|Kurtis setting up his |
Kurtis is a native of Omaha, NE and is currently majoring in Physics and German with a minor in Mathematics. He is also a Physics Lab Instructor and the Society of Physics Student Vice President at UNO.
During this past summer, Kurtis worked in the James R. Macdonald Laboratory at KSU with Dr. Artem Rudenko and Dr. Daniel Rolles on a project titled “Visualizing ultrafast molecular motion in interferometric pump-probe experiments.” The purpose of the project was to build a new interferometric setup for pump-probe experiments and to analyze the fragmentation patterns of cyclohexadiene (C6H8) from single pulse laser interaction. When asked what he hoped to find as a result of his research, Kurtis said “The molecule I work with has been studied for decades. I hope that I can identify patterns that have already been confirmed, so we can continue on to more advanced methods of studying this molecule.”
|The above diagram is a Dalitz Plot used to read |
the energy distributions of three fragments
As for his personal learning experience, Kurtis said this AMO REU has taught him how to assemble and program optical equipment, to utilize the theory behind the experiments and to implement new methods for analyzing data. Overall, Kurtis enjoyed this opportunity and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in studying experimental AMO Physics, but added it requires a lot of time management, patience as well as a willingness to learn new skills.
When he returns to his home institution, Kurtis plans to continue studying AMO Physics, and he wants to shadow individuals who work in laser induced-ultracold atom trapping so he can draw comparisons to his research.
Funding for this Research Experience was provided by the Kansas and Nebraska NSF EPSCoR Track 2 Grant #1430519 titled: "Imaging and Controlling Ultrafast Dynamics of Atoms, Molecules, and Nanostructures." The grant's educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of atomic/molecular/optical science.