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.
Combining their many years of experience, the machinists are highly skilled and very knowledgeable, specializing in developing working instruments, detectors, and other experimental devices from typically vague instructions given by the graduate students and faculty. The M-shop also provides design and equipment maintenance services to the Physics Instructional Labs. 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.
A majority of the work conducted in the shop is directly related to the education of our students. Students and postdocs interact directly with the machinists, thereby gaining invaluable knowledge about design, materials and techniques used for their jobs. They also learn how to create usable drawings and how various processes work to produce their instruments. This level of interaction and shared knowledge is unavailable outside of the department. Although other campus Shops provide similar services, the services and education provided by the M-shop are tailored to the needs of the Physics researchers.
In addition, to the educational experience found in the main Machine Shop, the Physics Department has a full-time Student Machining Shop. This shop provides graduate and undergraduate students with training in the operation of the machining tools and equipment as well as machining safety. The student shop is a model for at least two other department student machine shops on the Berkeley Campus. Often former students return and tell us what an advantage it was for them to have had the resources of the machine shops available to them.
B-1 Le Conte Hall
Warner Carlisle, Supervisor
Joseph Kant, Supervisor 510-642-2496
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