Location: Bowdoin / Physics and Astronomy / Research & Facilities / Facilities

Physics and Astronomy

Facilities

bowdoin physics resources The physics department is well equipped for both research and instruction. Two superconducting magnets, the smaller one operating at a field up to 6 tesla and the other reaching 13.5 tesla, are used in research on the quantum Hall effect, superconductivity, and resonant tunneling studies. A helium leak detector and a computer-based data acquisition system are available for cryogenic work. A mobile pumping station capable of achieving vacuum in the range of 10 -8 torr can be used for gas transfer and sample preparation work. The department has a class 1000 clean room for processing semiconductors and for other applications requiring a controlled environment. The clean room contains a Karl Suss photolithographic mask aligner that is able to pattern microscale circuits and devices. Two intrinsic-germanium detectors and a multiparameter analyzer are used in studies of coincident gamma rays. Apparatus is available for studies of the Mossbauer effect. Other supporting equipment includes a high-vacuum evaporator, and a rapid thermal annealer. Additionally, the department has recently setup a phonon imaging laboratory which allows the study of heat propagation in solids. This is a low temperature imaging system utilizing a cavity dumped argon-ion laser to excite thermal waves in semiconductors and insulators.f

The Gedankenlab (Searles 322) contains several PCs running Linux for student and faculty use. The physics department also maintains a Beowulf cluster in its computational physics research lab.

The department supervises the college facility machine shop, which has one full-time mechanician and one part-time machinist for the construction of specialized apparatus and the repair and maintenance of existing equipment in the natural science departments. The shop's major equipment includes three lathes, two milling machines and a recently acquired computer-controlled mill. Its resources are available for student instruction.

Machining Center for Support of Teaching and ResearchBob Stevens - Bowdoin Physics

Mechanician: Bob Stevens
Room 20, Searles Science Building
Phone: (207) 725-3610
Email: rstevens@bowdoin.edu

Machinist: Ben King
Room 20, Searles Science Building
Phone: (207) 721-5244
Email: bking2@bowdoin.edu

The shop supports Academic Teaching and Research across the college by constructing special apparatus for

  • Demonstrations in the Classroom
  • Student use in the Teaching Laboratories
  • The research activities of the faculty and students

A great range of requests can be accomplished by this college-wide facility -  as explained on the Shop Work Request page.

The shop has two computer controlled machine tools, various conventional machine tools, along with welding, sheet metal and wood working machinery.

The computer controlled Machines:

  • Southwestern DPM 3 axis bed mill
  • Okuma Captain L-370M Multifunction Turning Center

The CNC lathe from Okuma America and the Robert E. Morris Company has a "C axis" spindle and motorized tools on the turret. Shapes not normally done on a lathe can be produced on this machine. Information used in our shop classes and links to outside sources are provided at the Shop Information page.

The Mechanician shares knowledge about design of apparatus and shop processes by :

  • Encouraging people to visit the shop
  • Demonstrating machine shop equipment
  • Engaging people in hands on activities when time, interest, and safety allows
  • Providing classes on machine shop processes, shop safety, and use of materials

Schedules of classes or demonstrations and safety requirements are posted on the Shop Classes and Demonstrations page.

Article:  Bob the Bowdoin Builder