1. Laser Cavities

This idea came about because Eva was interested in studying something related to geometric optics and I had an interest in billiards. Little did I know that the game of billiards was a prime example on how the law of reflection worked and thus extremely geometrical in nature. As a result, it was suggested to us that we work together on studying how laser cavities work and maybe even improve them. To create a laser, there are two basic components that are important: a gain medium and a resonant optical cavity. Our interest, the optical cavity or laser cavity, consists of a mirror at one end and a semi-coated mirror at the other. The idea is that light is trapped between these two mirrors because of the law of reflection. As a result, the energy increases, saturation occurs, and laser light is produced. In conclusion, the goal of this project would be to analyze how the two mirrors work by adjusting the angles and distances while trying various coatings on the second mirror in hopes of the production of a better laser.

2. Acousto Optic Modulator

Due to the fact that my research time was divided between my research at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) and the Laser Teaching Center (LTC), we thought it would not only be wise, but convenient to do a project at the LTC that was somewhat related to my work at the NSLS. At the NSLS, I am currently learning how to analyze data produced by Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure experiments using data software called Athena and Artemis. In EXAFS, an important concept is diffraction, more specifically Bragg diffraction. This gave birth to the idea of doing a project that entailed Bragg diffraction so that I could learn more about it in general. It was suggested that I should do a project related to acousto optics modulation (AOM). In general, an AOM allows the control of a laser beam, more specifically the control of the power, frequency, and spatial direction with the use of an electrical drive system. This occurs as a result of the modification of the refractive index by the oscillating mechanical pressure of a sound wave. This would be relative to Bragg diffraction in that the input beam is diffracted according to the bragg law of diffraction.

3. Microwave Bragg Diffraction

This project was another result of my research project at BNL. The goal of this experiment was to study how Bragg diffraction works using microwave diffraction. In essence, this project would demonstrate the fundamental ideas of the Bragg theory of crystal diffraction using microwaves instead of x-ray which is used at the National Synchrotron Light Source. Briefly, the concept is that the atoms in the crystal are to act like reflective surfaces. When the reflections of parallel planes interfere constructively, the amplitude of the outgoing waves increases according to the Bragg law of diffraction.

4. Bragg Scattering at Different Wavelengths

This project combines the 2 previous project ideas of acousto diffraction and microwave diffraction with my BNL related work which deals with X-ray diffraction. The goal of this project will ideally be to analyze, explain, and perhaps further describe how Bragg Scattering works at different wavelengths. Some example wavelengths are the following: - visible light
- x-rays
- microwaves
- ocean wavelengths that produce bragg scattering
- acousto optics and perhaps magneto optics