Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Margaret Murnane

Second Advisor

Paul Beale

Third Advisor

Carl Lineberger

Fourth Advisor

William Peters


Enormous insight can be gained into high energy molecular processes by ionizing a molecule and examining the energy release of the resulting ions and electrons. Time-of-flight spectroscopy is a simple and powerful technique for measuring the mass-to-charge ratio and initial energy of a particle by recording the time it takes to accelerate through a region. Velocity map imaging (VMI) is a newer technique that measures the kinetic energy and angular distributions of electrons and ions in the form of a 2D spatial image. VMI spectrometers can now be combined with time-of-flight techniques to extract the entire three-dimensional momentum distribution of a particle. Among many other benefits, this 3D detection is critical for experiments without intrinsic cylindrical symmetry. This thesis describes 3D momentum imaging upgrades implemented with an existing 2D VMI.