Physics 425 Advanced Lab
- 1st 5 weeks: build and test a project
- You must select a project
by the end of the first week of the quarter
- For each scheduled lab an
email memo is required (2 per week)
- This will indicate how your
time was spent during that period
- These memos will count for
10% of your grade in this course
- 2nd 5 weeks: nuclear physics experiments
Some possible projects
- A. Build a current-carrying coil and feedback
circuit so that a magnet suspended beneath the coil appears to float at
- requires optical feedback of magnet position to control
- stability and feedback study will be important to making
the magnet 'float'
- B. Build a chamber which can be evacuated, and
in which a copper sphere will be located. The copper sphere will be heated
via a resistor and a thermistor will give its temperature. Wires must be
led out through vacuum seals. The idea is to test out the radiative heat
transfer from the heated sphere and the 'blackbody' aluminum can around
- C. Build an array of N ultrasonic transducers.
These will constitute an 'antenna' which will give a characteristic beam
pattern. This pattern will be measured and compared to theory. Then the
phasing to drive the array should be adjusted so as to 'sweep' the beam
of the transducers.
- D. Measure the acoustic doppler shift by having a transmitter
on an air cart and a receiving microphone at the end of the track
- transmitter and circuit and battery should all mount
on an air cart
- signals will be processed by a fourier transform to get
- pinger will be used to get cart velocity
- construction should include a constant-velocity launcher
so the cart can be reproducibly launched at the same velocity each time.
- E. Build a long tank to demonstrate the phase and group
velocity of water waves. Depth and width and length to be determined; probably
around 1 foot, 4-6 inches, and 4 feet would be ballpark figures.
- will need a driver to initiate a pulse of waves or a
steady stream of waves
- will observe phase and group velocity in pulses using
- will observe reflections from reflection due to abrupt
change of water depth.
- observe other interesting effects
- F. Determine magnetic birefringence in a liquid crystal
at varying magnetic fields and for various wavelengths. (Dr. Syed)
- G. Design and build a control circuit for a laser diode
- monitor laser diode output
- monitor laser diode temperature
- provide feedback to create constant laser output
- H. Some projects from Dr. Ditteon:
- Build and test a CCD camera for astronomical imaging.
Last year the Rose Astronomical Society began building a CCD camera. For
this project you would complete the construction of the camera and test
the finished product to make sure it works.
- Build and test a reflecting telescope. Another project
begun by the Rose Astronomical Society and not completed is the construction
of a Newtonian style telescope. To complete this project you would need
to grind and polish a mirror. You would also need to construct a Dobsonian
mount. Finally, you would assemble and test the telescope.
- Determine the rotational period of the Sun and the angle
that the Sun's axis is tilted with respect to the ecliptic. Use archived
Soho images. Successful completion of this project could result in a publication
in The Physics Teacher magazine.
- The Haystack radio telescope is allotting time for undergraduates
to conduct research in radio astronomy. For this project, you would conduct
research in order to prepare a proposal for Haystack. There won't be time
to actually conduct the research, but there is plenty of work needed to
prepare a good proposal.
- Currently the research being done at the Oakley Observatory
is asteroid astrometry. In this project you would learn to perform the
data reduction needed to submit data to the Minor Planet Center. You would
also learn to prepare scripts to control the telescopes and cameras. If
weather permits, you would be able to run one or more scripts.