Date Thesis Awarded

4-2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Physics

Advisor

Seth Aubin

Committee Members

Irina Novikova

Timothy Costelloe

Mary Melfi

Abstract

This thesis describes the design, construction and characterization of an external cavity diode laser (ECDL) within the context of AMO research – specifically, ultracold rubidium experiments. The main benefit over other forms of laser light is the ECDL’s low cost and narrow linewidth. Having a more narrow linewidth allows us to affect specific electron states, such as for laser cooling, more precisely than broader alternatives.

We find that building such a laser in house is feasible with scan range up to 4 GHz. We also note that attention to external noise, through mechanical vibrations but more importantly through temperature drifts, is necessary to produce an ECDL with a stable optical frequency.

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