Allison – Oct 9, 2015

IMG_1470This week has been a challenge. The alignment laser in our Bruker FT-IR is ironically out of alignment. After a meeting with John “Laser Extraordinaire” Brandenburger, I think I have a game plan. I have attached an oscilloscope to the instrument to see if I can find the signal, which should be a sine wave. This sine wave comes from a moving mirror that creates a time dependent signal. The laser hits this moving mirror and then shines on a detector. If I can get the mirrors in the right position to pick up this time dependent signal (the sine wave) at the detector then the laser should be aligned enough that the “Auto-Align” program can be run. In the image you can see the guts of my FT-IR. The red connector is looking for that sine wave. The moving mirror is located under the panel with the yellow stickers encased in a metal cylinder, which you can barely see at the bottom of the picture. The mirror is moving from the top to the bottom of this cylinder chamber. Let’s hope next week I can find that signal, so keep your fingers crossed!!

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