Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Steve Cundiff

Second Advisor

Bachana Lomsadze


Magneto optical traps brilliantly combine semi-classical optics with modern physics. By carefully controlling the polarization and frequency of laser beams, it is possible to trap and cool atoms down to the millikelvin range at a relatively low cost. This has opened previously inaccessible physical domains to enterprising physicists all around the world, and is responsible for some of the most interesting experiments being conducted in AMO sciences today. We attempted to employ magneto optical trapping techniques to generate a sample of Rubidium 87 atoms for use in the development of multidimensional Fourier transform spectroscopy with comb lasers. My work entailed the construction and characterization of two external cavity diode lasers (ECDLs), as well as the assembly of a MOT system, which is as of 04/07/2015 not operational. Future work will focus on debugging the system.