Our research

Our research

We run an active and rigorous research program, with national and globally significant impact. Publications and citations are generated at a consistently high level every year and Macquarie’s Physics and Astronomy researchers are regularly featured in leading international research journals. 

The Department is one of two leading research fund generators in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, with more than $13 million received in the two years 2017 to 2018. In the most recent Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation (2018), our physical sciences research again received a rating of 5 out of 5 – ‘outstanding performance well above world standard’, as did our research in the sub-disciplines of astronomical and space sciences, and optical physics.

Our recent research discoveries include the identification of electromagnetic duality as a critical symmetry for understanding nano-optics; the development of compact Terahertz radiation sources based on stimulated polariton scattering; diamond Raman laser innovations with applications including long-range sensing and defence; and the discovery of ‘blue straggler stars’ in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud. Most research activity within the Department is channeled through one of the two Australian Research Council (ARC) Centres of Excellence of which we are part, or through one of the four Macquarie University Research Centres led by the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

National Research Centres

ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQuS) EQuS ARC logohas a vision "to conduct world-leading research to exploit the potential of quantum science and develop a range of transformational technologies that will benefit society". Node Manager and Chief Investigator, Associate Professor Thomas Volz, leads the research team at the Macquarie node of EQuS including Professor Gavin Brennen and Professor Jason Twamley. Visit the EQuS website > here

ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics (CNBP) aims to "drive the development of new devices to measure and sense at the nanoscale level, providing powerful new ways of understanding cellular processes within the human body". Node Leader and Chief Investigator Professor Jim Piper (AM) leads the Advanced Detection & Imaging research team at the Macquarie node of CNBP. Visit the CNBP website > here

Macquarie University Research Centres

MQ Astronomy, Astrophysics and Astrophotonics (MQAAAstro) hasplanetary nebula image the unique advantage of access to our on-campus observatory. Led by Centre Director, Professor Orsola De Marco, MQAAAstro conducts diverse research that includes granny galaxies, supermassive black holes, radio astronomy and answers to the big questions about our cosmos. Visit the MQAAAstro website > here

MQ Centre for Quantum Engineering (MQCQE) incorporatesMQCQE logo the Macquarie EQuS research team. Led by Centre Director, Professor Gavin Brennen, MQCQE explores the complex world of the quantum to probe the quantum nature of reality. Visit the MQCQE website > here

red light scatter from fibreMQ Photonics explores the science of light and photons. Led by Centre Director, Professor Judith Dawes, MQ Photonics conducts research in optics, photonics and lasers for a brighter world. Visit the MQ Photonics website > here

MQ RC for Diamond Science and Technologydiamond structure (MQDSciTech) focuses on using the unique properties of diamond to develop novel solutions to the questions of tomorrow. Centre Director, Professor Jason Twamley, leads a team of researchers from a wide range of disciplines including physics, chemistry, molecular science, engineering and cognitive science. Visit the Diamond Science website > here

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