The Physics Machine Shop (M-shop) provides design, construction and maintenance of prototype research equipment to the Physics faculty, students, and postdocs. The M-shop is staffed with one superintendent and three senior machinists. Our capabilities include use of standard and special machine tools, such as the lathe, vertical mill, drill press, grinders, saws, dividing engines, gear hob, precision Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine tools, and Electrical Discharge (EDM) machining, and optical measuring devices. The machinists have the technical knowledge required to manage systems and equipment in the areas of electrical power, mechanical apparatus, ultra high (10-10 ATM cc/Sec He) vacuum, magnetic, computer interfaces, and computer analysis and programming. The shop also provides precision welding of various vacuum chambers and apparatus. They are also knowledgeable in the numerous characteristics and properties of materials involving corrosion, expansion and contraction, yield strengths, compatibility, and thermal transfer.
The machinists are well versed in Surfcam and Solidworks software that enables the shop to assist in the design of complex shapes of machined components. The M-shop also runs a Physics Student Machine Shop has been a mainstay in the department for more than 100 years – providing hands-on opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to learn how to safely operate equipment and how to create the apparatuses necessary for research.