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.

Physics Labs
The Physics program has space for laboratory work at all levels, including a specially equipped laser lab with vibration-sensitive equipment mounted on Newport pneumatic isolation tables. In addition, the Physics program contains a computer lab as part of its dedicated introductory lab, allowing access to software such as Maple. These labs are equipped to support full semester courses in the Physics I and II Labs, Modern Physics Lab, Electronics Lab and Optics Lab.

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.

Hands-On Opportunities
Physics students have expanded their studies outside of the class through ISPs, tutorials, and thesis work, and our professors provide many hands-on opportunities for students:

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.

You might also be interested in...

• Study the planets and stars in the New College’s Astronomy Club.
• Take a field trip to Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry just an hour from campus.
• Longboat Key Physics Club, a group of 30+ retired international physicists who live in Sarasota and meet monthly. Students are invited to attend their meetings and to work with members as mentors and career advisors.

[Did you know?]

New College students work on major scientific research and outreach projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, the U.S. Army, AT&T Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities and diverse cultural organizations.

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