Honours in Physics

As a physics honours student you become a member of the School of Physical Sciences and part of a research group.

The Department of Physics engages in research across a broad range of topics, all with strong national and international connections. Whether you are interested in industry-related research, or some of the big questions in modern day physics, you will find a project to match your career goals and interests.

Physics at the University of Adelaide has consistently won the top grade for research performance in the government’s Excellence in Research for Australia surveys. Come and experience how research is undertaken in world-leading research groups.

Study physics with lasers and optics

Honours lectures

This document contains information about the available lecture modules that you will build into your honours degree. 

HONOURS LECTURE MODULE DESCRIPTIONS

 

Honours projects

Supervisors with available physics projects have been added to the 'honours project finder’.  You may prefer to search under project sub-themes using the tabs below.
 

Read our guide on 'how to choose a physics project' before searching through the projects.

Browse all Physics Projects  Guide: How to choose a project

 

Project subthemes

Gravitational waves projects

Radar Rainfall Studies

Honours projects: Scanning weather radars use empirical relationships to calculate rainfall rates from the measured returned power. Depending on student’s interest various projects using a combinations of systems is possible. These could include sensor fusion, radar deployment, comparison techniques, validation with Bureau of Meteorology’s computational models, etc.

Transient Weather Events

Honours project: Integration of data from multiple instruments to determine the origins of recurring and transient weather events in the Adelaide area.

Using Satellite Detections to Monitor the Ionosphere

Honours project: Refining satellite detection techniques using a large radar north of Adelaide to develop new ways to measure the amount of plasma in the upper atmosphere and compare the results with other methods.

GPS Measurements from Ground & Space

Honours project: Use of GPS measurements from dual-frequency GPS receivers to study variation in electron density in the ionosphere and atmospheric water vapour.

Evolution of Interplanetary Dust Orbits

Honours project: Computational modelling of the trajectories of small objects in orbits around stars enables a better understanding of the evolution of planetary systems and interplanetary dust.

Radio Astronomy at 55 MHZ

Honours projects: Students will gain experience in radio interferometry techniques which underpin major astronomy programs in Australia such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Cloud Microphysics

Honours project: Development of balloon-borne optical instruments to investigate super-cooled liquid water in the atmosphere, and its effect on weather and climate models.

Active & Passive Measurement of Atmospheric Trace Gases

Honours projects: This project could develop along a couple of paths. either developing a lidar (active) that measures Raman-scattered light from water, and which will ultimately be deployed at Davis Station in Antarctica as part of a larger campaign to understand the influence of the Southern Ocean in the Earth’s climate system; or quantifying methane leaks, based on a knowledge of the local atmospheric conditions and measured methane concentrations.

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High energy astrophysics projects

Studying the Highest Energy Particles in Nature with the Pierre Auger Observatory

Honours project: Projects with the Pierre Auger Observatory in western Argentina which has been built to detect giant cascades of particles created in our atmosphere by the highest energy particles known in the Universe.

Predicting the movement and development of Cloud for Dynamically scheduling Astronomical Observations

Honours project: The purpose of this project is to develop software and procedures to assist with this dynamic observation scheduling, based on the current time series of cloud images.

Study of Nature's Extreme Particle Accelerators at Tera-eV (1012 eV) Gamma-Ray Energies with Hess and other Telescopes

Honours projects: Opportunities to study extended sources which may include supernova remnants, pulsar nebulae, star formation regions and also mysterious unidentified sources, as well as searching for transient/bursting sources in High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) data.

Data Analysis, Machine Learning & High-Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy

Honours projects: Gamma-ray astronomy projects which study the most energetic part of the electromagnetic spectrum and correspondingly require large telescope systems and state-of-the-art analysis techniques.

Advanced LIGO Detector Characterisation & CW Astrophysics

Honours project: This project provides the opportunity to work on continuous-wave (CW) searches and advanced LIGO detector characterisation as part of the OzGrav Centre of Excellence.

High-Precision Characterisation of Optics Using Hartmann Wavefront Sensors

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

High-Energy Neutrino Astronomy with the IceCube Detector at the South Pole

Honours projects: Honours projects which contribute to the IceCube detector science goals.

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Luminescence projects

Environmental Luminescence

Honours projects: The Environmental Luminescence group studies a range of real-world problems requiring the detection of ultra-low levels of light, of relevance to Environmental Monitoring, Quaternary Geology, Archaeology, Palaeontology, Earth Sciences, and Defence and National Security.

