Building Scientific Apparatus: Fourth Edition
ISBN 978052187858 – 658 pages $67.94 on Amazon Published 2009
This is one of the most amazing practical laboratory texts that I have come across in long time. A must have for every mad scientist, hands on professor or grad student that is in charge of hardware, this book has both great breadth and depth. Subjects covered are everything from vacuum technology to lasers, optics, glassblowing, electrostatic lenses, electronic circuits and the literal nuts and bolts that put everything together.
There are formulas, graphs, concepts and detailed illustrations throughout and interestingly no photos. But the cleaner lines of draftsman style drawings are actually more helpful in reinforcing clarity and focusing on the essentials such as dimensions and angles and conceptual application.
The only wish list items might be supplying specific example projects with a components list such as building an SEM or STM on a budget and perhaps a chapter on software besides SPICE. Of course then the authors would easily run the risk of increasing the book size to gigantic proportions while supplying information that would get dated too quickly, and be almost unavoidably vendor biased.
Still, any serious lab rat or R&D nanotechnology equipment expert should have this on their shelf. An additional, more subtle advantage of this text is how well it ties mathematical theory with real world design and implementation. If you are struggling with certain key aspects of electrical engineering, for example, this may assist with comprehension by focusing on the core concepts and nailing down the application to real-world considerations.