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Two researchers making tweaks to a machine used for physics experimentation


Investigating existence from the sub atomic to the universal
Our collective research interests reach beyond traditional physics and pioneer new ways of thinking and innovative approaches.

The quality of our research is recognised through our leadership in national and international research programs, including Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council Centres of Excellence.

In addition, prominent domestic and international collaborations with researchers in the United States, Europe and Asia, funded through multi-year competitive awards, present a range of invaluable research opportunities.

You can also be involved in nanoscience research projects being undertaken at the Sydney Nanoscience Hub, headquarters of Sydney Nano.

Andromeda galaxy

Research strengths

We are renowned in Australia and internationally for our high-profile research initiatives, which include:

  • major programs in astrophysics and space physics, including University-operated telescopes and links with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA)
  • leading international projects in both experimental and theoretical quantum physics, including opportunities in quantum computing through our new partnership with Microsoft Research
  • large-scale research into photonics and optical science for next-generation communications technology
  • interdisciplinary research in biological and medical physics, spanning computational physics, condensed matter and materials science, brain dynamics and clinical applications
  • a leading role in international research efforts at the Large Hadron Collider, contributing to fundamental tests of nature and work towards the discovery of the Higgs boson.

Research themes

Centres of Excellence and associated groups

The School is home to five Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence (ARC), one National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence (NHMRC CRE), an ARC Training Centre and two Cooperative Research Centres (CRC).

Collaborating scientists from multiple areas and institutions participate in these Centres:

Sydney Headquarters (NHMRC CRC)
Sydney Nodes (ARC CoE)
ARC Training Centres
  • ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, UAVs, and Their Applications (CUAVA)
Cooperative Research Centres (CRC)
Anglo-Australian Observatory

The Anglo-Australian Observatory operates the Anglo-Australian and UK Schmidt optical telescopes on behalf of the astronomical communities of Australian and UK astronomical communities.

Australia Telescope National Facility

The Australia Telescope National Facility supports Australia's research in radio astronomy. It is administered by the CSIRO and operates the Australia Telescope Compact Array at Narrabri and the Parkes and Mopra radio telescopes.

Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis

The Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis was set up to provide a facility for excellence in research and teaching. Courses are offered by members of staff in the centre and by some of the members of staff in Physics.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is an international centre of excellence in nuclear science and technology. ANSTO produces radiopharmaceuticals, works on a wide range of industrial and environmental problems and operates the OPAL nuclear research reactor.

Brain Dynamics Centre

Sydney's Brain Dynamics Centre is a world leader in integrative neuroscience. They are helping in the fight against mental illness, through the development of integrative brain models and analysis technologies.

Centre for Quantum Computer Technology

The Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology is an Australian multi-university collaboration undertaking research on the fundamental physics and technology of building, at the atomic level, a solid state quantum computer in silicon together with other high potential implementations. The objective is underpinned by a vigorous semiconductor research program that includes a sophisticated quantum measurement capability at ultra-low temperatures.

NSW Smart Sensing Network 

NSW Smart Sensing Network provides state-of-the-art solutions in chemical and physical sensing to deliver outcomes in areas of economic importance.