Physics 212i:  Laboratory in Quantum Physics  - Spring

Haverford College Advanced Lab Website (with instructional resources)

Welcome!  Physics 212 is a great lab in which you will get to do a variety of real quantum physics labs that introduce you to lots of cool modern experimental techniques (laser spectroscopy, particle physics techniques, scanning tunneling microscopy, electron spin, superconductivity and electron diffraction!) while connecting to your topics from Physics 214 (Intro Quantum) lectures in a clear and satisfying way.  We work hard at relating these two courses and giving you real labs with real data that work and that are never cookbook or lame!

Note:  this is the 2010 home of Cookie Of The Week.

Instructors:            Suzanne Amador Kane

                              Email Suzanne

                              Phone:  610-896-1198

                              Office:  KINSF Link L103

                              Scott Shelley

                              Email Scott

                              Phone:  610-896-1310

                              Office:  KINSF Link L207

Note that while this course is normally taken concurrently with Physics 214b, it also can be taken independently if that's a better fit to your schedule.   Physics 211f lab is a prerequisite.



Format of the Lab

The lab will run Thursday afternoons 1:15-4pm in KINSC room H206. Lab starts the first week of classes, on Thursday, Jan. 22! All of the experiments will be conducted concurrently, and students will rotate through each lab in groups of two partners.  Students have two lab sessions to complete each experiment. 


Who should take this course?

Everybody! (Who has had the prerequisite course, Physics 211f, that is.)  Physics 212i should be taken by students considering a physics major or minor and by most students taking the co-requisite, Intro to Quantum Physics (Physics 214).  Though not required for the Astronomy and  other majors, the 212i laboratory is recommended because it leads  to a deeper knowledge of quantum physics.  

You'll do Six Experiments in all:

1.  ELECTRON SPIN RESONANCE. Spin is an intrinsic characteristic of fundamental particles and results in charged particles having an associated magnetic dipole field. In this experiment, you will use a technique similar to nuclear magnetic resonance (a.k.a. magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, in the medical industry) to measure the magnetic moment of the electron.

2.  NUCLEAR SPECTROSCOPY. Nuclei have discrete quantum states just as atoms do. The emission of gamma rays corresponds to transitions between these quantum states. In this experiment, you study the spectra of several nuclei, and also learn about gamma ray detection and energy measurement. This is a good place to learn about the basic methods of particle detection used in particle physics!

3.  SUPERCONDUCTORS and the SUPERCONDUCTING QUANTUM INTERFERENCE DEVICE (the Mr. SQUID experiment):  In this experiment you will learn about the properties of superconductors, a phase of matter with zero electrical resistance and remarkable magnetic properties. You will get to use a SQUID to make high precision measurements of magnetic flux.  You will  see that the flux threading a hole in a superconductor  is quantized, thus demonstrating quantum effects on a macroscopic scale.



4.  LASER MODES. In this laboratory you will use a Fabry-Perot interferometer to study the spectrum of light emitted from an open cavity laser.  The experiment reveals the quantization of laser modes by the cavity of the laser. You will learn about how lasers operate and study several quantum effects which lead to the creation of a distribution of wavelengths from the laser.

5. SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPY. We know from quantum mechanics that an electron (or any particle) can pass through a region in which classically it would have negative kinetic energy (i.e., a classically forbidden region). You will study this phenomenon in its most remarkable application--the imaging device known as an STM (for scanning tunneling microscope.) You will use quantum mechanical tunneling to make images of microfabricated devices and to image individual atoms of graphite on surfaces.

6. is a Two-Lab Combo Pack consisting of THE PHOTOELECTRIC EFFECT. An anomalous experimental result that stimulated the early development of quantum physics is the emission of electrons from a metal when light shines on the metal. (Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his explanation of this effect.) You will plot curves of photocurrent versus bias voltage and determine Planck’s constant.
plus ELECTRON DIFFRACTION: You will see how electron matter waves can interfere with a crystalline solid to give regular patterns of constructive and destructive interference called a diffraction pattern; this allows one to deduce information about the structure of the solid given enough information about the original electrons.



A required lab manual will be available from Scott Shelley before class begins.  The text for Physics 214b will be an important reference.  Other sources will be placed on reserve in the library, and students are expected to consult them.

Grading policy and other course administration issues are covered at length in the Lab Manual (available from Scott Shelley)

Course Requirements