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Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
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Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street, Troy, New York 12180-3590 USA

(518) 276-6310
Fax: (518) 276-6680

Department Facilities

Astronomy and Astrophysics

Hirsch Observatory

Located atop the Science Center, the Hirsch Observatory houses a Boller and Chivens 16" Cassegrain Telescope with fully automated computer control, SBIG imaging camera, SBIG spectrograph, and CFW-8 filter wheel. Many smaller telescopes are available, including equipment for viewing the Sun.

Beyond Rensselaer Physics

The astrophysics group makes use of ground-based telescopes located at world class observing sites in Hawaii, Australia, Chile, China, and South Africa.

The group also has access to data from major satellite facilities:

  • Hubble Space Telescope
  • Spitzer Space Telescope

And large ground-based astronomy projects:

  • Sloan Digital Sky Survey
  • Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS)
  • The Guoshoujing Telescope Spectral Survey (formerly LAMOST)

Large computational facilities, including the CCNI supercomputer and Milkyway@home volunteer computing platforms are utilized for compute-intensive data analysis.

Biological Physics

  • Inverted Fluorescence Microscope Nikon TE2000 with laser port
  • Coolsnap HQ CCD Camera
  • Universal Imaging Metavue Software
  • Femtosecond Near-Infrared Laser

Condensed Matter Physics

Our state of the art equipment allows you to use the following experimental techniques:

  • auger electron spectroscopy
  • high-resolution low-energy electron diffraction
  • reflection high-energy electron diffraction
  • atomic force microscopy
  • scanning tunneling microscopy
  • X-ray crystallography
  • ellipsometry

Beyond Rensselaer Physics
Other experimental facilities used in these programs include:

  • Center for Integrated Electronics
  • accelerators at the University at Albany
  • Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory

Optical Physics

Major optical physics facilities include:

  • Extensive laser-based terahertz generation and detection systems for spectroscopy and imaging.
  • Ultrafast optical pump-probe and spectroscopy systems.
  • High and low resolution infrared, visible, and ultraviolet photoluminescence, scattering, and absorption spectroscopy systems.
  • Electro-optic, magneto-optic, photothermal deflection, and nonlinear optical spectroscopy systems.
  • X-ray thin film reflectivity.

Teaching Equipment

Click here for an inventory of equipment and supplies located in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy. Direct requests to Scott Dwyer, x8414, JRSC 2C09.

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