Date of Award

12-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Physics

Major Professor

Robert N. Compton

Committee Members

Robert J. Harrison, Marianne Breinig, John Stewart Hager

Abstract

The research is concerned with atmospheric chemistry & physics, and analyzing the environment with respect to the quantity of molecules is in the air we breathe. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy is used to identify the IR active molecules in our atmosphere. FTIR Spectrometer determines the intensity loss for molecules that have absorbed IR light. The FTIR spectroscopy is performed using the light from the sun or a carbon rod light source in the lab. A Sun-tracking device was employed to direct the sunlight into the spectrometer. Open-path measurements were made using multiple mirror reflections of the carbon rod light source over the top of the SERF (Science and Engineering Research Facility) building. From the Open-path measurements it was determined that the CO and N2O change concentrations during the day and night. Two different open path setups were employed with good success. Time-dependence of the IR spectra for many of the greenhouse gases are presented. In addition, we have performed Gaussian 03 calculations of the IR spectra for many of the greenhouse gases as well as for the nitroethane molecule.

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