Facilities and Strengths

Physics department facilities are housed in Carr Hall. In 1995, a multi-million-dollar renovation doubled the space available for physics. Renovations included a new laser and spectroscopy lab, a non-linear optics lab, modern physics laboratories, and a new technology classroom. In addition, a welcoming lounge is available to all students.

Research Laboratories

  • Low temperature molecular spectroscopy laboratory: for the study of gas-phase molecular interactions at very low temperatures
  • State-of-the-art non-linear optics laboratory: for the study of non-linear optical phenomena, equipped with two diode lasers, two Argon ion lasers, a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, and a dye laser.
  • Molecular biophysics lab: for the study of the active sites of metalloproteins
  • Simulation laboratories: supports teaching and research using computer simulation including molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo methods, and computational hydrodynamics
  • Computing facilities: network of personal computers and workstations; two dedicated student computer labs—an introductory mechanics lab with 10 iMacs and a departmental computer lab with several computers for the exclusive use of physics majors. A variety of sensors, such as motion detectors, force probes, and radiation counters, are used with the mechanics lab machines to permit data collection and analysis.

Teaching Laboratories

  • Two introductory labs
  • Modern physics lab (intermediate)
  • Optics lab (advanced)
  • Laser and spectroscopy lab
  • Electronics lab


  • Computer-interfaced, sophisticated equipment for the detection of motion, force, light, x-rays, gamma rays, etc.
  • Research-grade equipment for the study of lasers, optics, and atomic and molecular spectroscopy

Astronomy Facilities

  • Wible Planetarium
  • Newton Observatory: houses a nine-inch refracting telescope and a computer-interfaced 10-inch Meade LX200 telescope with CCD camera
Dipto Mukherjee ’19 and one of two GPU-enabled clusters used for computer simulations of interacting and colliding stars. Dipto is now a Ph.D. student in Astrophysics and Cosmology at Carnegie Mellon University.