Department of Physics Wellesley College Wellesley, MA Back to main page: Research and Professional Information
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S., Physics (1976) University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D., Physics (1985)
My research is in the field of experimental molecular spectroscopy. My laboratory programs emphasize, but are not limited to, molecular transitions of interest to the astrophysical, aeronomic, and planetary atmospheres communities. The bulk of my work has involved the measurement and interpretation of high-resolution absorption spectra of vacuum ultraviolet (100-200 nm) and extreme ultraviolet (50-100 nm) transitions. I am also active in the field of Fourier transform spectroscopy of diatomic molecules, and I have a continuing interest in laser spectroscopies of diatomics.
I. I am involved in a number of laboratory projects focusing on the EUV (extreme ultraviolet) and VUV (vacuum ultraviolet) absorption spectra of diatomic and triatomic molecules of astrophysical interest. I measure and analyze absolute photoabsorption cross sections (or equivalently, transition probabilities or oscillator strengths), line widths, and wavelengths of molecular features that are needed for the interpretation of the photophysics and photochemistry of both astronomical sources and the Earths atmosphere. These projects are currently supported by grants to Wellesley College from the NASA Planetary Atmospheres, Origins of Solar Systems, and Astrobiology & Exobiology programs.grant to Wellesley College. Current projects include:
(a) Molecular Nitrogen: I am completing a laboratory project to measure line f-values and widths in the complex N2 spectrum between 80 and 100 nm. These measurements are incorporated into a theoretical model of the absorption spectrum of N2 which has established the mechanisms responsible for predissociation and reproduces the observed features in all N2 isotopomers as a function of temperature. Measurements are currently being carried out on the DESIRS beamline of the SOLEIL synchrotron facility in St. Aubin, France.
A website has been constructed and is now online, titled N2 Photoabsorption Cross Sections in the Vacuum Ultraviolet. The site, which resides at Wellesley College, provides access to the outputs of a photoabsorption cross section model developed at the Australian National University (ANU) Research School of Physics and Engineering Atomic and Molecular Physics Laboratories. The cross sections are derived from a coupled Schrödinger equation (CSE) model of the relevant electronic states, developed by Brenton Lewis and colleagues. The model parameters are optimized to reproduce a large experimental database of line positions, oscillator strengths, and line widths. This work is supported by the NASA Planetary Atmospheres program.
(b) Carbon Monoxide: In collaboration with Dr. Jim Lyons at the UCLA IGPP Center for Astrobiology and with Brenton Lewis and colleagues at the ANU, I am studying the extreme ultraviolet photoabsorption spectrum of CO and its isotopologues.The origin and significance of unusual oxygen isotope ratios discovered in early condensates from the solar nebula have been an intriguing puzzle for the past 30 years. It has been recently proposed that isotope-selective photodissociation of CO in the solar nebula or parent molecular cloud is responsible for the oxygen isotope signatures. This theory places constraints on the formation conditions of the solar nebula, and is amenable to testing with accurate photodissociation calculations for CO isotopologues. To evaluate the CO photodissociation theory we are measuring high-resolution photoabsorption cross sections of CO and its isotopologues in the 91.2 to 111.8 nm region. The results of these measurements will be incorporated into radiative transfer calculations of the solar nebula to quantify oxygen isotope fractionation via CO photodissociation. The measurements are being carried out on the DESIRS beamline at SOLEIL. This work is supported by the NASA Origins of Solar Systems program.
(c) Carbon Dioxide: The photodissociation of CO2 is a fundamental photochemical process in the atmospheres of Mars and Venus. My research, carried out on the DESIRS beamline at SOLEIL centers on the measurement of high resolution cross sections from 87 to 120 nm. I have completed measurements at 295 K and 195 K over the 106 to 120 nm region, and I am currently undertaking new room temperature measurements in the 87 to 106 nm region. This work is supported by the NASA Planetary Atmospheres program.
