UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A UV Zeeman-effect polarizer Grant, Robert Wallace


It is shown that light emitted by mercury vapour at 253.7 nm can be polarized by passing the light through mercury absorption gas embedded in a magnetic field which is transverse to the direction of propagation of the light. The absorption lines of the mercury are split by the Zeeman effect, so that the absorber has an absorption coefficient which depends on both the polarization and wavelength of the transmitted light. A complete theory for the Hg²⁰² isotope is presented and the results are compared to measurements made with a natural mercury emitter and absorber. The observations are in qualitative agreement with the theory once isotope and hyperfine structure of the isotopes in natural mercury are included in the theory. Quantitative analysis was not possible because the emission line profiles could not be measured with the available equipment.

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