Towards the end of my time at Calvin, I took Quantum II with Professor Walhout. A project in the course grew into some work done in conjunction with his metastable krypton photoassociation lab. It was my first direct experience with the realities of working with experimental data, and was a lot of fun. The long-range diatomic krypton molecule were formed in a MOT via a probe beam with scanning frequency. Various processes result in both the formation of ions and the emission of UV photons. Features in the UV photon emission rate suggest the formation of doubly-excited long range molecules.
My particular contribution to this work was largely in the data reduction and analysis. Specifically:
- Fitting Fabry-Perot spectra to provide a relative frequency scaling
- Fitting an absorption feature to a composite of many absorption lines to give an absolute frequency reference
- Alignment and binning of many runs of data from many days