Graduation Year

2017

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

18-4-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

18-4-2015 3:00 PM

Description

At visible wavelengths, cosmic dust obscures many interesting astronomical environments such as stellar nurseries and new planetary systems. Studying how light interacts with cosmic dust would help reveal the nature of the objects and environments that are obscured by dust. In order to study the optical properties of cosmic dust analogs in the lab, we constructed a custom apparatus, which consists of a vacuum chamber, a cooling mechanism to vary the temperature of dusts in an astronomically interesting range (7-50 Kelvin), and a long-wavelength spectrometer. Since completing the construction of the custom apparatus, we are currently assembling and testing the system piece by piece. Here, we highlight the design and construction of two unique components of the new setup: (1) a spectrometer, based on a novel concept, that works in the mm/sub-mm wavelength range and (2) a cold “filter wheel” used for holding and switching between multiple samples.

Included in

Physics Commons

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Apr 18th, 2:00 PM Apr 18th, 3:00 PM

A New Laboratory for MM-/Sub-MM-Wave Characterization of Cosmic Dust Analogs

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

At visible wavelengths, cosmic dust obscures many interesting astronomical environments such as stellar nurseries and new planetary systems. Studying how light interacts with cosmic dust would help reveal the nature of the objects and environments that are obscured by dust. In order to study the optical properties of cosmic dust analogs in the lab, we constructed a custom apparatus, which consists of a vacuum chamber, a cooling mechanism to vary the temperature of dusts in an astronomically interesting range (7-50 Kelvin), and a long-wavelength spectrometer. Since completing the construction of the custom apparatus, we are currently assembling and testing the system piece by piece. Here, we highlight the design and construction of two unique components of the new setup: (1) a spectrometer, based on a novel concept, that works in the mm/sub-mm wavelength range and (2) a cold “filter wheel” used for holding and switching between multiple samples.