Classrooms and Teaching Laboratories
General physics and engineering courses are taught in either the tiered physics lecture hall or the smaller seminar classroom for advanced classes. Along with the general physics laboratory, the physics department has two advanced level laboratory spaces for teaching. The optics laboratory, fully equipped with research-grade optics, is used for Optics Lab and Intermediate Physics Lab. The electronics laboratory houses the advanced Electronics Lab, equipped for studying both analog and digital electronics, as well as the computers and interfacing equipment for Computer Interfacing with LabVIEW.
The EPR spectroscopy lab houses a Bruker EMX spectrometer with temperature control equipment capable of operating over temperature ranges from 4.2-350 K. A furnace is available for synthesis of glassy samples, along with a glove box for handling of sensitive samples.
Student engineering and research projects often require machining of parts to build various apparatus. The department maintains a shop complete with mill, lathe, band saw, wet saw and many hand tools. A recent student project involved building a cell to study fluid dynamics at an interface.
The Pillsbury Observatory on top of White Science Center is equipped with a 14-inch Celestron telescope on a Byers Class 2 mount in a 5-meter dome. Accessories include a CCD camera (SBIG Model ST-9E) with color filters and image processing software and a full-aperture solar filter. A low-light-level monochrome TV camera and 20-inch monitor are available for observation of craters on the moon. Also, conventional film cameras are provided in both 35mm and 4x5 format, along with a well-equipped darkroom.
The Observatory is used during the fall semester in the teaching of the Physics Department's basic astronomy course. During both fall and spring semesters there are opportunities for its use by students who enroll in the Department's "Research Experience" course. There are also Open House nights scheduled each month for other students and the community.
As part of the introduction of the civil engineering major in Fall 2016, several classrooms and laboratories in White Science Center will be renovated to fit the needs of the department. These will house not only offices, but also the "clean" laboratory space needed. The "dirty" laboratory space will be found in an existing campus building that will be renovated to make way for the study of soils and water, mixing concrete, machining and more.