Kristian Helmerson


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Personal profile


Kristian works in the School of Physics at Monash University as a Professor

Kristian's research areas of interest are:

My research interests are in the physics and application of ultracold atomic gases and the application of optical techniques to address problems in biophysics and biotechnology. A common thread in my research is the use of lasers and, in particular, the optical forces that can be generated by light. Current studies with ultracold atomic gases include superfluidity in the presence of disorder and/or reduced dimensionality, quantum turbulence, and the physics of two-dimensional electron gases simulated by atoms in an optical lattice. Current experiments in biophysics include the development of techniques for isolating and studying single biomolecules, the behaviour of biomolecules in confined geometries and directed self-assembly of nanoscale objects from biomembranes.

PhD and honours positions available

Projects are available for students interested in either experimental or theoretical work. Projects can be tailored to include a mix of theory and experiment, and are available at honours and PhD level.


  • Ultracold atomic gases
  • Biophysics
  • Biotechnology

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Projects 2010 2024

ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-energy Electronics Technologies

Fuhrer, M., Bao, Q., Culcer, D., Davis, M., Davis, J., Hamilton, A., Helmerson, K. P., Kalantar-Zadeh, K., Klochan, O., Medhekar, N., Ostrovskaya, E., Parish, M. M., Schiffrin, A. E., Seidel, J., Sushkov, O., Valanoor, N., Vale, C., Wang, X., Wang, L., Galitskiy, V., Gedik, N., Gurarie, V., Hannon, J., Hoefling, S., Hone, J., Klose, F., Krausz, F., Littlewood, P., MacDonald, A., Neto, A., Oezyilmaz, B., Paglione, J., Phillips, W., Refael, G., Sinova, J., Spielman, I., Tadich, A. & Xue, Q.

Australian Research Council (ARC), Monash University – Internal School Contribution, Monash University – Internal Department Contribution, Monash University – Internal Faculty Contribution, Monash University – Internal University Contribution, University of Wollongong, The University of Queensland , Tsinghua University, The University of New South Wales, Australian National University , RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology


Project: Research

Australian Quantum Gas Microscope

Vale, C. J., Sidorov, A. I., Hannaford, P., Drummond, P., Close, J. D., Truscott, A., Robins, N. P., Scholten, R. E., Martin, A., Rubinsztein-Dunlop, H., Davis, M. J., Helmerson, K. P., Turner, L. D., Parish, M. M. & Pfau, T.

Project: Research

Foundation technology for quantum measurement, sensing and computing.

Helmerson, K. P., Anderson, R. P., Biercuk, M., Hollenberg, L., Luiten, A., Scholten, R., Simpson, D., Turner, L. D. & Starr, R.

Australian Research Council (ARC)


Project: Research

Research Output 2005 2016

Optical vortex knots - one photon at a time

Tempone-Wiltshire, S. J., Johnstone, S. P. & Helmerson, K. 18 Apr 2016 In : Scientific Reports. 6, 6 p., 24463

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

High efficiency holographic optical traps for cold atoms

Tempone-Wiltshire, S., Johnstone, S., Starkey, P. & Helmerson, K. 2015 Proceedings of Frontiers in Optics 2015, FIO 2015: San Jose, California United States; 18–22 October 2015. Washington DC USA: Optical Society of America (OSA), 2 p. FTh1C.7

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper

Condensed-matter physics: History matters for a stirred superfluid

Davis, M. J. & Helmerson, K. P. 2014 In : Nature. 506, 7487, p. 166 - 167 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Emergence of order from turbulence in an isolated planar superfluid

Simula, T. P., Davis, M. J. & Helmerson, K. P. 2014 In : Physical Review Letters. 113, 16, 5 p., 165302

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle