Physics Research

Our physics research captures international attention in the world's best research journals, as we collaborate with national and international partners on cutting-edge global physics projects.

  • We explore the fundamental studies of the structure of sub-atomic matter, and develop novel optical and photonic systems for a wide range of applications.
  • We investigate the upper atmosphere using a network of sites that stretch from the equator to the Antarctic.
  • We analyse the structure of the universe under, above and beyond the earth through our astrophysics and geophysics programs.
  • We aim to improve healthcare through our medical physics research.

Our recent highlights include the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN; the discovery of gravitational waves by LIGO; and the discovery of astrophysical neutrinos by IceCube.

Data science and super-computing

Modern science meets technology. Modelling complex systems and analysing big data to apply expertise to complicated environmental, social and financial systems.

Environmental sensing

Using lasers and optical fibres to measure time and materials in the Earth to improve the accuracy of mining; and to forensically examine archaeological and palaeontological sites.

High-energy astrophysics and extreme astronomy

Studying extreme processes in astrophysics through observation of highly-energetic cosmic rays, gamma rays, visible light, neutrinos and gravitational waves.

Medical physics

Improving clinical radiotherapy and medical imaging, and exploring future clinical applications of proton therapy.

Image courtesy Dr Michael Douglass

Nuclear and particle physics

Undertaking research across all aspects of subatomic physics, including theoretical and experimental studies in QCD, particle physics, and dark matter.

Optics, lasers and photonics

New photonic technologies for scientific, industrial, mineral, environmental, agricultural and medical applications.

Space and atmospheric physics

Exploring Earth from the ground up. From weather and climate, to solar events which affect power lines, radar surveillance, telecommunications and space vehicles.

Defence and Security

Using physics to enhance and improve Australia's defence and security

Research strengths

Our scientists work across the following multidisciplinary themes. Across all themes, our research has been rated by Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) as:

  • Well above world standard: Astronomical and space sciences; Atomic, molecular, nuclear, particle, and plasma physics; Optical physics

Physics news

The sky’s the limit

Episode 2, In Their Element Podcast Meet space science and astrophysics graduate Phoebe De Wilt whose career is reaching new heights at the Bureau of Meteorology.


Study options

Explore the honours and PhD options within the school.

Find a researcher

Search our research database for experts and supervisors.

Partner with us

Learn how we can help you solve your scientific problems.