Visualizing vibrations and waves at nanometer scales: a modern module for STEM courses

Principal Investigator
Assistant Prof. Long Ju and Dr. Fangzhou Xia, Physics; Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi, Mechanical Engineering
Fund: Alumni Class Funds
Funding Period: AY2024
Department/Lab/Center: Physics

This proposal aims to develop a course module for the demonstration and interactive learning of vibration and waves. This module will support learning primarily in 8.03 Vibrations and Waves and other courses in the Department of Physics (Course 8) and the Department of Mechanical Engineering (Course 2). It will also be broadly available for all departments in School of Science and School of Engineering and education program at MIT Nano. The module will demonstrate mechanical vibration at the extreme nanometer limit and waves in quantum materials. The module is composed of hardware realization of a low-cost atomic force microscope (AFM) and software development of a virtual simulator for interactive learning. We expect this module to trigger new interests in learning old concepts, enable new possibilities for higher-level undergraduate courses, and engage students in STEM research.