Research Facilities - Physics (2024)

In addition to numerous individual researcher laboratories, the Physics Department has a number of advanced facilities in our shared labs that are available for use by all members of the University and local businesses.

Microdevice Prototyping Facility

Research Facilities - Physics (1)

MPF (Microdevice Prototyping Facility) is a regional user facility which enables fabrication of state-of-the-art nanoscale electronic, mechanical, spintronic and optoelectronic devices for microscale fundamental and applied sciences. Our main facility is located on the fourth floor of the Physical Sciences building in a purpose-built 2800 square-foot facility containing an ISO class 5 (FED STD class 100) cleanroom. The facility’s capabilities to perform oxide chemical vapor deposition, deep reactive ion etching, metallization for high throughput lithography processes, and chip packaging are unique to the campus and enhances the other user facilities available on campus.

MPF’s facilities also include characterization equipment on the first floor of the Physical Sciences building on a specialty flooring that absorbs excess vibrations. For the imaging of surfaces ranging from non-conducting to conducting and from hard to soft and delicate samples, the UHV AFM/STM is the most versatile scanning probe microscope available. The optical beam deflection detection offers unsurpassed sensitivity for low forces in contact mode AFM imaging. Instantaneous switching between AFM and STM imaging modes and simultaneous STM and AFM imaging is possible.

MPF is open to outside users and we wish to develop strong university-industry collaborations in addition to facilitate the ongoing research in the department and the university. If you’d like to learn more about our facilities and what they can do for your research, please visit us at!

Materials Characterization Facility

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To maintain U.S. competitiveness in a global technology market, research universities are challenged to build and maintain a culture of innovation, and an effective technology transfer process that makes new products and new technology available from research and development to commercialization. In 1998, recognizing that research and education in materials science and engineering is an essential enabler of most technologies and applications as well as an important technology and market on its own, UCF responded to this challenge by creating the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center (AMPAC) to promote interdisciplinary research and education in materials science and engineering, and to help drive high-technology economic growth of the central Florida region.

The multi-user facilities operated by AMPAC — Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) and Advanced Microfabrication Facility (AMF) — provide state-of-the-art equipment and clean-room facilities not only to UCF researchers, but also to researchers from industry, university, and government organizations around the country.

The Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) is dedicated to providing researchers and industrial partners a place to perform characterization and analysis to advance research; classroom education and hands-on training in the use of state-of-the-art characterization equipment; user-friendly support services with expert advice and data interpretation; and to enhance competitiveness of industrial partners and boost economic development of the Central Florida region.

MCF occupies about 7,000 sq. ft. of space and is supported by 3 full-time research engineers and a full-time facilities coordinator. Collaboration with other universities is encouraged. To find out more, please visit .

Physics Machine Shop

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The Physics Department Machine Shop is located in Room 146 of the Mathematical Sciences Building. It is staffed by a full time Engineer and is capable of light to medium machining and fabrication. Machines include: 3 Lathes, 2 Milling Machines, 3 Drill Presses, a Band Saw, Metal Sheer, Grinder and other assorted tools and machines. The shop serves both as a resource for experimentalists wishing to save time and labor costs by having parts made in house as well as a teaching facility for students wishing to explore the art of manufacturing their own equipment and devices. A one credit hour shop course is taught in the summer for interested students.

Robinson Observatory

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Robinson Observatory is located near the south end of campus and houses a research-quality 20-inch Ritchey-Chretien telescope with a high-grade 6-megapixel CCD camera. Faculty and graduate students use this facility for research projects ranging from asteroid characterization to exoplanet transits and more. The observatory also owns a 14-inch and several 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes; these portable instruments are brought out every week during the academic year as part of RO’s Public Viewings. Such events are free and open to the campus community and the public.

For more information, visit:

Experimental Research Facilities

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Experimental research facilities within the Department include a scanning Raman microscope, far infrared lasers, SQUID magnetometry, x-ray imaging, photoelectron spectroscopy, UHV STM/AFM, SIMS, LEED and RHEED, sputter deposition, physical vapor deposition, CVD, AFM/MFM, Auger microscopy, SEM, EBICS, and many other instruments. Students in our programs are also trained in the use of RBS and STEM through the Materials Characterization Facility. Theoretical research in condensed matter, optical physics, and atomic and molecular research as well as astronomy utilize department clusters, as well as connections to supercomputer centers. Although not all of these research facilities are available to the general public, they can be made available through contracts.

