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150 years of Achievement


Home page of  Prof David N. Jamieson

David is a Professor of Physics n the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne. He served as Head of School from 2008 to 2013. This is one of the leading Physics Schools in Australia with more than 100 research, teaching and support staff together with around 90 higher degree students. He completed his PhD in physics at the University of Melbourne in 1985 and then spent 4 years working at Caltech (USA) and the University of Oxford (UK) as a postdoctoral research fellow. His research expertise in the field of ion beam physics, particularly in the use of focused ion beams for materials modification and analysis.

He is a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology. He has developed single ion implantation techniques for the deterministic doping of semiconductor devices and for charge injection and transport studies. A key outcome to date has been the successful fabrication of a nanoscale device that has demonstrated the control and readout out of a single electron spin or a single nuclear spin of an engineered phosphorus atom. This device is being used to test some of the key functions of a revolutionary quantum computer constructed in silicon.

He has been a finalist in the Australian Awards for University Teaching and has published over 250 papers in scientific journals, conference proceedings and 1 book. He served as President of the Australian Institute of Physics from 2005 to 2006 and is a Fellow of the AIP and the Institute of Physics UK. He also gives numerous annual public lectures around Australia on fundamental questions in Physics.

He was previously Director (1996-2008) of the Microanalytical Reseach Centre (MARC) in the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne.   MARC is a busy research group with major research interests in the fields of nanotechnology, especially quantum computer technology, and microanalysis.  MARC was founded in the late 1980's by Dr George Legge to house research activities associated with nuclear microprobe technology and applications.  This is still a major research interest of the group today.  In 2000 MARC became part of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Special Research Centre for Quantum Computer Technology which became the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology in 2003 and then the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology in 2010.

In addition to his professional activites at the University of Melbourne he has also served as the Vice President (2003-4) and President (2005-6) of the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). He chaired a working group coordinating the AIP activities for the Einstein International Year of Physics 2005.  This year, declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations, celebrates Einstein's miraculous year of 1905.  Both the international web pages and AIP web pages provide more information on the activities associated with this year (see also the links under OUTREACH below).

Also available here is a short CVphoto. For an up to date list of publications please search on "D.N. Jamieson" using Inspec or similar.

On September 15 2005 I gave my inaugural professorial lecture as part of the 2005 Dean's Lecture Series. The lecture title was "Einstein's revolution: quantum and relativity technology for the 21st Century". Here is a pod cast of the lecture (60MB mp3 file). This starts mid-way through the Dean's introduction. The sound quality improves when I start speaking.

Here is a second podcast titled: A Quantum Leap in Computing done by professionals as part of the University of a Melbourne "Up Close" podcast audio talk show.

On the night of December 6 2006 I was privileged to give the address at the dinner of the Australian Institute of Physics 17th National Congress. Here is a podcast of the address. In this speech I give my views on the role and challenges of Physics (and technology) in our society.

From 2010 to 2012 he convened a working group to develop a Decadal Plan for Physics in Australia. The plan was delivered to the Australian Academy of Science in November 2012. See the web site of the National Committee for Physics of the final version of the Plan.


We are always looking for PhD students to join our group and participate in our research activities.  Note that overseas students need to apply for a scholarship to support their studies.  You can see the information about scholarship application procedures at the University scholarships website.  More information about postgraduate studies in Physics is available here.   We are always keen to speak to students seeking to join us for higher degree studies. Please phone or visit.

  Here is a separate research page linking to downloads of  executable ion optics software, cross section data bases and other things.

You can find manuals for our hardware and software on the manuals page.

Here is a very ancient movie from the archives showing how to apply the grid shadow method to measure the aberrations of a magnetic lens. The quality is poor because of errors on the original medium. Click here for the avi movie.


I am very interested in outreach actvities that present physics to the general public.  Since 1990 I have organised and presented the "July Lectures in Physics" on fundamental topics in physics to a wide audience.  This series, which was founded by Dr Graham Sargood, Prof Tony Klein and Prof Geoff Opat has been running every year since 1968.  You can find a list of all July lectures since foundation here.

In the International Year of Physics 2005 the School of Physics and the AIP mounted a substantial campaign. The IYoP2005 web site lists some activities and also provides essays on the great Melbourne Physicist William Sutherland.  My essay on the fundamental role of Einstein's theory of relativity in explaining the phenomenon of magnetism is found here.

Galileo's invention of the astronomical telescope: the discovery of moons, stars and a new planet

In 2009 I presented a July Lecture for the International Year of Astronomy. The topic of the lecture attracted considerable attention worldwide. In the lecture I discuss Galileo's astronomical observations. In the last few months of 1609 and the first months of 1610 Galileo used his astronomical telescope of unprecedented precision and power to make an avalanche of astounding new discoveries. This triggered a revolution in the way humanity sees its place in the cosmos. Some of these discoveries are well known like the discovery of the moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus and the lunar landscape. But in the literature there is surprise drawn from the pages of Galileo's logbooks of 1612 and 1613. He notes the position of a "fixed star" that does not exist in any star chart. This is because it is really the planet Neptune which Galileo observed 234 year before its official discovery. Remarkably, the notes from Galileo’s observations reveal he observed Neptune move on two successive nights of January 1613. In the lecture I speculate if Galileo realised that this "fixed star" was a planet. If so, this would be the first discovery of a new planet by humanity since deep antiquity. As I discussed in the lecture, evidence that Galileo realised he had seen a new planet could still be hidden deep in his notebooks.

An extended article based on this lecture was published in Australian Physics 46 Number 3 May/June 2009 and is available here . The article references the prior work on Galileo's observations of Neptune.

In 2012 the BBC incorporated some of this material on a program celebrating the first birthday of Neptune. In this context the first birthday is the first orbit of Neptune aroud the Sun since it was officially discovered. The program incorporated an interview with me and an actor voiced some of the things I speculated that Galileo may have been thinking in 1613.

Here is a link to the BBC program on the first birthday of Neptune.

See also my lecture for the Royal Institution (Australia): "Will The World End In 2012? How Galileo Created Modern Astronomy That Holds The Answer"

Does E=mc2 apply to chemistry?

In 2010 I had the opportuntiy to contribute to a script for ABC science journalist Bernie Hobbs on E=mc2 and how it applies to all types of energy. Bernie presented examples drawn from chemistry, mechanics and the usual nuclear physics. Remarkably there was a lot of follow-up from members of the audience who were not sure it had applications apart from nuclear physics. This created a lot of dialogue until they saw the light. The program is here. The post-program discussion appears here.

Materials Research Society Fall Meeting 2012 - Symposium G

At this conference I was invited to speak on "Materials for Systainability (Symposium G)". I had the opportunity to link work from the ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology to this field. The talk was vidoed and placed on the MRS web site. Please note that while accessing the video presentation is free, you must create an account at MRS OnDemand. Once you have a username and password, you can access any of these presentations anytime for free. The presentation is number G1.04 located about half way down the page linked here.


All the resources provided for my teaching program of courses for students enrolled at the University of Melbourne can now be found on the LMS. In collaboration with Jon Pearce, and funding from CAUT, we developed a web-based teaching package, MARCSHOP, to introduce the fundamentals of ion beam analysis.  Although the technology is now almost obsolete, you can use vacuum tube video monitors to display real quantum mechanics.  If you have one of these old monitors and are looking for a real quantum mechanics demonstration (not a simulation) you will find it here


If you are visiting and looking for accommodation options and a map of how to find us, click here.


Office: Room 211, School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Victoria, 3010, AUSTRALIA

Phone: + 61 3 8344 5376, Fax: + 61 3 9347 4783, Email: email address

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