Plasma Physics at Gettysburg College

The Development of Our Facilities


 Our Humble Beginnings: The chamber of the future Picketts Charge Plasma Device. 
The 135 liter vacuum chamber (length=120 cm, diameter=38 cm) was obtained through the 
DOE ERLE program.  The chamber is equipped with rectangular port windows on the top and 
side that will permit optical access to a large portion of the plasma.

Students constructed a metal frame to support our 2 vacuum pumps and the piping that connects them to the plasma chamber.  The Picketts Charge Plasma Device requires both a mechanical and an oil diffusion vacuum pump to evacuate its chamber.

While some students worked on the hardware to support the pumps and piping, others began to construct the interior of the chamber.




The assembled interior of the chamber.

Professor Timothy Good works on the assembled chamber. 

The current setup of the Picketts Charge Plasma Device.

Constructing the Picketts Charge Plasma Device was only the beginning of the development of our facilities; the nature of our research also required the construction of a laser system. 
To learn about the role of lasers in our research, please review
Professor Good's Research Proposal.

Our research relies heavily on two argon lasers.  The lasers will be directed into the 

plasma to help define the basic characteristics of plasmas.

Professor Timothy Good works on the lasers.