The ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering constitutes Australia’s largest university-based physics research activity, incorporating major national facilities, national networks, a significant technical manufacturing and prototyping capability, as well as an innovative teaching program.

Our research activity includes nonlinear and quantum optics and quantum systems engineering, soft and hard condensed matter physics, III-V semiconductor physics, nano-engineered and meso-scale materials, nuclear physics, novel imaging technologies and plasma science.

Our researchers have played important roles in some of the most significant breakthroughs in physics, including proving the existence of gravitational waves in 2016.

The observation of a gravitational wave, ripples in space caused by the collision of two black holes, confirms a prediction made by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity 100 years ago, and opens up new fields in physics and astrophysics.

The important role that our researchers played included constructing, installing and commissioning crucial components of the detectors used by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in the United States.

Fundamental and applied research, just like this, also sparks the development of novel technologies and have seen a number of successful spin-out companies go global.

In 2009 Lithicon, then named Digitalcore, spun out of the Research School of Physics and Engineering. The big commercial step was taken after 10 years of fundamental research by ANU scientists. Their research combined novel scanning technology and advanced computer algorithms to produce high-resolution 3D images and simulations of fluids in oil reservoir rocks.

Fast forward to February 2014, and Lithicon was acquired for $US8 million by microscopic technology company FEI, cementing a very special research relationship with ANU.

Field sites & facilities

Explore some of the numerous of research sites and facilities established by our Research Schools in Australia and across the world. Researchers and students at ANU enjoy access to state-of-the-art equipment to help facilitate ground-breaking research.

Research projects

Browse research topics of the College of Science and the College of Health & Medicine with links to relevant researchers.

For a list of potential student projects to apply for PhB, Honours, PhD and other graduate degrees, please refer to the student projects page.

Stories

Janet and Tim

Student blog

What we learned from meeting 39 Nobel Prize winners

Two ANU physics students, Janet Zhong and Tim Hume, recently joined over 500 young scientists for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany.

Career story

Celebrating Dr Elizabeth Bradford: the first woman to receive a PhD in physics from ANU

When Elizabeth Bradford was completing her PhD, the view from the Oliphant Building wasn’t of Lake Burley Griffin, but a grassy race track.

News

What can we learn from the ACT Scientist of the Year?

As nominations come to a close for the 2019 ACT Scientist of the Year award, we turned to the 2018 winner for her words of wisdom.

News

ANU scientists help unlock the potential of ultra-thin 2D materials

Scientists from ANU demonstrate maximum potential of ultra-thin 2D materials to generate electricity with sunlight.

News

New type of silicon promises cheaper solar technology

An international research team led by ANU has made a new type of silicon that better uses sunlight and promises to cut the cost of solar technology.

Academic profile

On balance: gender equality in science, health and medicine

To celebrate #BalanceforBetter, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, we ask researchers to reflect on gender equality in their research schools.

Impact story (giving)

Photonics scholarship lights the way

Wanda Henry and Marika Niihori never met. All the same, they have a connection.

Research story

Crystal-clear future for quantum computing

“It feels great to know that our approach was the right one.”

Our ANU

ANU teachers awarded for practical approach to student learning

ANU has won five coveted 2017 Australian Awards for University Teaching, announced by Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham.

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