Carnegie Mellon University
Modern Physics Laboratory (33.340)
Spring 2018

Following in the footsteps of...


Office Hours
Prof. Reinhard Schumacher
Tuesday-Thursday in MPL, 9:30am-4:20pm
Prof. Barry Luokkala
Tuesday-Thursday in MPL, 9:30am-4:20pm
Wean Hall 8406
Doherty Hall A301A

Teaching Assistant
Office Hours
Mr. Alexander Moskowitz
Tuesday-Thursday in MPL, 9:30am-4:20pm
Wean Hall 8303

Meeting Rooms & Times

All: Tuesday Recitation 8:30 am, Doherty Hall A200
Section A: Tuesday, Thursday 9:30am-12:20pm,
Doherty Hall MA325, "Sutton Lab"
Section B: Tuesday, Thursday 1:30pm- 4:20pm,
Doherty Hall MA325, "Sutton Lab"

Course Information

Physics 33.340 (10 units) is a required course for physics majors. It is usually taken in the junior year, but may be postponed to the senior year.


The syllabus for this course, including grading standard, lab summaries...


All of the informational and instructional write-ups are available as hardcopies in the Modern Physics Lab office. Almost all of the material can be downloaded from here.

Handout Materials: Assignments, Checklists, Lectures, etc.

Go here to download checklists for completing experiments and other organizational documents.

MPL Supported Software

There are a few Excel templates and macros which many students have found useful. A few experiments have specialized software. These files can be downloaded here.

Additional Resources

X-ray initial new user training at CMU
A Web course on Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Nuclear Data: gamma energies, half-lives, etc, search engine
Nuclear Data: another search engine with a better user interface
Visualizing the vibrations of carbon tetrachloride and the Raman Spectrum
Visualizing the vibrations of benzene and other molecules for Raman spectroscopy
Structure of sodium nitroprusside, used in the Mossbauer experiment
The Fundamental Physical Constants (from NIST)
Physical Review Online (PROLA) -- The interface for a century of physics papers
Preposterous Univserse -- A deep physics/metaphysics blog
Hot Physics News
How the Sun Shines -- Energy in stars & solar neutrinos
A cute exam story

Some of these links were provided by former students - if you find other interesting and relevant links I'll be glad to include those as well.


Typos in the Melissinos textbook (Both Editions).
Typos in the Bevington and Robinson textbook.
An attempt at some Relativity and Quantum Physics Humor.

Reality Check:
"It is not till we attempt to bring the theoretical part of our training into contact with the practical that we begin to experience the full effect of what Faraday has called 'mental inertia' - not only the difficulty of recognizing, among the concrete objects before us, the abstract relation which we have learned from books, but the distracting pain of wrenching the mind away from the symbols to the objects, and from the objects back to the symbols. This however is the price we have to pay for new ideas."
James Clerk Maxwell, "Introductory Lecture on Experimental Physics," The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890) Vol.2

Physics Department Homepage.

Last updated on 1/9/18 by