Date of Award

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

Charles Sukenik

Committee Member

Gail Dodge

Committee Member

Alexander Gurevich


Atom Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA) has made radiokrypton dating of polar ice and groundwater samples a possibility for scientists all over the world, allowing them to date samples further back in time and more accurately than other methods. However, this technique is hampered by the 36-hour cleaning process required for production of metastable-state krypton atoms via a radio-frequency driven plasma. Production of metastable krypton all-optically would dramatically increase the rate at which samples could be measured. Attempts to build an apparatus that could accomplish this have been done in the past but were lacking in aordability and practicality for widespread use. Using a newly available, commercial 123nm lamp, as well as an 819nm external cavity diode laser combined with a Fabry-Perot power buildup cavity may solve both of those problems. The work reported here details progress made on our experiment to investigate all-optical production of metastable-state krypton. While our apparatus is expected to be both aordable and portable, it still requires optimization in a variety of areas including stabilization of the Fabry-Perot cavity, nal choice of the best cavity conguration that optimizes high intensity vs. large beam waist and, nally, detection optimization. With further study, this experiment will allow us to quantify the rate of metastable state krypton produced in this new excitation conguration and inform nal design of a module to produce metastable krypton that has the potential to be an improvement for ATTA by increasing the rate at which samples can be dated for scientists around the world.


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