2009 Advanced Laboratories Conference Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: The Kenyon X-ray Facility Upgrade
Abstract: The Senior Lab course at Kenyon has developed into a series of varied and challenging experiments, done by advanced students with minimal guidance from the faculty.  This collection of experiments includes use of x-ray machines for experiments in crystallography and fluorescence.  The x-ray machines used at Kenyon are two Diano 1970s vintage industrial grade machines.  While the machines provide exceptionally robust and accessible physical parts - particularly the goniometers, the electronics and software parts of the machines had become prohibitive to maintain.  We therefore completed a project to upgrade these machines, replacing all but the physical goniometers with off-the-shelf components.  New operating software was written in National Instruments' LabVIEW to operate the machinery, and capture and analyze data. The result is a pair of self-maintainable, modern x-ray machines.  A cursory check has shown that many mothballed Diano x-ray machines are extant.  Thus, our project has revealed a cost-effective method for educational institutions to acquire robust x-ray facilities.

This poster will present brief before-and-after views of the project and include rationale for choices made, specs, sources, and approximate costs of the various components.  We will also present examples of data taken with these facilities.  Incidentally, these machines are also used in introductory and non-science-major courses at Kenyon.  As a result, (at our small, liberal arts college) 60 to 100 student-experiments are run on these machines each year.
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster
Session: Session IX - Effective Experiments Poster Session

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: J. Terrence Klopcic
Kenyon College
Department of Physics
Hayes Hall
Gambier, OH 43022
Phone: 740-427-5364