Research Facilities - Physics (2024)


Does physics research pay well? ›

How much does a Research Physicist make? As of May 24, 2024, the average annual pay for a Research Physicist in the United States is $94,805 a year.

Is it easy to get a job with a physics degree? ›

Since there is a growing need for physicists and astronomers, it can be easy to find a role in physics. This is especially true if you have specific certificates or experience in engineering and related fields, as these can make you more desirable to companies.

What is the most challenging branch of physics? ›

Quantum mechanics is deemed the hardest part of physics.

What are the 7 biggest unanswered questions in physics? ›

plications” with a brief explanation/justification.
  • 1 Quantum Gravity. The biggest unsolved problem in fundamental physics is how gravity and the. ...
  • 2 Particle Masses. ...
  • 3 The “Measurement” Problem. ...
  • 4 Turbulence. ...
  • 5 Dark Energy. ...
  • 6 Dark Matter. ...
  • 7 Complexity. ...
  • 8 The Matter-Antimatter Asymmetry.

Which is harder math or physics? ›

Why is Physics harder than Math? Answer: Physics demands problem-solving skills that can be developed only with practice. It also involves theoretical concepts, mathematical calculations and laboratory experiments that adds to the challenging concepts.

Are physics majors rare? ›

Physics bachelor's degrees represented about 1.8% of STEM degrees in the 1998–99 academic year and have increased their representation to 2.3% in the class of 2018. Among all bachelor's degrees in the class of 1999, 0.3% were awarded in physics. For the class of 2018 this was 0.46%, a 50% increase.

What percent of physics majors get jobs? ›

The other half (52%) of new physics bachelors were employed in the workforce or seeking employment. They held positions in a variety of economic sectors, with the private sector employing by far the largest proportion (67%).

Do physics majors make a lot of money? ›

Nationally, the median wage for physicists is $6,970 per month ($40.23 per hour). Half of all physicists earn between $5,430 and $8,690 per month ($31.35 and $50.14 per hour).

Is physics more difficult than biology? ›

Ultimately, neither subject is universally harder than the other; it really depends on your strengths and interests. I would recommend thinking about what you enjoy studying and which subject aligns better with your goals or future plans. Consider speaking with your teachers or counselor for more personalized guidance.

What is the hardest topic to understand in physics? ›

Top 7 Hardest Topics in JEE Main Physics
  1. Heat and Thermodynamics. It is probably the most difficult yet one of the important topics for JEE Main Physics. ...
  2. Mechanics. JEE Main Physics is not all about theory and equations. ...
  3. Electrostatics and Magnetism. ...
  4. Current Electricity. ...
  5. Optics. ...
  6. Modern Physics. ...
  7. Electromagnetic Induction.

Why are physics problems so hard? ›

The subject contains very complex concepts and sometimes acts like an experimental science. The calculations and formulas in physics problems can become pretty boring and serious. Concepts like potential energy, kinetic energy, vector quantities, scalar quantities, and hand rules are very difficult and confusing.

What is the most difficult topics in physics? ›

Top 7 Hardest Topics in JEE Main Physics
  • Heat and Thermodynamics. It is probably the most difficult yet one of the important topics for JEE Main Physics. ...
  • Mechanics. ...
  • Electrostatics and Magnetism. ...
  • Current Electricity. ...
  • Optics. ...
  • Modern Physics. ...
  • Electromagnetic Induction. ...
  • Conclusion.

What is the hardest physics question equation? ›

Answer to the question (What is the hardest physics equation?): * The hardest general equation to arrive at is perhaps the relativistic mass-energy equation E = {m_0} c^2/ \sqrt{1 - {v^2}/{c^2}} . * The hardest specific equations to solve are perhaps the nonlinear Schrodinger equations or nonlinear solito…

What is the hardest thing to study in physics? ›

Quantum Physics Courses

Quantum Physics requires mathematical, computer science, and quantum lingo skills. It is about studying atoms and particles at the very basic level and applying the theories in the real world. Of all scientific courses, Quantum Physics has been credited as the toughest course in the world.

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