April 24, 2018
Natalie Ferris, Ruth Strauss and Veronica Rodriguez will present their senior research.
Natalie G. Ferris & Ruth A. Strauss - “Double-Slit Interference with Partially-Coherent Light”
To analyze double-slit interference using a quantum light source, we must first fully understand this type of interference with a classical, partially-coherent source of light. Experimentally, our light source consists of an expanded Helium Neon laser incident on a rotating white card. The size of the source is controlled with a variable width slit. We measure the intensity of the light after it passes through a double-slit aperture. The visibility of the observed interference pattern depends on the angular size of our light source. We show the relationship between angular source size and visibility for partially-coherent light sources. The experimental data demonstrates shortcomings of the standard theoretical description, particularly for low visibilities. To resolve this, we develop a more complete theoretical model that has better agreement with the experimental data. We discuss implications of these results for ghost interference, a phenomenon where an interference pattern is observed in a beam of light that does not actually pass through a diffracting mask such as a double slit.
Veronica Marie Rodriguez - “The Use of Automated Planetariums in Introductory Undergraduate Astronomy Education”
This project focuses on developing and evaluating the effectiveness of short planetarium shows on the Spitz ATM-4 Theater Automation System of Dickinson College's Kanev Planetarium; specifically centered on programs intended for use in introductory undergraduate astronomy courses. The programs have been tested on volunteer groups including Dickinson students as well as Carlisle residents. Now completed, the programs are available for use by the Dickinson Department of Physics and Astronomy as aids for instructors or as a basis for further research.
Free pizza & everyone welcome to attend.