Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Dean Kaul

Second Advisor

Dr. Michitoshi Soga

Third Advisor

Dr. Allen Dotson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


An observation of cascading optical photons can be used to determine an absolute excitation cross section for the intermediate state without the need of standard lamp calibration. In order to reduce the data an angular correlation function and an angular distribution function must be known. These functions depend on the alignment of the upper excited state and the polarization of the light emitted in the lower part of the cascade. However, at certain angles of observation the values of the required functions are known regardless of the alignment or polarization. A computer search is done to find these angles for cascade J = 1→1→0, J=2→1→0, and J=3→2→1 when detectors with large solid angles are used. Possible errors due to misalignment of the photon detectors are considered.