DIY at the Columbia Physics Design Lab


These sections have provided items like switch-desk stands to study the quantum properties of atom-slim sheets, flanges for ultracold vacuum chambers destined to household quantum products for imaging and manipulations, and parts for new laser setups. “It’s generally a large amount of incredibly smaller items to incredibly complex, incredibly cool systems,” claimed Clara Wilson, a workers engineer who joined Columbia final year from JILA to assist re-invent the room. 

For substantially of the 20th century, experts had to make approximately anything for their experiments themselves, Columbia physicist Cory Dean defined, so college device, woodworking, and even electrical shops were the norm. But around time, commercial vendors commenced popping up to supply specialised areas and parts, and university support grew to become fewer prevalent. 

Pupin Hall maintained a store the place a machinist would nonetheless make elements to purchase, but a new technology of physicists at Columbia—including Dean—wanted to consider the course of action into their have arms. “To assistance modern day physics we require an on-web site space to develop, overseen by a experienced personal who can deliver the tools and steerage to assistance us comprehend totally novel strategies,” Dean mentioned. “The Structure Lab will participate in a critical part in the long term of physics at Columbia.”

Today, Pupin Hall, Home 1111 is a collaborative makerspace the place users occur with each other to brainstorm concepts with each and every other and Wilson to check out how best to put into action them on the unique equipment available.

The equipment operates the gamut from slicing-edge, together with a trio of 3D printers and a freshly installed laser cutter, to age-outdated standbys like massive iron mills and drill presses. The oldest piece of devices is a band saw relationship back again to the 1950s, while Wilson’s favorites are the lathes from the 1960s that nonetheless do the job beautifully soon after all people a long time. “Plus, they are painted a definitely attractive Columbia blue. I never know who did that or when, but it adds a great contact,” she stated. 


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