Experimental Modern and Quantum Physics for Do-It-Yourself Science Enthusiasts 

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Prototyping PCB for d.i.y. Photomultiplier (PMT) Amplifier/Processor

We built the bulk of our PMT amplifier/processor/discriminator on a Universal PDIP Operational Amplifier Evaluation Module by Texas Instruments (model OPAMPEVM-PDIP).  Click on the picture above for a full-size version of the picture. The diagram in the following pdf file shows the connection layout for the circuit shown in the book’s Figure 34: PMT Processor PCB 

 
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d.i.y. Mod for Perkin Elmer SPCM-AQR Single-Photon Detector Module to Improve Photon Timing Performance

I. Rech, I. Labanca, M. Ghioni, and S. Cova of the Politecnico di Milano in Italy described an interesting modification to the Perkin Elmer SPCM-AQR Single-Photon Counting Module (SPCM) to improve its timing characteristics in: I. Rech, I. Labanca, M. Ghioni, and S. Cova, “Modified single photon counting modules for optimal timing performance“, Rev. Sci.

 
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Matlab Video Frame Integration Program Using VCAPG2 for Single-Photon Double-Slit Interference Experiment

In Chapter 5 of the book we list a short Matlab® program to integrate successive video frames from our diy intensified camera to image double-slit interference patterns obtained by shooting a single photon at a time. The program listed in the book uses Vision for Matlab (VFM).  However, this utility is not compatible with all versions

 
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DN1221 Thermoelectric Controller for d.i.y. Single-Photon Counter Module

Figure 144 in the book shows the schematic diagram for our d.i.y. thermoelectrically cooled single-photon avalanche photodiode (SPAD).  Our design calls for a ThermOptics DN1225 TEC controller.  However, this model is not available any more.  Fortunatelly, the ThermOptics’ DN1221 subminiature Bipolar Temperature Controller for Thermoelectric Coolers (TEC) is equally suitable by adapting the pinout and adjusting component values.

 
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We Received The First Copies of Our d.i.y. Quantum Physics Book!

Today we received the first two copies of the book!  Amazon’s website says that it will be shipping on January 29, 2012. From the back cover: “Build an intuitive understanding of the principles behind quantum mechanics through practical construction and replication of original experiments. With easy-to-acquire, low-cost materials and basic knowledge of algebra and trigonometry,

 
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Excelitas Technologies (Perkin-Elmer) C30902SH Single-Photon Avalanche Photodiode (SPAD) used in d.i.y. SPCM

Figure 144 in the book shows the schematic diagram for our d.i.y. passively-quenched SPCM based on a Perkin-Elmer C30902S-DTC SPAD. In our circuit, the SPAD is reverse-biased through a 200kΩ resistor. This value is sufficiently large that an avalanche in the SPAD will be quenched by itself within less than a nanosecond. The pulses produced by

 
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Type I Downconversion Beta-Barium-Borate (BBO) Crystal Array for diy Entangled Photon Source

Our diy entangled-photon source, shown in the book’s Figure 142,  uses two BBO crystals that support type I down-conversion that are mounted according to a design by Paul Kwiat and his colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The nonlinear crystal in our photon entangler comprises two 5 mm x 5 mm x 0.1 mm BBO crystals mounted face-to-face at

 
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405 nm Pump Laser for diy Entangled Photon Source

This is the 405 nm pump laser used in the circuit shown in the book’s Figure 141.   The laser is built from a Blu Ray disk burner laser diode.  We drive the laser diode with 160 mA to produce around 100 mW of 405-nm polarized light.  The laser diode is capable of producing 250 mW, but we

 
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diy PMT Pulse Processor Suitable For Use With “Pulse Recorder and Analyser (PRA)” MCA

Figure 34 in the book shows the schematic diagram for the photomultiplier tube (PMT) signal processing circuit that amplifies the narrow pulses detected by the PMT probe.  The discriminator stage removes small pulses produced by thermal noise in the tube.  A pulse stretcher outputs pulses that can be heard on a speaker.  In addition, the analog

 
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diy Low-Cost, Regulated, Variable, Low-Ripple High-Voltage (2kV) Photomultiplier Tube Power Supply

The book’s Figure 32 shows the schematic diagram for a low-cost, variable-voltage PMT power supply based on a BXA-12579 inverter module that is originally designed as a power supply for cold-cathode fluorescent lamps.  This under-$20 module produces 1,500VAC at around 30kHz from a 12VDC input. We are posting this picture to help you build your own power

 
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Beam Diagram for Entangled-Photon Source

This picture supplements Figure 148 in the book.  The colors should help you visualize the paths of the beams in our entangled-photon source:  Violet – 405 nm pump laser beam; Pink – 810 nm signal and idler entangled-photon beams.  A detailed schematic diagram for the entangler is available in the book’s Figure 147.  Figure 149 shows

 
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RCA 6655A PMT Data Sheet

This is the datasheet for the RCA 6655A PMT used in the probe shown in the book’s Figure 30: RCA_6655A_Datasheet This is the datasheet for Hamamatsu’s replacement of the RCA 6655A PMT: Hamamatsu replacement for RCA 6655A R2154-02 Schematic diagrams for the probe are in Figure 29.

 
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Assembly View of diy Variable-Output, High-Performance PMT High-Voltage Power Supply

We are posting this picture to help you construct the variable-output, low-ripple, high-stability, high-voltage power supply described in pages 38-40 of “Exploring Quantum Physics Through Hands-On Projects.”  The schematic diagrams for this power supply are in the book’s Figure 31.  Output voltage (up to 2 kV) and current (up to 1 mA) are monitored via

 
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Compton Scattering Experiment Using Spectrum Techniques’ Equipment

Spectrum Techniques of Oak Ridge, TN - a top supplier of Exempt Quantity radioisotope sources and nuclear measurement instrumentation – released today our tutorial: “Experiment Note: Exploring Compton Scattering Using the Spectrum Techniques Universal Computer Spectrometer”

 
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quTools quED Entanglement Demonstrator

Image Credit: quTools quTools of München, Germany is the maker of the quED quantum entangled state demonstrator system to generate and analyze polarization entangled photons.  This system is a professionally-manufactured version of the type of entangled-photon generator used by many universities, and similar to the diy version described in Chapter 8 of our book (Figure 148). quED employs a

 
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