Teaching labs

Teaching labs

100-Level Physics Teaching Laboratory


Welcome to the 100-Level Physics Teaching Laboratory

The laboratory is situated within Physicswhich is part of Macquarie University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Where can I find it? – at the NE corner of the ground floor of building E7B.

Below is some information about our fine modern laboratory facilities and the physics programs in which they feature.

The Teaching Labs

100-Level Physics Teaching Laboratory

This new complex of teaching labs came on line during the first half of 1998, providing us with state of the art facilities in a pleasant environment, including a large main lab, an optics lab, and a computer lab. A network provides computer access at each work place.

A substantial injection of funds over recent years into new teaching apparatus has enabled us to provide the very latest in experimental work for our students. Experiments have developed where physical data is collected and analysed using computers.

Lab Class Objectives

The lab is set up to provide experience and instruction in experimental work for students taking a wide range of first-year course units in physics. Experiments have been carefully designed using modern equipment to illustrate many of the physical phenomena discussed in lectures.

Students typically spend two or three hours working in the lab each week during term time carrying out experimental investigations. Detailed instructional notes are provided to carefully guide them through each experiment. The lab work is designed to help students learn the skills involved with first making measurements and then analysing the data obtained, and to gain skills in using a range of modern measuring instruments.

Students work in small groups closely supervised by academic staff who are there to help and to answer questions.

Photonics Laboratories

Macquarie University’s Photonics Laboratories have more than $1 million invested in them. Graduates gain extensive hands-on experience with a broad range of the latest optical technology. Examples include aspects of optical fibre handling:

  • Laser systems
  • Laser diodes and drivers
  • Light-emitting diodes
  • Detectors
  • Fibre-optic sensors
  • Fibre amplifiers
  • Fibre lasers
  • Fibre gyroscope
  • Integrated optics
  • Electro-, magneto-, acoustic-optical modulators

Measurement techniques include extensive use of:

  • Power measurements
  • Electrical measurement
  • Optical spectral analyses
  • RF spectral analyses
  • Optical time domain reflectometry
  • Interferometric techniques
  • Lock-in amplification
  • Boxcar integration
  • Use of high speed oscilloscopes

Experience also includes commercial computer software packages for:

  • Image processing
  • Optical design and analysis
  • Designing mirror coatings

The depth and range of practical experience with optoelectronics technology gained by our graduates continue to be a major factor in their recruitment into industry.

Macquarie University Observatory

Macquarie University Observatory

History of the Observatory

The Macquarie University Observatory was originally constructed as a research facility but, since 1997, has also been accessible to the public and to our undergraduate students. Telescopes at the observatory include: a 16″ Meade Telescope, a 12″ Meade GPS Telescope, an 8″ Celectron C8, a 8″ Dobsonian, and a 3.2-metre radio telescope that can be operated remotely from the physics computing laboratory on campus.

Orsola with the telescope

Teaching Activities

The 3.2-metre radio telescope at the observatory is a small dish, suitable for observing the Sun. With radio astronomy we do not see an image, as with an optical telescope, but can map the signal strength in different directions on the sky. The main purpose of the radio telescope is to educate students in the basics of radio astronomy.

Several of our astronomy units have an observing component, where students visit the observatory at night to observe planets, nebulae and clusters. This program now includes using CCD cameras for imaging.

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