Wasif Zia

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Wasif Zia
Junior Developement Engineer
LUMS School of Science and Engineering

Experimental Physics Lab in SSE

Electronic address: wasif.zia AT lums.edu.pk


National distinction

University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore, Pakistan 2004 - 2008

Current Research

School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan (SSE-LUMS) Dec 2008 - To Date

  • Quantum Optics: On track for antibunching, and single photon interference.

  • Temperature oscillations: Measuring the speed of propagation of thermal oscillations, analysis of the heat equation and measuring the thermal diffusivity of Cu.

  • Curie point, susceptibility and temperature measurements of a ferromagnetic wire in thermally dynamic environments: We have successfully measured the susceptibility of Kanthal-D, common iron nails and Ferrite. This work also entails a TC model for nonlinear and fast heating.

Figure shows vertical and horizontal displacements with error bars and a theoretical fit.(Figure developed by Sohaib Shamim)
Figure shows vertical and horizontal displacements with error bars and a theoretical fit.(Figure developed by Sohaib Shamim)
  • “Investigating viscous damping using a webcam ”, S. Shamim, W. Zia, M.S. Anwar, American Journal of Physics, 78, (2010). : We describe an experiment involving a mass oscillating in a viscous fluid and analyze overdamped, Critically damped and underdamped regimes of harmonic motion. The mechanical oscillator is tracked using a simple webcam and an image processing algorithm records the position of the geometrical center as a function of time. Paper published in A.J.P..

This article can also be downloaded from The Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System, CiteUlike Springer annual reviews and National Research Council Canada.

  • Other experiments: Measurement of heat capacity at cryogenic temperatures and calculation of Debye temperatues.

Research Project: Spin Physics

Supervisor: Dr. Sabieh Anwar


  • Development of a Quantum Optics laboratory, for the purpose of testing theoretical results of a Quantum Optics group in Islamabad.

Current Proposal


  • Use of methods and equipment which enable scientists to be able to study protein-protein and protein-receptor electromagnetic and electrochemical interactions.

Physics Lab Development:

  • Heaters and Refractory materials: We are developing disk, cartridge and ring heaters of variable dimensions to fit our requirements in the lab. We make our own thermal cement and raisin. We are also working on making ceramic sheets (perforated) with different raisins for making shelves and walls of our lab furnaces.

  • Cryogens and Cryostats: We have made our own dry ice containers. These are glass wool lagged copper containers with a thermopore reservoir. The containers were argon welded to prevent damage due to thermal shock. The reservoir loses of dry ice are 2.14kg/day. The container losses in turn are negligible.


Conducted Workshops:

  • Hunerkada Sessions: In these short, hands-on sessions we demonstrate how to use power tools, make common gadgets, and develop specialised tools to fit a particular purpose. This is an exercise to help our lab assistants, technicians and students to have the freedom to develop everything in the lab and workshop.
  • Video Lectures: These are short demonstrations of the freshman experiments. These will help prospective students and will help institutes who we sell our experiments to.[1](Link Opens Drilling Tutorial)

Main Contributions at S.S.E.

School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan (SSE-LUMS) Apr 2008 - Present

Junior Development Engineer
Experimental Physics Laboratory

Main Responsibilities:

  • Developing a list of experiments for the laboratories.
  • Planning, designing and installation of experiments.
  • Testing and prototyping.
  • Equipment manufacturing and sourcing.
  • Organizing the human resource pool for the labs.
  • Responsible for testing, commissioning and prototyping of experimental setups for research and teaching,
  • Designing and creating new experiments.
  • Manufacturing experimental facilities.
  • Operating and maintaining setups.
  • Outsourcing tasks to consultants and external manufacturing agencies.

Main Contributions:

Five, small, disk magnets are placed in different orientations on a rotating disk fitted on a modified electric motor. Above the rotating disk there a coil wound on a small diameter plastic pipe in which EMF is induced. The data from all five magnets is acquired using LabVIEW and then an M-file helps students convert the data to letters.

