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Vacation Scholarships

Faculty of Science Vacation Research Scholarships

These Vacation Scholarships are available for Australian/New Zealand residents currently enrolled at a university in the penultimate year of an undergraduate program in Science or a related discipline. The Scholarships are valued at $3800 for a 6 week research project.

    Closing date: Monday, 19 September 2016

A list of some research projects offered by academics in the School of Physics is below. Contact the supervisor directly if you are interested in a project.

Further information and application forms available here .

School of Physics Vacation Research Scholarships (UGVC1047)

The School of Physics is offering Vacation Research Scholarships to UNSW students who are enrolled into a physics major as part of any science or dual degree program. The Scholarships are for six weeks during the December 2016-February 2017 Summer Vacation, and are worth $3300 (tax-free). Applicants should have completed the second or third year of their physics major, or equivalent.

    Closing date: 5pm, 31 August 2016.

    Further information and a link to the Scholarships application website are available here.

Read about what some previous summer’s scholars did here:

Possible Summer Research Research in the School of Physics

This is not an exhaustive list of projects. Please contact other academics directly to inquire if they will offer projects.

Quantum transport in III-V nanostructures grown by templated epitaxy
Supervisor: A/Prof Adam Micolich
This project will contribute to our work on the quantum transport properties of III-V nanostructures grown by advanced templated epitaxy techniques. Our goal is to develop novel materials combinations and nanoscale device architectures to facilitate studies of phenomena such as excitonic superfluidity and topological insulator behaviour in the 1D limit. This is a collaborative project with the Australian National University. This project is suited to students with a background/interest in experimental solid state physics. For more details, see https://www.physics.unsw.edu.au/research/condensed-matter-physics/projects/getting-back-extra-dimension-%E2%80%93-nanodevices-based-self

Tripwire: Nanotube transistors for electronic read-out in maze-based biological computation
Supervisor: A/Prof Adam Micolich
This project is on the development of carbon nanotube transistors as real-time electronic sensors for biomolecular motors. Our goal is to use the nanotube as a 'tripwire' to electrically detect passing actin filaments in on-chip molecular motor assays. Possible applications include nanoscale cargo trafficking and read-out for maze-based biological computation. This is a collaborative project with Lund & Linnaeus Universities in Sweden. This project is suitable for students with a physics, chemistry, nanotech or engineering background (may suit biotech students with device exp. also). For more details, see: https://www.physics.unsw.edu.au/research/condensed-matter-physics/projects/nanoscale-devices-traffic-monitoring-chip-based-motor

Calculating unknown spectra of superheavy elements
Supervisor: Dr. Julian Berengut
The study of the superheavy elements (nuclear charge Z > 100) is an important multidisciplinary area of research involving nuclear physics, atomic physics, and chemistry. Calculations of the atomic spectra are needed for planning and interpreting measurements; these involve understanding the role of quantum electrodynamic and many-body effects. Our group has developed  high precision computer codes for atomic calculations. A student should use these codes to perform calculations of atomic properties to help guide experimental efforts.
A strong interest in theoretical physics and numerical calculations is essential for this project.

Projects in voice and music acoustics
Supervisor: Prof Joe Wolfe
The Acoustics Lab at UNSW specialises in the fundamental physics of the human voice, and also of musical instruments, where we are chiefly interested in the player-instrument interaction. In most of our projects, it is convenient for the researcher to be his/her own first subject, while the techniques are being investigate. For that reason, projects in this lab and usually negotiated with students individually: it is convenient for a student with a particular voice range (e.g. soprano or bass) to work on a projected suited to that range, or for a player of instrument X to study that or a closely related instrument. Potential students should therefore contact Joe Wolfe directly. A good idea of the range of projects can be gathered from our publications list and our labs outreach web site

Coherent spin control of organic electronics
Supervisor: Dr Dane McCamey
Coherent quantum effects are usually associated with extremely low temperature, making widespread technological applications difficult. This project will investigate organic semiconductors, a class of material which exhibit quantum coherence in devices operating at room temperature. It will involve activities ranging from device design and fabrication in an oxygen free environment,  to developing experimental systems for room temperature coherent control of spin states. The goal is to perform electrically detected spin resonance experiments on a range of organic molecules, thereby increasing our understanding of spin coherence in these materials.

Physics of metamorphic proteins
Supervisor: Prof Paul Curmi
A protein is a macromolecule that has the physical properties of a solid with nanometer dimensions – a nanosolid.  Most proteins have a unique three-dimensional structure that is dictated by the sequence of the protein.  Recently, it has been shown that some proteins have the ability to switch between two distinct three-dimensional structures – they have been called metamorphic proteins.  In this project, we will explore the physical properties of CLIC1 – one of the first identified metamorphic proteins.  The aim of the project will be to control the “switching” process.

Topological quantum phase transitions in quantum materials.
Supervisor: Professor Oleg Sushkov
This theoretical project has two levels.
1) For a student after 2nd year the aim is to study properties of artificial graphene with deformed superlattice.
2) For a student after 3rd year the aim is to study the phase diagram of artificial topological insulator.