Physics Facilities & Equipment

Major facilities and equipment used for student/faculty research and teaching at Wittenberg:

  • A 400,000 Volt Cockcroft-Walton positive ion accelerator, a basic tool for studies in nuclear and atomic physics and materials studies. Auxiliary equipment includes a scattering chamber, detectors, amplifiers, power supplies, and radiation monitoring apparatus for personal safety.
  • Elgar Weaver Observatory, home of a newly refurbished 10-inch refracting telescope that is equipped with a CCD camera and spectrometer for obtaining images and spectra of astronomical objects.
  • A laboratory for research into electromagnetic wave propagation and scattering. High-speed data acquisition is performed using a National Instruments PXI development system with real-time embedded controller and dual-channel 100-Msample/sec analog to digital converter. A 16-bit 40-MS/sec arbitrary function generator allows generation of novel waveforms for applications such as radio frequency virtual-instrument development and radar investigations. Real-time and off-line data processing is conducted using both LabView and MATLAB.
  • A laboratory for investigation of phenomena at the interface between nuclear and atomic physics. Work in this lab is carried out with a variety of equipment including diode lasers and optics, high vacuum equipment, and particle and optical detectors.
  • A laboratory for studying the transport and the thermal properties of a weakly-coupled dusty plasma.
  • A scanning electron microscope with x-ray analysis capability, for imaging and characterizing the elemental composition of small objects.
  • X-ray diffraction apparatus, for investigating the atomic and molecular structure of materials.
  • A 3-m optical spectrometer with gratings of 5900 grooves/cm and 11800 grooves/cm for spectral analysis from the near-ultraviolet to the near-infrared.
  • A laboratory with a variety of computer-interfaced instrumentation (including a high-speed video camera capable of 10,000 frames per second). The instrumentation in this lab is used for student projects and research as well as teaching introductory physics.

In addition, there are several other laboratories for studying an extensive range of physical phenomena. These include an optics laboratory equipped with a Michelson interferometer, grating monochromator, lasers, and auxiliary equipment, and an electronics laboratory equipped with digital oscilloscopes and function generators.

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