Department of Physics and Astronomy

Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy runs an active and rigorous research program, with national and globally significant impact. We focus our teaching and research in the areas of:

  • astronomy and astrophysics
  • lasers
  • photonics and nano-biophotonics, and 
  • quantum information and quantum physics. 

Our researchers and students have access to outstanding specialist photonics, quantum and optics labs, laser processing and optical characterisation facilities, and our on-campus observatory. 

We adhere to Macquarie’s Learning and teaching strategic framework. For support in using our teaching tools such as iTeach and iLearn, see Macquarie’s teaching technologies and tools page.

We also have strong outreach programs with schools and with our local community.

Head of Department

Professor Michael Steel

Professor Michael Steel is the Head of Physics and Astronomy. Mike joined MQ Photonics in the Dept of Physics at Macquarie University in 2007. His research interests include polarization properties of photonic crystal fibres, design of high-Q photonic crystal cavities, slow light structures, magnetic photonic crystals and quantum light sources in waveguides and nano-systems. 

Mike is a Chief Investigator in the renewed ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh-bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) which has been awarded ARC funding of $28.3M over 2011-2017.

Directories

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.

We are the leading research fund generator in the Faculty, with over $6 million received in 2014. In the most recent Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation, our physical sciences research 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 quantum physics.

Some of 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, and the invention of the diamond Raman laser.

Most research activity within the department is channelled through four University Research Centres:

See more information on the research our department does here.

Facilities

Our researchers and students have access to outstanding specialist photonics, quantum and optics labs, laser processing and optical characterisation facilities, and our on-campus observatory.

Collaborations and partnerships

We collaborate closely with local, national and international observatories, research organisations, and companies. Included in this area of expertise are nodes for three ARC Centres of Excellence:

Research funding support

The Faculty of Science and Engineering Research Office can help you with research-related questions, and should be your first point of contact. Further information can be found on Macquarie’s research web pages, including information on grants and funding.  

If you have travel requirements for your research, Macquarie does offer travel support.

In addition, when it comes time to present your research, our marketing and communications team can help you understand our brand and media engagement guidelines.

Engage with us

If you are interested in getting involved with our research, contact the Faculty of Science Research Office (sci.research@mq.edu.au). Or for more information on how to partner with us, contact our Research Partnerships Manager:

Mark Berlage 

Location details

Level 2
E6B
Macquarie University NSW 2109

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