The School of Science offers students many unique research opportunities that are not typically available to undergraduate students. We have specialized labs and equipment that give our students the opportunity to conduct research and experiments examining many different scientific areas. This hands-on learning experience is a crucial element of a science education, and prepares students for success in post-baccalaureate studies and professional work.
The Biology program has several labs in Hayden Hall and the Leo Building. These are specific labs dedicated to research and teaching in the following areas:
- Animal paleontology
- Genetics/developmental biology
- Ecological research
- Plant morphogenesis
There is also a greenhouse, as well as ample equipment and supplies for our students to conduct cutting-edge research. Students are involved in the entire process of scientific investigations, from learning about a subject to building and testing hypotheses, conducting experiments, analyzing results and evaluating data in the context of previous scientific evidence.
The Chemistry laboratories provide state-of-the-art instrumentation including:
- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) facility
- An X-ray generator
- Fourier-transform infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers
- A double-monochromator fluorimeter
- A recording double beam absorption UV and visible spectrophotometer
- Computer interfaced, scanning spectrophotometers
- A mass spectrophotometer
- An atomic absorption spectrophotometer with graphite furnace
- Four high-performance liquid chromatographs, rotovaps and gas chromatograph
- Computer simulation facilities using state of the art hardware and software packages
The Biochemistry research laboratory has the following:
- A cold room
- Preparative centrifuges and an ultracentrifuge
- Electrophoresis apparatus
- Automated fraction collectors
- Equipment for protein and nucleic acid biochemistry
The Physics laboratories include two labs dedicated to experimental optics, as well as labs where research is conducted on modern physics and theoretical physics projects.
In the optics laboratory, students conduct experiments on topics including:
- Geometrical optics (lenses and mirrors)
- Fiber optics
The laser laboratory includes equipment that can be found in professional industrial and research laboratories. In this lab, students have access to automated data acquisition, lock-in amplifiers, higher-power lasers, spectrum analyzers and other equipment and components. Experiments are designed to address current issues in optical science, and students learn how to conduct experiments, use research equipment, collect and analyze data, and present results.
The research lab is dedicated to work on modern and theoretical physics projects. For example:
- The classic experiments (e.g. Frank Hertz, Rydberg)
- Gamma-Spectroscopy with a computer controlled multi-channel analyzer
- Electron and nuclear spin resonance
- Using a Beta spectrometer to study Beta decay (and demonstrate the existence of positrons)
- Using Hall Effect measurements to determine the Band Gap in a semiconductor
Senior-level students do more advanced experiments such as studying superconductivity using a SQUID. Associated with the lab is a student machine shop (with a Sawzall, drill press, metal lathe and more), a photographic darkroom and a well-equipped electronics lab that students can use for both school and personal projects.
Computer Science Facilities
The Computer Science facilities include a Linux lab, as well as a number of Windows-based labs. There is also access to a high-speed Beowulf computer cluster for high performance computing.