Lab orientation

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20.309: Biological Instrumentation and Measurement

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20.309 Lab.jpg

Thorlabs CP02 vs CP02T

The 20.309 lab contains more than 15,000 optical, mechanical, and electronic components that you may choose from in order to complete your assignments throughout the semester. You can waste a lot of time looking for things, so take a little time to learn your way around. The floor plan below shows the layout of rooms 16-352 and 16-336. When you get to the lab, take a walk around, especially to the center cabinet, west cabinet, and west drawers. Go everywhere and check things out for a few minutes. Read the time machine poster near the printer. Discover the stunning Studley tool chest poster near the east parts cabinet.

You probably noticed that many components are filed in boxes labeled with a sequence of letters and numbers. A company called Thorlabs manufactures the most of the optics and optical mounts you will use. The lab manuals frequently refer to components by their part number, which is usually one or two letters that have a vague relationship to the name of the part, followed by a couple of numbers. For example, the Thorlabs part number for a certain type of cage plate is "CP02." Thorlabs makes many kinds of cage plates, each with a subtle variation in its design. All of the cage plate part numbers starts with the letters "CP," followed by some numbers and in some cases a letter or two at the end. The Thorlabs website has an overview page of various kinds of cage plates here. Googling "Thorlabs CP02" is a quick way to get to the catalog page for that part.

To the untrained eye, many of the components in the lab are indistinguishable. The picture on the right shows just one example of strikingly-similar-looking bits. Take care when you select components from stock. Students sometimes return components to the wrong bins. Use even more care when you put things away. It is helpful to sing the One of These Things is Not Like the Others song from Sesame Street out loud while you are putting things away to ensure that you don't make any errors. (For the final exam, you will be required to identify various components while blindfolded.)

Map of the 20.309 lab.

Note that Station 9 is now the "Instructor Station," and the previously labeled instructor station is now "Station 5" and available for your use.

See! Wasn't that a worthwhile journey?