The Applied Physics Institute is a multidisciplinary center performing research and development projects in nuclear physics, material science, electronics, and Homeland Security. Recognized by the University as a Program of Distinction, the institute has been part of the Applied Research and Technology Program since 1998. The API has about 15,000 sq. ft of laboratory and office space in the new building at the WKU Center for Research and Development. The building also provides the team with two conference rooms for presentation and meeting purposes. In addition, a 10,000 sq ft outdoor facility is available which is licensed for most of radioactive materials and radiation-producing machines.
API is licensed for radioactive material handling and research. The institute has d-T and d-d pulse neutron generators, Pu-Be neutron source, collection of x-ray, gamma-ray sources. Indoor radiation-shielded laboratories and certified outdoor proving ground can be utilized for experimental R&D activities involving radiation measurements for neutrons with energies up to 14.1 MeV. The radiation laboratory provides two separate experimental cells for work with pulse neutron sources. The laboratories have variety of x-ray, gamma-ray and neutron detectors (scintillators, HPGe, SiLi, gaseous, etc.) with associated high speed data acquisition equipment, electronics and spectrometry software
The computational studies are executed on the Linux-based multiprocessor computer cluster at the Applied Physics Institute. The high-performance parallel computing cluster (API Cluster II) consists of 20 identical servers. Each server consists of two quad-core AMD processors, 2.2-GHz each core, 8GB RAM, 160GB hard drive, and 1-Gbit Fast Ethernet card. Server is operated under Rocks v4.3 (open source Linux cluster distribution).
The NOVA Center was established in 2011 at Western Kentucky University as a home to one of the world's largest Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscopes (LC-SEM). The center has laboratory and office space at the WKU Center for Research and Development.
With a traditional scanning electron microscope (SEM), one of the most confronted challenges for materials scientists is the limitation of the size of the sample being tested. These samples are normally small, and on the order of ten to a hundred millimeters in diameter. Given this constraint, there is a limit on the samples that can be analyzed using this important testing technique. The LC-SEM at the NOVA Center is an answer to overcome this and many other challenges in nondestructive analysis. The LC-SEM can accommodate samples up to 1500 mm in diameter and 650 lbs due to the size of the vacuum chamber and the Extended View capabilities of the optic system.