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State-of-the-Art Facilities Lead to Groundbreaking Discoveries

As a student in the Physics Department at WPI you’ll have access to modern research facilities in which you will collaborate with world-class faculty members while exploring matter and energy, and the interaction between them.

Working with sophisticated instruments in these facilities, you’ll be exposed to meaningful work, and you’ll be challenged to make your own discoveries, guided by some of the top researchers and theorists in this ever-changing field.

Learn about a few of our pioneering physics laboratories:

ClassroomIPG Photonics Laboratory

Photonics, the study and application of light, can be used to describe older technology (such as light bulbs) and newer discoveries, such as fiber optic communication. Photonics impact such diverse industries as telecommunications, consumer electronics, and medicine.

The IPG Photonics Laboratory is used to teach photonics with emphasis on fibers, lasers, and detectors. The lab is used for classes, research, student projects, and tours for prospective students. Current experiments being conducted are classified into four categories: fiber optics, detectors, lasers, and optics.

Available equipment in the lab:

  • fiber communication set-up 
  • EDFA
  • diode laser testing equipment
  • diode laser drivers (500mA, DC-150kHz modulated)
  • interferometers
  • optical spectrum analyzer (600-1700nm, 20pm resolution)
  • CCD camera (400-900nm)
  • digital storage oscilloscope (500MHz bandwidth, waveform averaging),
  • He-Ne lasers (red & green, 0.5mW), diode lasers (670nm and 785nm, 5mW)
  • Si and InGaAs photodetectors (10MHz), Si photodiode array
  • fiber optic components 

Students workingAtomic Force Microscopy Laboratory

The Atomic Force Microscopy Laboratory contains two AutoProbe M5 Atomic Force Microscopes. Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs) are instruments that allow three-dimensional imaging of surfaces with nanometer resolution and are important enabling tools for nanoscience and technology. The equipment is used for the Atomic Force Microscopy courses, undergraduate and graduate research projects, contract research, and AFM service work.

Features of the AutoProbe M5 AFMs:

  • Scan range up to 100 x 100 square microns
  • Closed-loop scanner for metrology with 5 percent accuracy
  • 200-mm translation stage accommodating up to 400 x 400 x 25 mm^3 samples
  • On-axis integrated optics, 400-1700X
  • Liquid and air operation
  • Up to eight data-acquisition channels
  • Most data-acquisition modes
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Sophisticated image processing

Students workingThe Center for Computational Nanoscience (CCN)

The CCN was created to address nonlinear problems in many fields using a multidisciplinary approach. Ideas come from physics, numerical analysis, computer science, and other fields of research. Some areas of research being addressed at the CCN include quantum modeling of nanostructures, quantum computation, designing MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems), NEMS (nanoscale electromechanical systems), multi-component diffusion in fluids and solids, nonlinear optics, and mathematical biology.