Van Allen Hall
Van Allen Hall is an eight-floor building where our department has offices, classes, colloquia, and seminars. Most of our faculty have offices here. Approximately half of our research labs are located in Van Allen Hall.
Van Allen Observatory
The Van Allen Observatory (VAO), located on the roof of Van Allen Hall, is open to students and community members as it is used for undergraduate astronomical laboratories and public outreach. First constructed in its early iterations in 1972, the VAO is a 17-inch Corrected Dall-Kirkham reflecting telescope, named after one of the greats of space science, the Physics and Astronomy Department’s Professor James Van Allen. The University of Iowa also utilizes the Robert L. Mutel Telescope/MACRO Observatory at the Winer Observatory in southern Arizona for undergraduate courses.
Physics and Astronomy Shops
Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories (IATL)
The Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories (IATL) is a three-floor building with research labs such as the Molecular Beam Epitaxy Facility (MBE), microfabrication facilities (MATfab), condensed matter and optical labs, and some of our faculty offices. This building was designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.
Molecular Beam Epitaxy Laboratory
The Molecular Beam Epitaxy Laboratory (MBE), located in the Iowa Advanced Technology Labs (IATL), is part of the new Iowa Center for Research, Exploration, and Advanced Technology in Engineering and Sciences (Iowa CREATES), and managed by the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Materials, Fabrication, and Testing Facility
The Materials, Fabrication, and Testing Facility (MATFab) brings together cutting-edge instruments for the physical sciences and engineering into one convenient location on campus. The MATFab facility houses instrumentation for chemical and elemental analysis, imaging, metrology, and micro and nanofabrication.
Quality Assurance Manager
The Quality Assurance Manager (QAM) determines the effectiveness and compliance of the Quality Management System to the ISO 9001 standard. The QAM facilitates the inspection and provides technical oversight to the manufacturing build and testing of mechanical, and electronic components, assemblies, and products. The QAM is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining quality documentation for spaceflight projects and service centers. See the Physics and Astronomy Quality Assurance website for more information.
In addition to our labs in Van Allen Hall and the IATL building, we also use these major facilities:
- CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics)
- Fermilab (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory)
- SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
- Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA, an NSF-funded array of radio telescopes working at mm/sub-mm wavelengths)
- Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA, a NSF-funded, ground-based array of radio telescopes)
- W. M. Keck Observatory (a ground-based set of 10m diameter telescopes working in the optical and near-IR)
- Gemini Observatory (a NSF-funded twin pair of telescopes placed in each hemisphere that observe in the optical/near-IR)
- Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS, a set of optical telescopes/spectrographs used to take observations of over 1/3 of the sky)
- Hubble Space Telescope (NASA’s flagship optical/UV observatory)
- Chandra X-ray Observatory (NASA’s flagship X-ray observatory)
- HaloSat (NASA CubeSat designed, built, and operated by the University of Iowa designed to survey the Milky Way’s hot X-ray halo)
- XMM-Newton Observatory (X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission, ESA’s flagship X-ray observatory)