Lafayette maintains outstanding facilities for instructional laboratories in physics.
The introductory laboratory rooms contain twenty-eight microcomputers interfaced to the Vernier LoggerPro data acquisition system. Students get hands-on experience with experiments in all the major areas of introductory physics, including mechanics, thermodynamics, oscillations and waves, electricity and magnetism, and optics.
The intermediate and advanced classes have dedicated general-purpose laboratory space. There is also an optics lab equipped with optical tables and research-grade optical components. All laboratories have extensive computing support, and LabView programming is used to interface computers to experimental apparatus.
In the Advanced Physics Laboratory, students have access to:
Astronomy facilities described under Astronomy Observations are available to students as part of the Physics 304: Observational Astronomy class and for their own observations.
The department has excellent computing facilities which are available to physics students at all times for class work and research projects. The Computational Physics Laboratory houses a cluster of Linux computers and several Windows computers.
Student participation in research is an important part of the physics program at Lafayette. There are a variety of opportunities, during the academic year as well as during the summer and Interim session, to become involved in a significant way in a research project.
The Physics Department, in cooperation with the Chemistry Department operates a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometer for biophysics (and other) research. All faculty members have microcomputers or workstations in their offices, and a local area network connects the offices and most laboratories to one another and to the Academic Computer Center.