The Physics of Cloud Mixing
The cloud chamber at Michigan Tech is the only one in the world that can sustain a cloud for more than about 10 minutes. We could keep a cloud inside the boxy interior going for a day or more—here's why.
Clouds are an integral part of the Earth’s environment—providing the water we drink, cleaning the air we breathe, and influencing the climate in which we live. By distilling complex atmospheric processes into essential elements, researchers in this lab study cloud phenomena in a reproducible way. Through suspension of individual cloud or aerosol particles in an electrodynamic trap, researchers study the detailed physics of the particle–air interface or the spontaneous formation of ice in liquid droplets at low temperatures. Researchers in this lab have developed a turbulent cloud chamber to study the interactions between particles and turbulent flows. The chamber—a cube with subwoofers on each corner—allows researchers to control the rate at which kinetic energy is dissipated by turbulence, and measure particle spatial distributions with digital in-line holography.
Contact: Raymond Shaw
From the Stone Age to the present Silicon Era, civilization has relied on the use of new materials to move forward. Research in this lab aims to understand the physics and chemistry of materials synthesis that allows control of materials formation properties, and also the preparation, characterization, and application of novel materials in thin films and nanostructures. The ability to control the growth and properties of materials is important for advances in electronics and photonics, and for optimizing their applications in chemical, electrochemical, and biological devices. The lab features four research rooms—each with cutting-edge research equipment. Researchers have access to materials synthesis facilities, a micro-Raman spectrometer, a micro-FTIR spectrometer, a UV-VIS spectrometer, a cryogenic storage system, a phase-contrast fluorescence inverted microscope, and more.
Location: Fisher Hall B009/B013/B031/B034
Contact: Yoke Khin Yap
This laboratory allows for the fabrication, testing, and analysis of photonic structures, materials, and film-based devices. Research in this lab has focused on the use of magneto-optic and electro-optic materials. Recent projects have centered on the development and fabrication of magneto-photonic crystals and waveguide structures, as well as ion implantation-induced defect generation in single-crystal oxides. The lab holds a variety of research equipment, including an RF magnetron sputtering system for the fabrication of magneto-optic films, a Woollam ellipsometer for refractive index and thickness characterization of thin films, a metal evaporator for the deposition of electrodes, and a prism-coupler system for the study of refractive and waveguide mode indices and film thickness.
Location: Fisher Hall B005
Contact: Miguel Levy
Physics Labs—Fisher Hall
|Gamma Ray Astronomy||B012||Petra Huentemeyer|
|Environmental Optics Lab||B004||Claudio Mazzoleni|
|Quantum Optics Lab||B010||Jacek Borysow|
|Magnetic Resonance Lab||B036||Bryan Suits|
|Cloud Physics Laboratory||B019||Raymond Shaw|
|Materials Physics and Laser Physics Lab||B031||Yoke Khin Yap|
|Integrated Magneto-Photonics Lab||B005||Miguel Levy|
|PE-CVD Lab||B013||Yoke Khin Yap|
|(Electro) Chemistry Lab||B009||Yoke Khin Yap|
|Spectroscopy Lab||B034||Yoke Khin Yap|
|Atomic and Molecular Laser Spectroscopy||B032||Jacek Borysow|
|Atmospheric Physics||B021||Will Cantrell|
|Fisher Hall Lobby Observatory|
Physics Labs—Other Locations
|Levy Lab||M&M||Miguel Levy|
|Auger Lab (global project)||Dow||Brian Fick|
|Amjoch Observatory||Atlantic Mine||Robert Nemiroff|
|Cloud Chamber Lab||Dow||Raymond Shaw|
|HAWC Observatory (global project)||Mexico||Petra Huentemeyer|
Fisher Hall Shops—Serving Physics Labs
|Electronics Shop||B025A||Bryan Suits, Jesse Nordeng|
|Machine Shop||B018||Jesse Nordeng|
The Department of Physics and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering jointly operate the Amjoch Observatory, located 4 miles outside of Houghton at an excellent dark-sky site in Atlantic Mine. A computer-controlled Meade 16-inch LS-200 telescope, complete with ST-8 CCD camera and UBVRI filters, is available for astrophysical research projects. The telescope operates under computer control; that is, it can find and track a given star automatically. The Observatory dome rotates via motor control manually and the door in the dome opens under manual motor control.
The AMJOCH observatory was built by emeritus presidential professor David Chimino and is named for his parents, Amelia and John Chimino.