SUNY Oneonta


Physics & Astronomy Department
Dr. Michael Faux, Chair

Voice: (607) 436-3145
Fax: (607) 436-2654

 
 

Facilities

 
 

Most of the Department's facilities are located in the Physical Science Building. We have well-equipped physics laboratories and excellent astronomy observational facilities.

Teaching Facilities

Teaching facilities include:

  • Three laboratories for introductory physics and astronomy courses.

  • One well-equipped computer-based laboratory for both introductory and upper level courses. The lab contains software relevant for both numerical analysis and computer aided design.

  • Four laboratories for upper-level courses which include specialized capabilities in optics, atomic and nuclear physics, electronics, and photonics/holography.

Astronomy has observational facilities at the College Camp, located a short distance from the campus. Resources include both permanently mounted and mobile telescopes, plus data acquisition equipment. The observatory also features our 1-meter mobile reflecting telescope, the largest optical telescope in New York State.

Additional physics and astronomy facilities include a machine shop, digital planetarium, and access to a Windows computer lab. In addition, a computer classroom is located in the Physical Science Building.

Research Facilities

The faculty of the Physics & Astronomy Department operate a number of research laboratories, including:

Astronomical and Geophysical Observatory

The Astronomical Observatory located at the College Camp includes permanently mounted 16-inch and 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes housed under separate domes. Also present is a complete computerized astronomical CCD image acquisition and analysis systemand science-grade UBVRI and Sloan ugriz filter sets, and six smaller telescopes. The observatory also features our 1-meter mobile reflecting telescope, the largest optical telescope in New York State.

The Magnetic Observatory, also periodically located at the College Camp, is equipped with a Narod Geophysics long period digitally recording magnetotelluric system with three component ring-core magnetometer sensors.

Student surveying the heavens.
Student surveying the heavens.


Infrared Laser Laboratory

Infrared Laser lab equipped with a high power axial flow carbon dioxide laser. This laser is frequency tunable and it can be configured for pulsed or continuous output.

The carbon dioxide laser in the Infrared Laser Lab burning through plywood.
The carbon dioxide laser in the Infrared Laser Lab burning through plywood.

The full length of the carbon dioxide laser.
The full length of the carbon dioxide laser.

Students operating the carbon dioxide laser in the Infrared Laser Lab.
Students operating the carbon dioxide laser in the Infrared Laser Lab.

Magnetic Measurement Laboratory

The Magnetism and Magnetic Materials lab is equipped with a Vibrating Sample Magnetometer. This VSM uses a 1.0 Tesla water-cooled electromagnet, a mechanism for sample vibration, and a signal detection system that utilizes a Stanford Research SR530 lock-in amplifier. Currently this VSM is configured for a variable temperature range from room temperature to about 900 K using a Lakeshore model 330 temperature controller. Data is acquired by a PC with an IEEE-488 interface.

Students investigate the magenetic properties of materials.
Students investigate the magenetic properties of materials.

Advanced Mechanics/Materials Testing Laboratory

The Advanced Mechanics lab is equipped with an Instron-8511 materials testing machine, and an ECP Rectilinear Control system. Additionally, the department has purchased the L-Edit software for student projects on design and fabrication of wave guides.

Students investigate material properties.
Students investigate material properties.

Thin Film Laboratory

The Thin Films/High Vacuum lab is equipped with two thermal evaporation units, Norton NRC-3115 and Denton DV-502. One of these (DV-502) is fitted with a precise Coatings Monitor System. The AFRL at Rome, NY, is in the process of purchasing a Spin Coater for Polymer Waveguides to be housed in this lab. This purchase is enabled by the CRDA agreement that exists between the two institutions.

Thin film evaporation unit.
Thin film evaporation unit.

Other Facilities

While primarily an undergraduate institution, there is a strong research and related-program emphasis and support structure at SUNY Oneonta, including clerical, grant writing, post-award management and accounting staff. Two departments (Physics & Astronomy and Chemistry & Biochemistry) are both housed in the Physical Science Building and maintain a fully equipped machine shop for fabrication and design of specialized apparatus. Additional resources available to the physical sciences programs include:

The College Camp. The College Camp is located approximately 2 miles from the main campus of SUNY Oneonta. Located on 180 acres of former farm and woodland, its purpose is to provide recreational, social, and educational opportunities for the members of our college community.

The Science Discovery Center. Housed in the basement of the Physical Science Building, the Science Discovery Center is a free, public resource center for hands-on science. This center, with over 80 exhibits, caters to general public that includes people of all ages, as well as the local student body.