A major addition to LaTourette Hall (then called Faraday Hall) was completed in 1995, approximately doubling the space and equipment available to the Physics Department. Physics majors at NIU already have a wide variety of facilities available for their use. These include computers, a machine shop, an observatory, and the departmental library. Other research equipment is also available to students for laboratory courses and independent research projects.
The student shop contains machine tools which are available for student use. These include circular and band saws, drill presses, lathes, a milling machine, and equipment for bending and cutting sheet metal. Our machine shop personnel can help students with instruction and advice on using the shop equipment.
The physics department has an observatory, with a 14 inch diameter telescope on an equatorial mount. Both a CCD camera and film camera are available. Some students in the past few years have used the telescope for independent research or undergraduate thesis projects.
Located in Faraday Hall, the physics and chemistry libraries at NIU are separate from the main library. This provides a convenient and quiet place for physics students to study, close to their classes, labs and professors. The library has general and specialist books in physics, as well as the physics journals needed to keep up with the latest discoveries.