Date of Award

Spring 2001

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2001 Tim Gray. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Physics & Astronomy Department

First Advisor

Michael R. Brown


Using a visible light HeNe interferometer, operating at 632.8 nm, we measure the line-averaged density of spheromaks in the SSX experiment. Phase shift ambiguities associated with normal interferometers are resolved by circularly polarizing the reference beam and sending the recombined output of the interferometer through a Wollaston prism, which generates two outputs 90 degrees out of phase with each other. The plasma densities measured are correlated with triple probe measurements of density and electron temperature.