Sheet fluorescence and annular analysis of ultracold neutral plasmas
Castro Nieto, Jose Antonio
Killian, Thomas C.
Master of Science
This thesis describes sheet fluorescence and annular analysis in strontium ultracold neutral plasmas (UNPs). UNPs are interesting because they can be strongly-coupled, where strong-coupling indicates plasmas with Coulomb interaction energies higher than their thermal energy. UNPs are ideal for studying strongly-coupled physics since they offer the ability to precisely control their initial conditions. Previous studies of UNPs applied fluorescence spectroscopy to measure expansion and ion temperature. This thesis further refines fluorescence by narrowing the laser into a sheet, thereby measuring parameters in the plasma where density variation is small. Annular analysis increases the signal-to-noise ratio in these measurements by adding the signal from sections of an annulus in the spherically-symmetric plasma. This method is applied to the study of kinetic energy oscillations in UNPs, obtaining a higher resolution than previous experiments, and may be used for other density dependent studies.
Atoms & subatomic particles; Plasma physics; Pure sciences