Project level: PhD

Optical devices provide unprecedented sensitivity in measurements of motion and of properties that couple to motion, such as as forces, magnetic fields, spin, and temperature. Most notably, the sub-atomic-mucleus-precision of  kilometre-scale optical sensors has recently allowed the observation of gravitational waves emitted by black holes and neutron stars in distance galaxies. Gravitational wave detectors push measurement to its extremes, even into regimes where quantum mechanics plays a crucial role. An area of focus in our laboratory is to take the techniques and technologies developed for these detectors, miniaturise them to micro- and nano-scale on a silicon chip, and apply them to advance optical sensors focused on practical applications, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), trace-gas sensing, and accelerometry. Projects are available both to develop the fundamentals of the sensing technologies themselves and to apply them into applications relevant to our industry partners, who include Boeing and Orica. Experience/interest in laser-based measurements, micro-/nanofabrication, cavity optomechanics and/or technology translation would be an advantage.

Project members

Professor Warwick Bowen

School of Mathematics and Physics