Sodium Laser Guidestar and Other Aspects of Optical Signal Processing
Speaker: Natalie Kostinski
Series: Final Public Orals
Location: Engineering Quadrangle B327
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
This thesis summarizes progress towards understanding the interaction of ground-
based lasers with the free sodium atoms at 90 to 100 km above the Earth's surface. To that end, design and instrumentation are described for experiments intended for studying the mechanisms influencing guidestar signal strength. Mimicking mesospheric conditions in the laboratory led to studies of collision processes in low-density buffer gas cells of alkali atoms, a novel laser stability method for exciting single velocity groups of atoms, and a binary test for fast axis determination of a quarter-wave plate. Previous work on all-optical encryption and decryption for physical layer security, and an implementation of a Fredkin gate for reversible computation, using a highly doped but short nonlinear fiber are also described.