Donated Equipment Enhances PUC Physics Education

By Giovanni Hashimoto on May 2, 2013

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Pacific Union College received a generous donation of cutting-edge laboratory equipment from B&K Precision to allow students in its physics department to acquire data more effectively and enhance learning.

The donation consisted of a Model 2542B 100MHz Digital Oscilloscope, three Model 2540B 60MHz Digital Oscilloscopes, two Model 4005DDS Function Generators, two Model 1803D Frequency Counters, and six Model 2712 Tool Kit DMMs. The instruments have a combined value of over $5,000.

Faculty and students alike are excited about the possibilities the new equipment creates for the department's laboratory experiences. Students can know utilize modern, state-of-the-art equipment instead of the reliable, but analog instruments used previously.

According to Vola Andrianarijaona, professor of physics, the oscilloscope is "one of the most versatile electrical measuring tool[s] available in the lab." He lists analyzing AC currents, LCR circuits and sound waves as possible activities for students.  Bruce Ivey, professor of computer science and physics, also envisions uses for the new oscilloscopes in teaching computer architecture.

B&K Precision specializes in creating test and measurement instruments widely used in professional and industry settings, as well as educational laboratories. PUC has used equipment from B&K Precision for decades with "overwhelming success and reliability," according to James Robertson, associate professor of physics.

PUC's physic department has been working to make updates to its laboratory equipment but has found it cost-prohibitive and funding to be sparse. "We've used equipment from B&K Precision in our physics lab for decades," noted Robertson. "Until this donation, labs with electrical concepts utilized analog oscilloscopes and function generators. The donation from B&K Precision moves us forward considerably to expose students to modern instrumentation and prepare them to setup and operate equipment found in modern laboratories."

Physics major and general physics laboratory teaching assistant Shalynn Romano observes, "The arrival of the new equipment has created a sense of excitement in the lab. Students really appreciate it."

"We would like to thank B&K Precision for their generous donation," said Steve Waters, the department's chairman. "It has allowed us to give students access to equipment that otherwise might not have been available to them for years, if ever. Donations such as this allow us to provide a truly top-rate learning experience."