Foundational science is our first step in unearthing answers to life’s big questions.
Through fundamental and discovery research we begin to form patterns, sequences and develop theories to help explain the world around us. The fundamental theories in chemistry, mathematics and physics underpin innovation, transformation, and invention.

Applied mathematics
We apply mathematics and statistics to better understand realworld phenomena including environmental and biological fluid dynamics, chemical engineering and materials processing. We provide a scientific approach to decision making that involves formulating mathematical models of problems, and developing mathematical tools to obtain solutions.

Astronomy, cosmology and astrophysics
Our researchers have a wide range of expertise spanning astrophysics, optical physics, microoptics, cultural and Indigenous astronomy. We investigate the life and death of stars, birth and evolution of the universe, collider physics, and more, to better understand the physical universe.

Chemistry
We investigate functional materials, chemical biology, sustainability and the environment with cuttingedge knowledge and technology. Our researchers are dedicated to advancing understanding of chemistry to address key societal challenges in energy, environment and health.

Complex systems
Complex systems are intricate networks of interacting components that give rise to emergent behaviours not predictable from the properties of individual parts – more colloquially, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. They are characterised by several key features, such as nonlinearity, emergence, adaptation and selforganisation. The study of complex systems pervades much of the research carried out within the Faculty of Science.

Experimental physics
We study and test the application of physical theories and hypotheses. From the search for dark matter and the interaction of light to nanosatellite technology and quantum science, our researchers harness new knowledge to gather data of the physical world.

Mathematical physics
Mathematical physics applies and develops new mathematics for the understanding of physical phenomena and the rigorous formulation of physical theories, employing almost the whole range of pure and applied mathematics, as well as theoretical physics.

Matter and energy
Our researchers investigate the structural and intermolecular behaviour of ions, quantum chemistry, condensed matter, and mathematics associated with models of the physical world. We use nanoscience to discover new materials to improve renewable energy solutions and develop highperformance organic and perovskite solar cells.

Probability, statistics and stochastic processes
Statistics is the science of modelling and calibrating uncertainty in data. Our researchers develop tools that cut across probability and stochastic modelling that can be applied in areas from biological processes to financial markets. With today’s world of big data, principled and rigorous methodology is needed to make sense of this influx. Our researchers have the expertise to provide both theory and applications.

Pure mathematics
Pure mathematics is focused on the theoretical frameworks underlying other mathematical disciplines and adjacent fields such as physics, computer science, engineering and economics. Our research teams have expertise across a broad range of disciplines including algebra, number theory, analysis, geometry and topology and discrete mathematics.

Theoretical physics
We explore the fundamental nature of the universe through astrophysics, condensed matter physics, and quantum and particle physics. From understanding the early origins of the universe to new and emerging research in quantum computing, our experts develop and evolve theories that underpin discoveries, ideas, and innovation.
Research centres, partnerships and institutes

ARC CoE for All Sky Astrophysics in 3D
ASTRO 3D works on producing a comprehensive picture of the evolution of matter, the chemical elements, and energy in the Universe, from shortly after the Big Bang to the present day.

ARC CoE for Dark Matter Particle Physics
The Centre brings together experts from across Australia and internationally to unlock the secrets of dark matter, while also fostering the science and engineering leaders of the future.

ARC CoE for Exciton Science
A collaboration of academia and industry focused on innovative research to improve solar energy technology, lighting and security systems.

ARC CoE for Gravitational Wave Discovery
OzGrav builds on the historic first detections of gravitational waves to understand the extreme physics of black holes and warped spacetime, and to inspire the next generation of Australian scientists and engineers through this new window on the Universe.

ARC CoE for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS)
Combine innovative methods for the analysis of data with theoretical, methodological and computational foundations, provided by advanced mathematical and statistical modelling.

ARC CoE for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology
The Centre is focused on delivering worldleading quantum research to develop fullscale quantum systems.

ARC CoE for Transformative MetaOptical Systems (TMOS)
Our research outcomes will underpin future technologies, including realtime holographic displays, artificial vision for autonomous systems to see the invisible, remote Earth observation, and wearable medical devices.

ARC Research Hub for Smart Fertilisers
The ARC Research Hub Smart Fertilisers works to transform agriculture by delivering new nitrogen fertilisers and decisionmaking tools that increase efficiency of use by crops and reduce losses to the environment.

Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP)
ACAP's objective is to develop the next generation of photovoltaic technologies, providing a pipeline of opportunities for performance increase and cost reduction.

IBM Quantum Hub at the University of Melbourne
The IBM Quantum Hub at the University of Melbourne offers a complete approach for Members to gain early entry into quantum computing with the support of deep research expertise and the global quantum community.

Mathematical Research Institute MATRIX
MATRIX is where world leading researchers and experts from business and industry come together to collaborate.

Melbourne Centre for Data Science
MCDS is forging a vibrant, researchrich and engaging interdisciplinary environment to lead advances in data science for the benefit of society.
Explore other research areas
Life, the Universe and everything in between – our discoveries build an understanding of the world around us and help make it a better place.