Optical springs

This project will be focused on creating an extremely low-noise optomechanical filter cavity to improve the sensitivity of gravitational wave detectors.

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Parametric instability

Investigating the extreme conditions required for parametric instability in an 80-meter optical cavity.

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Teaching Einsteinian physics

Is it beneficial to teach Einsteinian physics in school?

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Multi-messenger astronomy

Investigating the transient universe filled with fleeting flashes from the most exotic phenomena in the cosmos.

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At AIGRC, our postgraduates work closely with their supervisors seeking to understand and invent new instruments for the future.  

Optical springs:  towards measurements below the standard quantum limit

We will be fabricating low-noise resonators with international partners in Austria, Taiwan, Holland and France.  These resonators are designed to have a macroscopic mass suspended with nanoscale suspension, in order to achieve extremely low mechanical coupling. We can then use radiation pressure to achieve thermal noise free optomechanics.
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Control of parametric instabilities

Parametric instability is an intrinsic risk in high power laser interferometer gravitational wave detectors, in which the optical cavity modes interact with the acoustic modes of the mirrors leading to exponential growth of the acoustic vibration.  This project is to investigate and test methods to control the instabilities.
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High performance vibration isolation system and control

Gravitational wave detectors are the most sensitive instruments ever built.  They require extremely high performance suspension systems with sophisticated control systems to isolate environmental noise.  Based on our innovative seismic isolation system, this project is to further improve the performance of the system using advance control schemes.

Airborne mineral exploration instrumentation

The advance of the next generation of airborne geophysical tools can uncover the deep Earth. State of the art gravity gradiometers and magnetometers are currently limited by aircraft motion and turbulence. In collaborating with industries, this project is to develop new vibration isolators and algorithms which will allow these instruments to image through increasing amounts of cover.
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Einsteinian physics at an early age

This project is to evaluate that it is possible, and indeed beneficial, to begin to teach the concept of Einsteinian Physics at an early age. The PhD student will develop new curriculum materials with the help of physicists and will work with a few selected school groups.
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Probing the transient universe with a robotic telescope

This project uses the UWA 1m robotic Zadko Telescope to perform the following transient sky science:
  • Search for optical transients in coincidence with gravitational wave candidates triggered from LIGO
  • Earth orbiting space debris identification and tracking
  • Multi-messenger astronomy: optical observations combined with the ANTARES neutrino detector and the gravitational wave observatory LIGO to search for coincident transient phenomena
Projects involve collaborators in France.
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Gamma ray bursts (GRBs)

Gamma-ray bursts are the most luminous electromagnetic transients in the Universe and are observed out to incredible distances. Combining the data from multi-wavelength observations over the last two decades have provided valuable insights into these bursts. However, there are still many outstanding questions: What are the engines that drive these explosions? What are their cosmic histories ? How are they related to Gravitational Wave sources ? This project seeks to understand and explore these violent cataclysmic transients.
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Detecting gravitational waves from coalescing binaries of neutron stars and black holes

Gravitational wave signal processing, high-performance supercomputing and multi-messenger astronomy.
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Detecting nanohertz gravitational waves using pulsar timing arrays

This project will search for nanohertz gravitational waves from binaries of supermassive black holes using Australia-based Parkes Pulsar Timing Array data.
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