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Medical physics projects

Investigation of the use of Optical Photogrammetry in High Dose Rate Surface Brachytherapy

Honours project: This project utilises optical photogrammetry to address limitations of surface mould applicators for brachytherapy.

Characterisation of the Dosimetric Properties of Radiochromic Films

Honours project:This project will involve Monte-Carlo simulations of the dose deposition within the different radiochromic film designs.

Validating a Radionuclide Method for Radiation Shielding Verification in Medical Imaging Departments

Honours project: The aim of this project is to assist in the validation of a radionuclide NaI probe-based method that determines lead thickness and integrity using transmission data from a gamma-ray source (99mTc).

3D Printing of Optical Calibration Objects for High Resolution Medical Imaging

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Small Field Dosimetry with Beryllium Oxide Ceramic Fibre Optic Dosimeters

Honours project: This project will involve Monte-Carlo simulations of the beryllium oxide (BeO) ceramic dosimeter to determine the expected dose deposition when exposed to small fields. Experimental measurements will then be performed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and compared to other dosimetry systems.

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Optics, lasers & photonics projects

Intelligent Algorithms to Detect Blood Flow with Optical Imaging

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Computational Models of Lasers for Future Gravitational Wave Detectors

Honours project: This project provides the opportunity to adapt an advanced set of modeling tools to predict the performance of 2µm lasers and help optimize their performance.

Improving Fibre Laser Sources for Future Gravitational Wave Detectors

Honours project: In this project you will join the team developing 2 µm fibre laser sources and investigate the isolation of the laser cavities from the environment.

Characterising the Directional Stability of Laser Sources for Future Gravitational Wave Detectors

Honours project: In this project you will develop a new quadrant photodiode to measure the pointing stability of 2 µm lasers that being developed for future detectors.

Understanding Laser Beams

Honours project: The goal of this project is to explore the use of new imaging arrays for laser beam profilers that can cover a wide range of wavelengths.

Mixed Digital and Analog Control of Advanced Lasers

Honours project: This project explores the use of blended control strategies to optimise the performance of advanced lasers.

High-Precision Surface Metrology of Mirrors

Honours project: This project provides the opportunity to adapt an advanced set of modeling tools to predict the performance of 2µm lasers and help optimise their performance.

Machine Learning Techniques for Advanced Gravitational Wave Detectors

Honours project: This project will use advanced interferometer simulation software, developed by researchers at Adelaide, coupled with machine learning and Bayesian analysis methods to develop new techniques for extracting experimental parameters within gravitational wave interferometers.

High Resolution 3D Scene Mapping Using Advanced GW Technology

Honours project: In this project you will explore phase camera technology to understand its potential and limitations.

High-Precision Characterisation of Optics Using Hartmann Wavefront Sensors

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Cloud Studies Using High Power Eye-Safe Laser Radar

Honours project: This project explores the use of blended control strategies to optimize the performance of advanced lasers.

High Brightness Single Frequency Mid-Infrared Lasers

Honours project: This project explores the use of blended control strategies to optimize the performance of advanced lasers.

New Class of Germanate Glass Microstructured Fibre Lasers

Honours project: This project explores the use of blended control strategies to optimise the performance of advanced lasers.

Harnessing Nanoparticles In Glass Optical Fibres

Honours project: This project explores the use of blended control strategies to optimize the performance of advanced lasers.

Nonlinear Optics In Optical Waveguides: Can We Control Photons By Photons?

Honours project: This project explores the use of blended control strategies to optimize the performance of advanced lasers.

Novel Spectroscopic Analysis for Breath-Based Diagnostics

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

3D Printing of Optical Calibration Objects for High Resolution Medical Imaging

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Multiplexed Extreme Temperature Sensing with Fibres

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Exploiting Laser Threshold for High Sensitivity Biochemical Sensing

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Imaging Microstructured Optical Fibres

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Optical Fibre Temperature Sensors for Heavy Industry Applications

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Intelligent Infrared Imaging Sensors Using Machine Learning

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Micro-Structured Optical Fibre for High Power Laser Beam Delivery

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Sensing and Spectroscopy

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Quantum Atom-Fibre Photonics

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Frequency Standards and Distribution

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Quantum Mechanical Theory and Experiment

Honours projects: Accurate knowledge of optical parameters is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

Aerial Detection of Methane

Honours project: This project explores the use of blended control strategies to optimize the performance of advanced lasers.

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High-energy physics projects

Experimental High-Energy Physics

Honours projects: Projects in high energy physics with:

Theoretical High Energy Physics

Honours projects: Available projects include supersymmetry (SUSY), GUTs, dark matter, extra-dimensional models, composite Higgs models, and scale invariant theories.

