A lab space for majors in Space Physics, the Modern Physics and Optics Lab is utilized by students taking the Modern Physics Lab (PS 315) and Optics Laboratory (PS 380) courses. The infrastructure in this lab includes a Zeeman Effect apparatus and a variety of lenses and lasers that allow students to study refraction and diffraction systems, LIGO, and principles of quantum mechanics.
Students taking the Modern Physics Laboratory course will conduct experiments in atomic and nuclear physics, including spectroscopy, nuclear particle analysis, X-ray analysis, and laser applications. This course follows the traditional laboratory course format where students reproduce classic experiments in 20th Century physics while following fairly detailed instructions from a laboratory manual.
The lab will also be home to Space Physics majors taking the capstone Optics Laboratory course. The lab houses many lasers, including a helium-neon laser, and aids students in the rather advanced course that involves both lab and lecture components. The Optics Lab course lets students use the Modern Physics and Optics Lab space in a less formal capacity – one in which students will be expected to design their own experiments and utilize the lab-space as needed.