Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Todd D. Averett

Committee Members

David S. Armstrong

Robert D. Pike


Current research at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility is being conducted to study the spin structure of the neutron through collisions with polarized 3He nuclei. The helium is contained in high pressure glass vessels (called cells) along with nitrogen, rubidium, and potassium. To deduce the spin structure from collisions, we need to know the precise number density of 3He in the cell. The process of polarizing 3He through spin-exchange optical pumping requires nitrogen and alkali metal. We can use the absorption linewidths of rubidium and potassium to more accurately determine the density of helium. Throughout my research, I collected absorption measurements in order to explore how different laser powers, temperatures, and polarization angle affected the linewidths of the Rb D1, Rb D2, K D1, and K D2 transitions. I also plotted the predicted number densities using the empirical model derived in Kluttz et al. 2013 and tested the limitations of this model. My work showed support of this model in the case of both rubidium transitions, but showed that there is some undetermined effects impacting potassium as laser power is manipulated.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.