Labs and Equipment

Whether enrolled in physics courses or engaged in research with faculty, our students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that rival that of many research universities.

The Shiley Center for Science and Technology opened in 2003 with all new laboratories and top-of-the-line equipment designed to foster faculty and student research, hands-on learning, and interdisciplinary endeavors. Well-equipped faculty research labs, teaching labs, and interdisciplinary spaces enable students to be trained in cutting-edge experimental techniques and instrumentation that prepare them for success in future careers.


Faculty Research Labs

Anderson Lab

The Anderson Research Lab focuses on understanding the biomolecular forces and motion that give rise to the fascinating properties of squishy biological materials. The instrumentation her lab is equipped with include: force-measuring optical tweezers, a fiber-coupled laser, a fluorescence microscope, a bright field microscope, piezoelectric actuators, high-speed CMOS cameras, photodiodes, an ultracentrifuge, a plasma cleaner, digital data acquisition systems, gel electrophoresis equipment, microfluidic syringe pumps, incubators, and sonicators.

Dezen & Kishimoto Lab

Dezen and Kishimoto’s Disk and Neutrino Astrophysics Research Lab leverages both theoretical and computational methods to study high-energy astrophysics, cosmology and astroparticle physics. They have three high-end iMac computers with quad-core hyper-threading Intel Core i7 processors as well as scientific computing software including MATLAB, Mathematica, Python and IDL.They also has dedicated access to the on-campus high-performance parallel computing cluster for running large-scale simulations.

McGorty Lab

The McGorty Research Lab investigates different soft or squishy materials (emulsions, suspensions and somee biological materials). To do so, they develop and construct a variety of optical microscopy tools. The instrumentation in his lab includes: a light-sheet fluorescence microscope, a bright-field microscope, microscopes with programmable illumination, a digital holographic microscope, an adaptive-optics deformable mirror, an electrically tunable lens, digital cameras, motorized and piezoelectric positioners, colloid/nanoparticle synthesis equipment, Arduinos and Raspberry Pis, a digital craft cutter machine, and a 3D printer.

Severn Lab

The Severn Research lab focuses on understanding ion dynamics at the plasma boundary, and how plasma shields out external potentials at material surfaces. The instrumentation in his lab includes: tunable diode lasers, optical amplifiers, choppers and lock-in amplifiers, etalons, optogalvanic cells, Langmuir and emissive probes, wave launching grids, a vacuum chamber, turbo and roughing pumps, and digital data acquisition systems.

Advanced Teaching Labs

PHYS 381

In Experimental Biophysics, biophysics majors are trained in the following techniques/instrumentation: optical tweezers, brightfield microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, laser scanning confocal microscopy, digital data acquisition, and quantitative image and data analysis software.

PHYS 480

In Experimental Modern Physics, physics majors are trained in the following techniques/instrumentation: RF Optical pumping, pulsed NMR, saturation absorption spectroscopy, optical beam steering, tunable diode lasers, low temperature plasma confinement, Langmuir probes, and digital data acquisition.

Computational Facilities

Our 10  labs are equipped with 55 PCs and Macs for student use in courses and research. Computers are equipped with scientific data analysis software including MATLAB, LabView, Python, Fiji, and Origin. Many of the computers also interface with digital data acquisition systems from National Instruments and PASCO. Each computer is replaced on a 3-year cycle to ensure continued high performance.