JRM Logo Introduction to Mechanical
Design & Vacuum Physics

Introduction to Mechanical Design & Vacuum Physics
Short Course Syllabus


Locations: Cardwell 119 and J.R. Macdonald Laboratory
Recommended Text: Building Scientific Apparatus, 2nd ed.,
Moore, Davis and Coplan, Addision Wesley
(Handouts will be provided)
Enrollment: Restricted to approximately 20 participants,
recommended for all REU and Physics graduate students,
instructor's permission required for others.
Lecturer: Martin P. Stöckli,
Voice: 785-532-2661, Fax: 785-532-6806
Office Hours: Cardwell 17, daily on a drop-in basis or by appointment
Lab Instructor: Paul E. Gibson
Voice: 785-532-2650
Office: Cardwell 19
Certificate of Training issued to participants with 100% attendance and 80% homework points.
Homework due at the beginning of next lecture.


  • Lecture 1: Introduction to Mechanical Designs (Wed, 26 May 99, 1:00 - 3:30 pm)

    properties of materials, permanent joining methods, nuts & bolts, precision and rigidity, mechanical drawings.

    1998 Problem Set 1, 1999 Problem Set 1

  • Lecture 2: Introduction to Vacuum (Tue, 08 Jun 99, 1:00 - 3:00 pm)

    need, concepts of pumping, pressure and throughput, oil-sealed rotary pump, turbo molecular pump, recommended setup & operation of valve-less turbo pumps, O-ring seals, KF-, Dep'X-, ISO-flanges, vacuum couplings, NPT seals, thermal conductivity gauges, B-A ionization gauges, pump down curves, leak detection, contra flow leak detector.

    1998 Problem Set 2, 1999 Problem Set 2

  • Laboratory: (2-3 hours, by appointment)

    Assembly, startup and troubleshooting of turbo pumped systems.
  • Lecture 3: Gas Transport and Vacuum Pumps (Thu, 10 Jun 99, 9:00 - 11:00 am)

    kinetic gas theory, molecular flow, conductance, ultimate pressure, oil-sealed rotary pumps, turbo molecular pumps, molecular drag pump, compound pumps, oil diffusion pump, cryo pumps.

    1998 Problem Set 3, 1999 Problem Set 3

  • Lecture 4: Pressure Limits (Tue, 15 Jun 99, 9:00 - 11:00 am)

    pressure limits, oil backstreaming and suck back, design of high vacuum systems, O-ring seals, flow control devices, design of ultra high vacuum systems, metal seals (CF, Swagelok, Cajon)

    1998 Problem Set 4, 1999 Problem Set 4

  • Lecture 5: Pressure Measurements and Troubleshooting (Thu, 17 Jun 99, 9:00 - 11:00 am)

    manometers, thermal conductivity gauges, B-A ionization gauges, extractor gauge, spinning rotor friction gauge, partial pressure measurements (contra flow leak detector, RGA).

    1998 Problem Set 5, 1999 Problem Set 5

Also see the syllabus for the year 2000 short course.
Last updated on Friday, 17-Feb-2006.
Kansas State University

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