Doing a UROP in the Field Group
Bob Field's group is looking for UROPs interested in learning about experimental physical chemistry. We have had many UROPs in our group, and we hope to have many more. There are more detailed descriptions of our research elsewhere on this website, but briefly, we use lasers to study the quantum structure and dynamics of molecules in the gas phase. This is a good group to join if you are a chemistry or physics student interested in studying the basic interactions that create chemical bonds and experimental techniques used to learn about them. While the systems we study are very complicated, there are many opportunities for someone with little experience to jump in and make a contribution while learning what Spectroscopic Awesomeness is all about.
Since people are generally classical, you probably fall into one of two categories:
I have taken quantum mechanics.
I have not taken quantum mechanics.
If you have taken quantum mechanics, you can participate more fully in
the design and analysis of experiments. If you have not, you can help build
and run our experimental setups until you take quantum mechanics. We have
a number of projects, each of which has different needs, but in general
we like to see...
- Work experience Even McDonald's is helpful. We want to know that
you know about showing up when you say you will, that you take your commitments
seriously, and that a UROP may not always be the thrill of a lifetime,
but it is better than working the 10:1 grill during lunch rush.
- Quantum mechanics The quantum mechanics of molecules begins with
understanding electronic, vibrational, and rotational wavefunctions. Then
you need to understand how light couples these states together, causing
transitions among them. And then there are pertubations, which is most
everything we do. A class should introduce you to these things.
- Electronics Small analog or digital circuits.
- Machining Experience on a lathe or mill.
- Programming Especially Python, FORTRAN, Igor, MATLAB, Mathematica, Origin, or LabVIEW.
- Optics and lasers We have never had a UROP that came in with a lot
of knowledge about optics or lasers, but what the heck.
- Vacuum techniques Ditto.
- Utter and total fearlessness Our UROPs have almost never been asked
to do something they already knew how to do. If you have none of the things
on this list, but want to learn some of them, come on in.