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Fall 2020 Lab Resources


The Advanced Laboratory Physics Association (ALPhA) had meetings with ~30 advanced physics lab instructors from around the US and the world in May 2020. Many of those instructors talked about how hard it was to transition to online or remote lab classes during the Spring when the pandemic hit and about their worries for the Fall. To aid preparations for the Fall, instructors asked ALPhA for two things:  1) increased communication amongst instructors to share ideas or to team up to solve problems, and 2) a curated list/database/website/document of online resources or instructor’s experiences. ALPhA is now in the process of implementing these ideas during June and July as many of our instructors plan for Fall classes. This website will contain all of the information that we collect during this time. Check back for updates.

Increased Communication

ALPhA members can communicate directly with one another via several methods:

Individual ALPhA members may send emails to the ALPhA email directory by creating a "Newsletter" email. Please view the Members section for how to create a Newsletter. For one-on-one emails, there is a searchable Member Directory in the Members section where you can look up email addresses.

2.  Many of us communicate via the listserv, which is listed on the Resources page. Please sign up for the listserv. Then you can send an email to all listserv members asking a question. Response times are very quick, usually only a couple of hours.

3. We now have a Slack workspace. To sign up for the workspace, you can try this invite link. It expires, so to get a new one, please email the ALPhA secretary or webmaster.

4. We have setup a series of one-hour-long zoom meetings for members to meet up to discuss specific topics. These will be facilitated by an ALPhA member. Each meeting will be focused on a particular topic.


Date/Time (all times ET)


Zoom link

In-person/hybrid labs

Friday, June 26, 1 pm   Catherine Herne

Electronics labs

Tuesday, June 30, 1 pm

Eric Ayars

Optics labs Wednesday, July 8, 4 pm

Ernie Behringer

Advanced labs

Thursday, July 9, 2pm

Merideth Frey

Remote labs

Monday, July 13, 2 pm Mark Chantell

Curated Resources

Currently, searching the listserv archive is the best way to see answers to your questions. Directions for signing up for the listserv and accessing the listserv archive are on the Resources page.

A report based on instructor and student responses to surveys and interviews this past semester can be found below.

Teaching labs during a pandemic: Lessons from Spring 2020 and an outlook for the future 

authors: Michael F. J. Fox, Alexandra Werth, Jessica R. Hoehn, H. J. Lewandowski

In addition, ALPhA is creating lists of resources that have been curated by our members. We are listing these resources by topic.

1. Advanced Lab
Advanced Lab Ideas - curated by Kirstin Purdy Drew at Penn State
Advanced Lab Zoom meeting - curated by Merideth Frey at Sarah Lawrence

2. In-Person or Hybrid Labs during covid-19
In-Person or Hybrid Lab Ideas - curated by Catherine Herne at SUNY New Paltz

3. Electronics Lab
Electronics Lab Ideas - curated by Eric Ayars at California State University, Chico

4. Optics Lab
Optics Lab Ideas - curated by Ernie Behringer at Eastern Michigan University

5. Remote Labs
Remote Lab Ideas - curated by Merideth Frey at Sarah Lawrence
Project-based course that was particularly resilient during the pandemic - submitted by Forrest Bradbury from Amsterdam University College

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