Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)



First Advisor

A. Rodriguez

First Committee Member

Fred Inman

Second Committee Member

Calvin Potts

Third Committee Member

Carl E. Wulfman


An excited nucleus may undergo a transition to its ground state by the emission of a gamma ray. The nucleus, if free to do so, will recoil and take some of the transition energy as recoil energy leaving less energy for the emitted gamma ray. This gamma ray does not have enough energy to excite a similar nucleus and will, therefore, not by resonantly absorbed due to the fact that the natural linewidth of the gamma ray is so much smaller than the energy taken by the emitting atom and the similar energy needed by the absorbing atom.

In 1958 a new effort in the emission and absorption processes of low energy gamma rays was announced by Rudolph L. Mössbauer. His discovery was made while he was doing graduate work at Heidelberg, Germany. Since that time this effect, not known as the Mössbauer effect, has been studied and confirmed in many laboratories. By 1961 the significance and usefulness of this effect was so widely recognized that Rudolph Mössbauer was awarded the Nobel Prize.

The new effect involves recoil free emission and resonant absorption of low energy gamma rays by atoms tightly bound in a crystalline lattice. The characteristics of the Mössbauer effect have led to the feasibility of studies previously not possible in nuclear-. Solid taste-, and atomic physics; chemistry; and biology.

It is the purpose of this research project to design and build a Mössbauer effect apparatus.



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