The ANU Research School of Physics 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.

School

Research School of Physics

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.

See our list of potential student projects to apply for PhB, Honours, PhD and other graduate degrees.

Stories

News

Lights on for holograms in your hands and super-fast Li-Fi

A new centre will focus on linking the digital & physical worlds through light, thanks to $34.9 million in Australian Government funding.

Research story

Behind the scenes of science

The unsung heroes of science: meet the people who make our research possible.

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.

Student blog

Passionate science: 6 STEM students share their hobbies

Six STEM students from the ANU share their passions within and outside the realm of science.

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.

Student blog

How to survive winter exams

Elmie knows a thing or two about doing the exam period right.

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.

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