of the Standard Model of the Universe. As home of the Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter (C2SSM), significant advances have been made in unveiling the nature of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), the theory describing the interactions between quarks and gluons as they compose particles such as the proton. The group's work supports nuclear and particle physics facilities around the world, revealing the most fundamental aspects of nature and exploring the extreme conditions of the early universe.
- Lattice QCD, numerical simulations on parallel supercomputers
- Quark confinement, symmetry breaking and mass generation
- The astrophysics of neutron stars
- The observable effects of changes in fundamental constants with time
- Tests of QED in muonic hydrogen
- Deep-inelastic scattering as a probe of hadron structure
- Advanced visualizations of lattice-QCD data sets
- Chiral effective field theory
- Axion phenomenology and photon production in intense fields
- Finite-dimensional quantum affine algebras and their applications
Click here to view research groups web page: The Special Research Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter C2SSM.