Department of Physics

East Hall, 2 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 02881


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PHY 560: Experimental Methods in Modern Physics

Course Information

Please note that exact details of the course can vary

Professor: Dr Oleg Andreev
Semester: Spring of even-numbered years

Credits: 3

 Prerequisites: MTH 244 or permission of instructor

Catalog Description:

Overview of the main principles that underlie selected experimental methods used in physics, engineering, chemistry, biology, and medicine.

Course Goals & Outcomes

Upon completion students are expected:

  • To explain the main physical principles of experimental methods and techniques covered in the course;
  • To provide information about application of the experimental and theoretical methods;
  • To observe various instruments and review their potential use.

Through the independent study project, students are expected to review literature and prepare presentation about the selected experimental or theoretical approach and its application.

Course Description

This course will include lectures, lab visits and students project presentation. The lectures will introduce modern techniques in physics experimentation for the characterization of low-energy systems. Following the lectures visits to labs that are using these techniques will be made. The students will be tested on their understanding of the techniques through two exams and a project that will require them to detail a specific technique using primary source material.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • General introduction into photophysics. Electronic transitions. Excitation, absorbance, fluorescence. Main principles of lasers.Visit of spectroscopy lab.
  • Hole-burning spectroscopy. IR spectroscopy. FTIR. Mass spectroscopy.
  • Optical microscopy. Confocal microscopy. Second harmonic generation. TRF. FCS. 4P microscopy. STED. SPR.
  • AFM. Near-field microscopy. Electron microscopy. Visit of facility for TEM, cryo-TEM, STEM
  • Single molecule. Centroid tracking. Optical and magnetic tweezers
  • Surface preparation and characterization techniques of ion bombardment. CARS method.
  • Thermodynamics and kinetics studies. Raman scattering.
  • Physical principles of NMR and MRI.
  • X-ray crystallography. Medical imaging: physical principles: x-ray. PET. SPECT. Ultrasound.
  • Cherenkov radiation. Principle of Nuclear reactor. Visit of RI Nuclear Reactor Science Center. Use Cherenkov-induced fluorescence in imaging

Contact Information: Dr Oleg Andreev



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