$253,000 Grant will Upgrade Physics Laboratories

Posted on September 16th, 2010 by

F.W. Olin Hall for Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science.

The National Science Foundation recently awarded Gustavus Adolphus College a $253,150 academic research infrastructure grant to support the College’s physics department. The grant will be used to upgrade several physics research laboratories in the basement of F.W. Olin Hall for Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. These upgrades will significantly enhance the capabilities for on-campus faculty/student research opportunities for Gustavus physics students. The award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The grant will allow the College to complete the acoustical isolation of Professor Tom Huber’s acoustics lab, which houses a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer that the College obtained through a separate $310,000 NSF grant received in Feb. 2010.

Several other upgrades will benefit Huber’s acoustics lab as well as Professor Jessie Petricka’s cold molecule research lab, Professor Paul Saulnier and Professor Steve Mellema’s optics labs, and Professor Chuck Niederriter’s condensed matter physics lab. It is expected that more than 25 students will use these labs for independent faculty/student research projects during the three-year grant period.

Faculty members in the department of physics at Gustavus.

The new grant will allow the College to upgrade the heating and cooling system in the basement of Olin Hall to minimize serious problems of humidity, noise, and vibration that limit many of the high-precision, low-noise experiments that students conduct in several of the departmental laboratories.

There will also be important upgrades to the electrical, network, mechanical, and safety systems to enhance the productivity and safety of the research spaces.

The $253,000 academic research infrastructure grant is the fifth grant from the NSF that the physics department and other science departments at the College have received in the past 18 months. The five grants total more than $1 million and have significantly improved teaching opportunities for faculty and research opportunities for students in the sciences.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


One Comment

  1. The Man says:

    Yay!!! Totally prepared for research!