Resources in Physics
Heiser Natural Sciences Complex includes teaching and research labs for Chemistry, Biology, Computational Science, Mathematics and Physics. The complex is home to a new state of-the-art Optical Spectroscopy and Nano-Materials Laboratory. The lab was funded through a multi-year grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. It is the largest federal grant in New College’s history. The faculty believe the lab gives students a rare opportunity to be involved as researchers and as co-authors on scientific papers. Learn more.
Beyond the regular course level, there are laboratories for doing advanced projects. These include measuring the speed of light with a rotating mirror apparatus, measuring the strength of gravity with a Cavendish setup, studying crystal structure with X-rays, making electronic measurements on semiconductors, performing optical experiments with lasers, doing precision optical interferometry, analyzing acoustical signals with a spectrum analyzer, making nuclear counts with a multichannel analyzer, and measuring optical spectra with a UV-VIS miniature fiber optic apparatus. Physics has two computer-controlled optical telescopes, a Meade 10.5" LX200, and a Meade 127ED 5" refractor. Additional state-of-the-art equipment includes an atomic force microscope, a micro-Raman spectrometer, an X-ray diffractometer, an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, micro-spectrophotometer and a differential scanning calorimeter.
• Professor Mariana Sendova, the lead investigator in the Optical Spectroscopy and Nano-Materials Lab, is involving her students in research that few liberal arts undergraduates can participate in. For example, they’ve been analyzing glazes on sculptures at the Ringling Museum of Art in research that will impact the historical and conservational aspects of art. “The lab is one of the most important developments New College has to be proud of,” she says. The $1.7 million lab in the Heiser Natural Sciences building collaborates with research institutes in Sweden, Germany, France, South Africa and Australia.
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• Study the planets and stars in the New College’s Astronomy Club.
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