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New Quantum Design Lab to Broaden Skills of Physics Students

By Bradi Zapata

On Friday, Aug. 11, faculty, staff, industry partners and donors gathered in Science Hall 2 at Cal State San Marcos to celebrate the grand opening of the Quantum Design Teaching & Materials Discovery Laboratory.

The grand opening kicked off with a half-day symposium on condensed matter physics education. As part of the Quantum Design Education Initiative, the Teaching & Materials Discovery Lab located in Room 206 of Science Hall 2 provides hands-on experience in performing state-of-the-art materials characterization experiments for students majoring in applied physics.

The centerpiece of the lab is the VersaLab Physical Properties Measurement System donated by Quantum Design. This instrumentation – capable of electrical resistance, heat capacity and magnetic measurements – gives CSUSM undergraduates access to developing hands-on skills and expertise typically reserved for graduate students and working research scientists.

The facility supports instructional laboratory classes and the research activities of the faculty and undergraduate students in the physics department.

These efforts are enhanced by curriculum developed by faculty members of the Quantum Design Education Advisory Council and are provided at the Quantum Design Education website, along with tutorial videos on the Quantum Design YouTube channel. The Quantum Design Education Initiative began as an instructional collaboration between scientists at Quantum Design, CSUSM, San Diego State and UC San Diego to address the need for preparing future generations of materials scientists and engineers.

The grand opening was co-sponsored by Lake Shore Cryotronics, which, along with partners from Quantum Design and qutools, demonstrated its academic instruments to train physics and engineering students in magnetic and low-level electrical measurements and quantum information science phenomena.

“On our campus, we talk a lot about social mobility,” said Stephen Tsui, a CSUSM physics professor and the principal investigator for the Quantum Design Teaching & Materials Discovery Laboratory.

“Over half of our undergraduates are the first in their family to go to college, and they are exploring physics with an instrument that most physics majors don’t see unless they’re in graduate school. This access makes them competitive at getting into those graduate programs and at pursuing local careers in materials research and research instrumentation. We are incredibly grateful to Quantum Design for their partnership and their belief in our mission.”

Photos from the event can be found here.

Media Contact

Brian Hiro, Communications Specialist

bhiro@csusm.edu | Office: 760-750-7306