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  • RESEARCH EXPERIENCE FOR TEACHERS PROGRAM (RET)

    About the RET Program | FAQ | 2011 Projects

     

    2011 Projects

    Infrared Radiation (IR) Microscopy

    Mentor: Bob Julian

    FTIR endstation The IR microscopy program at SRC utilizes the synchrotron as an intense IR source to illuminate the field of observation.  The increased intensity facilitates the acquisition of high quality IR images incorporating full IR spectral analysis at each pixel in the image.  Analysis of the images has already provided insight into the chemistry and biochemistry associated with volcanic mineral inclusions, detecting art forgeries, algae metabolism and Alzheimer tissue samples. 

     

    InfraRed ENvironmental Imaging (IRENI) Microscopy

    Mentor: Carol Hirschmugl

    IRENI Picture From the earliest experiments with optical microscopes, researchers have examined the appearance of microbes and other microscopic plants and animals. Beyond the visual appearance of these structures, knowledge of their chemical makeup would provide great insight into how these sub-cellular structures function in a living cell. Moreover, tracking the changes in their chemical makeup would allow scientists to understand the organism's response to changing environmental conditions. The development of a chemically sensitive infrared microscope with multiple, parallel detection channels will greatly expand the ability to examine such biological structures and to track their changes over minutes. 

     

    Photo-Ionization Studies

    Mentor: Ralf Wehlitz

    Graphs Investigating the interactions of electrons in an atomic system is at the heart of understanding quantum mechanics. We have studied the interaction of magnesium (Mg) atoms with soft x-rays (i.e. high-energy light) coming from a synchrotron light source (SRC). At just the right energy of the light an electron of the Mg atom can be moved to a higher, empty energy level inside that atom. With increasing energy, higher and higher steps in this "Rydberg ladder" can be reached. These steps get closer and closer in energy and eventually the electron is free and leaves the atom. By doing a quantitative analysis of those "ladders" in Mg with a much higher precision than was done before, we not only improved previous results but also found that one of the ladders ended at the wrong energy! Besides this correction, our new state-of-the-art data provide the basis for stringent tests of different theoretical models when they become available. On a practical note, our data can also be used for energy calibration at other experiments.

     

    For more information or questions don't hesitate to contact us.

    Rick Cole
    SRC-RET Program Coordinator
    email: rcole@src.wisc.edu
    (608) 877-2137

    Chris Moore
    SRC Education and Outreach Coordinator
    email: cmoore@src.wisc.edu
    (608) 877-2137

    SRC Central Office
    (608) 877-2000

    Synchrotron Radiation Center
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    3731 Schneider Drive
    Stoughton, WI 53589