Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis




When tuning a laser between two excited energy levels of the atoms in a discharge plasma, the discharge current will temporarily be disturbed. This disturbance or change in current is the optogalvanic effect (OGE). The fundamental goal of this project is to determine the exponential rates in the time-dependent OGE signals. These rates are related to the collision rates for the atoms in the plasma. The OGE data will be experimentally recorded, fitted, and analyzed to extract the exponential rates related to the energy levels of the atom in gas in the discharge lamp.