(d) Diatomic Sulfur: Interpretations of atmospheric (Io, Jupiter) S2 absorption features are hindered by a complete lack of laboratory cross sections in the ultraviolet. We have begun to quantify the photoabsorption spectrum of S2 from 200 to 300 nm based on theoretical calculations and laboratory measurements. Coupled-channel calculations are being complemented by measurements of S2 absorption at high resolution. We have designed an experimental apparatus to produce a stable column of S2 vapor and are in the planning stages for high-resolution measurements. This work is supported by the NASA Planetary Atmospheres program.
(e) Sulfur Dioxide: In collaboration with colleagues in the Space and Atmospheric Physics Group at Imperial College, London, I provide astronomers with high-resolution cross section data for the complex ultraviolet SO2 absorption spectrum. Using the Imperial College VUV Fourier transform spectrometer, we have completed and published cross sections from 198 to 325 nm (295 K) and from 199 to 220 nm (160 K). We recently completed work on further low-temperature measurements from 220 to 325 nm. This work is supported by the NASA Planetary Atmospheres program.
(f) Sulfur Dioxide Isotopologues: In collaboration with Dr. Jim Lyons at the UCLA IGPP Center for Astrobiology and Dr. Doug Blackie and Dr. Juliet Pickering at Imperial College, I am measuring, at high resolution, photoabsorption cross sections of several isotopologues of sulfur dioxide: 32SO2, 33SO2, 34SO2, and 36SO2. The cross sections will be used in models of the early earth atmosphere to test the hypothesis that "mass independent fractionation" of sulfur deposits in early rock samples is a marker of the rise of oxygen in the earth's atmosphere. This work is supported by the NASA Exobiology and Astrobiology program.
2. I have collaborated with Professor Robbie Berg and Tom Bauer of the Physics Department to develop a laser cooling and trapping apparatus. In the summer of 2002 I supervised two physics students, Ama Abeberese ('04) and Frannie D'Arcangelo ('03), working on this project. Building on the accomplishments of a number of other students in the lab, Ama and Frannie successfully trapped rubidium atoms and cooled them to a temperature of only a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. Kali Wilson ('04) completed her senior thesis on this project in the 2003-04 academic year. In the summer of 2004, Oana Ivan ('07) and Rebecca Ward (McDaniel College, '06) re-designed our optical and spectroscopy systems to improve the reliability of the trapping apparatus. Sheila Dwyer ('05) completed a senior thesis in the laser cooling lab in 2005. More recently, Liz Rivers ('07), Christina Miller ('08), Rita Lam ('09), and Amila Hadziomerspahic ('10) continued the development of this apparatus.
D. Blackie, R. Blackwell-Whitehead, G. Stark, J. C. Pickering, P. L. Smith, J. Rufus, and A. P. Thorne, High-resolution photoabsorption cross-section measurements of SO2 at 198 K from 213 to 325 nm, J. Geophys. Res., 116, E03006, doi:10.1029/2010JE003707 (2011).
J. Rufus, G. Stark, A. P. Thorne, J. C. Pickering, R. J. Blackwell-Whitehead, D. Blackie, and P. L. Smith, High-resolution photoabsorption cross-section measurements of SO2 at 160 K between 199 and 220 nm, J. Geophys. Res., 114, E06003, doi:10.1029/2008JE003319 (2009).
K. P. Huber, M.-C. Chan, G. Stark, K. Ito, and T. Matsui, N2 band oscillator strengths at near-threshold energies, J. Chem. Phys. 131, 084301 (2009).
A. N. Heays, B. R. Lewis, G. Stark, K. Yoshino, P. L. Smith, K. P. Huber, and K. Ito, Oscillator strengths and line widths of dipole-allowed transitions in 14N2 between 86.0 and 89.7 nm, J. Chem. Phys. 131, 194308 (2009).
X. Liu, D. E. Shemansky, C. P. Malone, P. V. Johnson, J. M. Ajello, I. Kanik, A. N. Heays, B. R. Lewis, S. T. Gibson & G. Stark,Experimental and coupled-channels investigation of the radiative properties of the N2 c4' 1S+u - X 1S+g band system, J. Geophys. Res. 113, A02304 (2008).
G. Stark, B. R. Lewis, A. N. Heays, K. Yoshino, P. L. Smith, and K. Ito, Oscillator strengths and line widths of dipole-allowed transitions in 14N2 between 89.7 and 93.5 nm, J. Chem. