Extreme Ultraviolet Radiation Spectrometer Design and Optimization

        by Shaun Pacheco (Harvey Mudd College)

        Mentors:  Dr. Guillaume Laurent and Wei Cao

Kansas State University Physics Department  REU Program, sponsored by NSF

This program is funded by the National Science Foundation through grant number PHY-0851599.

Welcome to my webpage. 

This page summarizes my experience doing research for the Summer 2010 at Kansas State University in the James R. Macdonald Lab. I am trying to improve the resolution of the spectrometer currently installed and subsequently calibrate the spectrometer to quantitatively measure the photon energies that are generated through High Harmonic Generation.

Below, I describe the Project Goals, my Research Strategy, my Research Progress, and will eventually post my Final Presentation and Final Report.  I post my thought about our weekly REU scientific Ethics class, taught by Prof. Bruce Glymour and Prof. Amy Lara, and my reaction to Prof. Larry Weaver's Lectures.   Scroll all the way down to learn more About Me.  Finally, I've included some Useful Links.


Project Goals: The goal this summer is to improve the spectrometer that is already installed in order to quantitatively resolve the harmonics that are beings generated. Currently, there is a spectrometer that can show qualitatively that harmonics are being generated, however, quantitative measurements of these wavelengths canít be determined. The resolution of the spectrum is extremely poor on the spectrometer currently installed, so the goal is to sharpen this resolution.

Research Strategy:  My strategy is to make a ray tracing program using Mathematica in order to represent the current set-up down in the lab. I can then use this program to figure out the optimal arrangement of all the components in order to find the optimal arrangement. To learn more about the program click here.

In addition to finding the optimal arrangement, my other goal is to calibrate the spectrometer in order to quantitatively resolve the wavelengths. This is done by taking a picture of the spectrum on a phosphor plate. From the readings on the phosphor plate and the layout of the spectrometer, the wavelengths of light used in the experiment can theoretically be determined. To learn more click here.

Research Progress: 

July 13: The resolution of the spectral lines have been improved significantly, however, the remainder of the project will be devoted to trying to calibrate the spectrometer.

Ethics: The ethics discussions were very useful in forcing me to consider ethical dilemmas that I may face in the future. The ethics discussions covered some basic ethical theory as well as discussions on fraud, dishonesty, authorship, plagiarism, and mentoring relationships. These discussions included extremely relevant scenarios that I may face in the future. Thinking about these ethical issues before they happening to me may prove to be extremely rewarding. Also, the stories told by Dr. Weaver about real ethical dilemmas that he experienced reinforced the notion that I need to think about how Iíll react under these ethical dilemmas.

Final Presentation:  My powerpoint in pdf and ppt format.

Final Report: Click here to download my final report.

Lectures The lectures by Dr. Weaver were extremely useful in learning the basic physics to understand the other studentís projects. With the lectures I was able to follow my peersí weekly presentations, and understand the basic goals of their research. In addition to giving background on everyoneís project, Dr. Weaver was willing to give lectures on any topic. Some topics that were given included a brief introduction to string theory, a lecture on galaxies colliding, and special relativity.

About Me:  I grew up in Southern California and I am currently enrolled at Harvey Mudd College as a junior.


Useful Links: 

High Harmonic Generation

Check out these useful sites:

American Physical Society Statements on Ethics

American Institute of Physics

My Research goup's home page