Date of Award

Spring 1995

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Mark D. Havey

Committee Member

Leposava Vuskovic

Committee Member

Charles Hyde-Wright

Committee Member

Rocco Schiavilla

Committee Member

A. Dharamsi


Polarization and intensity spectra have been obtained for excited-state magnesium (3s3p 1P1) - rare gas optical collisions. The magnesium was excited by a linearly polarized laser tuned to the 3s21s0 → 3s3p 1P1 atomic transition at 285 nm. A second linearly polarized laser was tuned near the 3s3p 1P1 → 3s5s 1S0 transition at 571 nm (experiment A) and near the 3s3p 1P1 → 3s4d 1D2 transition at 553 nm (experiment B). The polarization vector of the second laser was oriented either parallel or perpendicular to the polarization direction of the first laser. The absorption of nonresonant light from the second laser, possible only during a collision, was monitored by cascade fluorescence from the 3s21S0 ← 3s4p 1P1 transition at 203 nm. For each detuning of the second laser from resonance, the degree of linear polarization and the intensity were measured. For experiment A, argon and neon were used as rare gases. For experiment B, argon was the rare gas used. For experiment B, fluorescence from the 3s3p 1P1 ← 3s5s 1S0 transition, and the 3s3p3Pj ← 3s5s 3S1 transition at 333 nm were also measured in an attempt to observe the region of inelastic transitions in the molecular states. No inelastic branching was observed in this experiment.