Home blown 10 cm glass cell was filled with a sugar solution, HeNe laser, polarizer, analyzer and a photodiode were used to determine the optical activity of the solution. First Malus’ law is verified then intensity is measured at the maxima, minima and half maxima. Errors in all three cases are evaluated using MATLAB.

Common webcam is used to acquire frames of an oscillating mass with Imaq tool box of MATLAB. Hooke’s law is first verified followed by SHM plots and curve fit. Viscosity of fluid is also determined.

Students are taught engineering practices to deal with high current and introduced to clamp meters, variacs, magnetic contactors and in the end they find the Curie temperature of an alloy. Investigating the inter-relation between thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism [2](Link Opens Demonstration)

Data acquisition is done using thermocouples and a LabVIEW code is then used to make a binary file which is processed in MATLAB. Newton’s law of cooling is verified and domination of heat transfer modes is interrogated.

Moment of inertia of a disk is found manually then frictional losses are accounted for. Next decay of angular velocity and moment of inertia are calculated using LabPro and LabVIEW.

Metal cubes are dipped in liquid N2 and rate of mass loss due to evaporation is determined. Specific heat of differnt metals is then measured using a graphical approach. Later in the experiment Dulong-Petit law is verified.

  • Latest experiment manuals including LabVIEW and MATLAB codes are available on [3]


University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore, Pakistan 2004 - 2008

BSc (HON) in Physics (MSc equivilant), Department of Physics
Specialization: Experimental Physics


  • Quantitative Precipitation Measurement using (Doppler Weather Station Radar) DWSR 8501S and DWSR 2501C.

Idea was to use two radars of different wavelength (10 cm and 5 cm) resulting in different resolution images within the Rayleigh scattering region. Images from separate radars were acquired within the decorrelation time and then overlapped to find the point where the flood causing rain in 3D will begin. IR images and velocity data were used as supporting counter information tools. My thesis work is in use in Pakistan Metrological Department. I got the highest thesis marks in the past 8 years.

M.Sc. Mathematics

  • According to the rules of University of the Punjab I was not allowed to take any M.Sc. exams privately while doing B.Sc. (Honours).

2001-2003 Lahore Grammar School For Boys Lahore, Pakistan

A’ Levels

  • Physics, Economics, Mathematics, Further Mathematics

1999-2001 Lahore Grammar School For Boys Lahore, Pakistan

O’ Levels

  • Physics, Chemistry, Computer Studies, Mathematics

Summer 1999 Lahore Grammar School For Boys Lahore, Pakistan

Technical Skills

Picture shows Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) chamber at ASB lab.
Picture shows Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) chamber at ASB lab.
Cultured cells, imaged using florescence microscope in University of Texas at Austin.
Cultured cells, imaged using florescence microscope in University of Texas at Austin.
  • Image acquisition using MATLAB and LabVIEW 8.6
  • Clutter recognition in DWSR 8501S
  • Workshop skills in grinding, woodwork, metalwork, glasswork using power tools
  • Lathe Machine operation PL-165
  • Ultra High Vacuum
  • IR and visible image analysis of geostationary and polar satellites
  • Using Lock-in (SR830 and SR510) technique with optical chopper
  • 4, 3, and single pole circuit breaker installation
  • Moment of inertia and frictional losses in disks
  • Susceptibility measurement
  • Heat cavity design
  • Petrol engine maintenance
  • Programming in LabVIEW 8.6
  • Determination of basic construction faults
  • Levelling and drawing angles 30, 45 and 60 with free hand
  • Analogue and digital data acquisition using LabVIEW 8.6
  • Structural design and matrixes
  • Equipment manufacturing
  • Determination of rates of cooling in media
  • High voltage panel and industrial wiring
  • Energy and systems requirements in labs
  • Process control
  • Instrumentation and tool design
  • Thermal insulation and furnace/oven design
  • Training in University of Texas at Austin on Confocal and Florescence microscopy, DNA replication, Nanofabrication, Microfluidics and AFMs

Khwarizmi Science Society

  • Khwarizmi Science Society : Join in our efforts for science popularization by becoming a part of the country's most active science association
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