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Advanced Physics Laboratories

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Experimental Environment

The laboratories are located in a new addition to the Randall Lab Building at the heart of Central Campus.   Laboratory stations are spread out in an area of over 2870 ft2 .   Most of the laboratory stations are in two large rooms (4268 and 4288), with experiment-specific setups,  in an environment specially designed for teaching.   Rooms are also available for  sample preparation and special material handling (4465, 4465A, and 4465B).   All rooms are fully equipped with modern built-in laboratory utilities such as chilled water, compressed air, overhead and wall-mounted power distribution and computer network buses, etc.   One of the laboratories (Room 4268) includes three separate regulation-compliant working areas for the use of Class III-B lasers. The laboratories also have access to an in-house liquid nitrogen supply, and a professional machine shop for special projects.


Computational Facilities

A network of modern computers provide the basis for our computing environment.  Every laboratory station includes its own fully equipped computer (Pentium 4 with 1.5 - 3.0 GHz processors running Windows XP).   Computer stations have the necessary hardware (GPIB interface, data acquisition cards, and video capturing cards as needed).   All computers stations are connected to the internet and all students have server storage folders for their work.
A variety of general purpose laboratory software tools are available, including:
  • Microsoft Office
  • LabView (a graphical programming environment)
  • Origin (Data Analysis, with some data collection)
  • Igor  (Data Analysis, with some data collection)
  • Mathematica    (a symbolic-logic mathematical engine)
Several hardware-specific software tools may also be available at a station, for example:
  • KSA 400 (for high-sensitivity image capture and analysis)
  • PMCA (for MCA8000A, a pocket Multi-channel Analyzer )
  • OOIBase32 (for a Czerny-Turner type Spectrometer)
  • R-2001 (for Raman Spectroscopy)
Laboratory personnel may also guide students in the use of high-level programming languages (such as C/C++) to monitor and control programmable instruments.