2012 BFY Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Berkeley’s two-semester advanced lab sequence.
Abstract: The first course, Instrumentation, includes one 75-minute lecture and two or more 4-hour lab meetings per week introducing students to electronics and data acquisition.  The first nine weeks focus on designing and building circuits, including JFET circuits and op amps.  In the next three weeks, students write programs in LabVIEW to acquire, process, and analyze data as well as control an experiment.  The course ends with a three-week final project for which students propose, design, and build an experimental device that involves circuits and usually software.  Recent examples include an amplitude-retaining bat detector, rf and optical theramins, pulse oximeter, AM laser communicator, color detector and analyzer, and ultrasonic termite detector.  The second course, called the Experimentation section, is organized around 20 experiments that are permanently set up in lab.  Each pair of students selects four of these to perform over the semester and signs up for 6-10 afternoons on the station for that experiment.  Many of the experiments replicate Nobel Prize-winning studies of the last century, covering a wide range of physics topics and lab techniques.  Examples include atom trapping, beta ray spectroscopy, Brownian motion and intracellular transport, CO2 laser, Compton scattering, Hall effect in a plasma, holography, Josephson junction, muon lifetime, nonlinear spectroscopy and magneto-optics, NMR, optical trapping, optical pumping, and Rutherford scattering.  Each student gives an oral report and three formal written reports on their experiments.  Student interns each summer work with faculty and staff to build new experiments and upgrade old ones.
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Thomas Colton
University of California Berkeley
366 LeConte Hall #7300
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-7300
Phone: 510-642-5515
and Co-Presenter(s)
Robert Jacobsen, Donald Orlando