High-energy Physics Phenomenology

Honours projects: Projects which combine experimental, computational and theoretical physics.

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Space & atmospheric physics projects

Radar Rainfall Studies

Honours projects: Scanning weather radars use empirical relationships to calculate rainfall rates from the measured returned power. Depending on student’s interest various projects using a combinations of systems is possible. These could include sensor fusion, radar deployment, comparison techniques, validation with Bureau of Meteorology’s computational models, etc.

Transient Weather Events

Honours project: Integration of data from multiple instruments to determine the origins of recurring and transient weather events in the Adelaide area.

Using Satellite Detections to Monitor the Ionosphere

Honours project: Refining satellite detection techniques using a large radar north of Adelaide to develop new ways to measure the amount of plasma in the upper atmosphere and compare the results with other methods.

GPS Measurements from Ground & Space

Honours project: Use of GPS measurements from dual-frequency GPS receivers to study variation in electron density in the ionosphere and atmospheric water vapour.

Evolution of Interplanetary Dust Orbits

Honours project: Computational modelling of the trajectories of small objects in orbits around stars enables a better understanding of the evolution of planetary systems and interplanetary dust.

Radio Astronomy at 55 MHZ

Honours projects: Students will gain experience in radio interferometry techniques which underpin major astronomy programs in Australia such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Cloud Microphysics

Honours project: Development of balloon-borne optical instruments to investigate super-cooled liquid water in the atmosphere, and its effect on weather and climate models.

Active & Passive Measurement of Atmospheric Trace Gases

Honours projects: This project could develop along a couple of paths. either developing a lidar (active) that measures Raman-scattered light from water, and which will ultimately be deployed at Davis Station in Antarctica as part of a larger campaign to understand the influence of the Southern Ocean in the Earth’s climate system; or quantifying methane leaks, based on a knowledge of the local atmospheric conditions and measured methane concentrations.

more...

Theoretical physics projects

Models of Hadrons & Hadronic Interactions

Honours projects: Projects using models such as NJL, or the MIT bag, to calculate hadron properties, to calculate reactions involving hadrons and to build quark models of atomic nuclei.

Lattice Gauge Theory

Honours projects: Projects in this area study lattice gauge theory by developing numerical simulations on high performance computers.

Effective Field Theory

Honours projects: Developing innovative techniques which serve to guide and interpret research at international experimental facilities.

Quantum Field Theory

Honours projects: Projects can be phenomenological or mathematical in character, or the focus may be on technique.

Complex Systems

Honours projects: Projects focused on complex systems which are are typically comprised of a large number of interconnected components which interact collectively, leading to emergent behaviour, such as self-organisation, which is not apparent from the properties of the underlying components.

Theoretical High Energy Physics

Honours projects: Available projects include supersymmetry (SUSY), GUTs, dark matter, extra-dimensional models, composite Higgs models, and scale invariant theories.

High-energy Physics Phenomenology

Honours projects: Projects which combine experimental, computational and theoretical physics.

Nuclear Theory

Honours projects: Projects exploring the change of the properties of protons and neutrons and the impact of this on the dense matter and properties of neutron stars.

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Other projects

Modelling the Aussie Rules Football Kick

Honours project: This project will look at the function of a human leg when kicking an Australian Rules Football. Motion capture data is available, and will be used in conjunction with OpenSim, an open source musculoskeletal model and dynamical simulator.

Semiconductor Physics

Honours project: This project will use statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations to investigate the self- assembly of organic semiconductor interfaces and the impact of the resulting interface structure on electronic processes such as charge separation, transport, and recombination.

Coulomb stress changes following moderate to large earthquakes

Honours projects: Investigate aspects of Coulomb triggering including the benefit of including fault information in Coulomb maps, the circumstances in which these stress changes trigger large events, and the extent to which they can be combined with statistical models to forecast earthquake rates.

Reduced dimensionality representations of soft matter

Honours project: Use methods from statistical mechanics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to develop algorithms to automate the dimensionality reduction process.

Interplay of structural & electronic properties in organic electronics

Honours project: Develop a more predictive approach to controlling organic electronic device performance, in particular by exploiting molecular anisotropy to manipulate the structure of organic semiconductor interfaces.

Molecular effects in membrane fluid transport

Honours project: Develop a general theoretical understanding of the fluid and membrane parameters that control membrane transport processes and to investigate deviations from continuum hydrodynamics predictions due to molecular effects, which could potentially be harnessed to optimise these processes.

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