Facilities

In September of 2014, we moved back into a completely renovated Sanders Laboratory of Physics, now shared with the Department of Computer Science.  The newly renovated facility features state of the art classrooms, one of which is outfitted with two Smartboards and classroom-dedicated sets of Ipads, Macbooks, and Surface PC's.  Laboratory spaces have been signifcantly enhanced for both introductory, upper-level, and research purposes. A wide range of opportunities are available for physics students who wish to become involved in experimental work and research. At the introductory level, labs in the physics department focus on fundamental experiments in mechanics, electronics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and optics. Following work in the introductory labs, students use nuclear counting equipment and electronic measurement equipment to explore a variety of the experiments that form the basis of quantum mechanics and special relativity (e.g., the Michelson-Morley experiment) in the Modern Physics Lab. There are also several specialized labs in the Physics + Astronomy department that are directly correlated with active research projects being conducted by the faculty, including the Acoustics Lab, the Laser Lab, and the Ultrafast Optics Lab.

On the Astronomy side of things, as early as the first year, students have opportunities to work closely with faculty on significant research and are given access to sophisticated instrumentation at the Class of '51 Observatory, including 32-inch and 20-inch telescopes, each computer-controlled and equipped with an electronic camera and a spectroscope, and several smaller telescopes. Advanced students routinely accompany faculty on observation runs to Kitt Peak National Observatory and to off-campus astronomy meetings, and are often credited as coauthors on scholarly articles.

In addition to a large number of Macintosh computers used in the introductory laboratory and to a number of PCs in the solid state laboratory, the department of physics and astronomy has other computers and resources available for student and faculty use in coursework and research. Contact the department for more information.

See also, Scientific Visualization Laboratory