An optical laboratory will be assembled that will illustrate many important concepts in optics, allow testing of the theories developed in courses, and provide crucial experimental techniques for probing condensed matter systems. All Wooster students are required to perform a year-long research project in their senior year. An extended investigation allows students to integrate material from a variety of courses and labs and provides an essential example of their profession. This grant will allow a new technique to be available for student research - laser light scattering. By providing a series of optics experiments in modern physics and junior independent study, the students will be able to use static and dynamic light scattering as a probe of many physical systems currently of interest to the scientific community. The acquisition of a 5 W Argon ion laser, a vibration isolated optics table, laser amplitude stabilizer and several optical components will allow our undergraduates to investigate fundamental molecular processes and to do holography in laboratory courses and in senior independent study projects. The College of Wooster will match the NSF grant with an equal amount of funds.