James Gardner

Physics Research Student

About Me

Hi, my name’s James, and I’m a physics research student. I currently work at The Australian National University’s Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics as part of the theoretical arm of the quantum-squeezing research group and the detector network benchmarking group.

My research interests include Quantum Optics, Gravitational Waves, and Quantum Squeezing. I enjoy discovering a simple understanding of physical phenomena from complex analytic models. I believe in Open Research and Open Source. My CV is available as a PDF here.


Australian National University (ANU)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physics

2022 - present

I have accepted an offer to commence a Physics PhD at ANU in June 2022. This will hopefully involve close collaboration with and visits to The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena CA, USA. My research will involve theoretical work in quantum opto-mechanics motivated by similar goals outlined in my Honours thesis (see below).

Australian National University (ANU)

Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) in Science with First Class Honours in Physics

2018 - 2021

During my time at ANU, I enjoyed learning through asking many fruitful questions and found good company and help from my peers.

My First Class Honours thesis is available here, in which I explored a novel use of quantum squeezing to improve the sensitivity of gravitational-wave detectors (called Nondegenerate Internal Squeezing). The slides for my final Honours talk to the ANU School of Physics are available here.


Australian National University (ANU)

Research Officer Grade 5/6 (full time)

February - June 2022

I am currently working as a research assistant at CGA on benchmarking future gravitational-wave detector networks to assess the science case for a detector in Australia. This involved Python programming using an existing package (gwbench) and Bash scripting to interact with Swinburne’s OzStar supercomputer.

Awards and scholarships

  • Yale Physics PhD offer (with funded tuition and stipend) - 2022
  • Australian Government Research Training Program Domestic Scholarship - 2022
  • ANU Supplementary Scholarship - 2022
  • ANU First Class Honours - 2021
  • ANU Achievement Prize for Third Year Physics - 2020
  • ANU Dean’s Science Education Commendation Award - 2020
  • ANU National University Scholarship - 2018–2021

Publications as James W. Gardner

  • James W. Gardner, Hannah Middleton, Changrong Liu, Andrew Melatos, Robin Evans, William Moran, et al., 2022, Continuous gravitational waves in the lab: recovering audio signals with a table-top optical microphone, American Journal of Physics. This article may be downloaded here for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in the American Journal of Physics 90, 286 (2022) and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1119/10.0009409.

Involvement in the research community


  • LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA collaboration joint meeting of the advanced interferometer configurations, quantum noise, and laser and auxiliary working groups - March 2022, Nondegenerate internal squeezing
  • OzGrav data/astrophysics meeting - February 2022, Continuous gravitational waves in the lab: recovering audio signals with a table-top optical microphone
  • LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA collaboration interferometer simulation group - December 2020, Verification of the newly-added non-linear element in Finesse for optical modelling of advanced gravitational-wave detector configurations
  • Various presentations to the ANU Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics

Slides are available upon request.


  • The Cosmic Explorer Consortium (ANU group) - 2022–present
  • The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC - OzGrav - ANU group) - 2022–present
  • The Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics - ANU - 2020–present
  • The Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav, ANU Node) - 2020–present


Outside of academia

When I am not working in the quantum realm, I enjoy playing games and music with friends. I love storytelling and Dungeons & Dragons. I play the trombone (jazz) and piano accordion (folk) and adore Don Ellis’s Autumn.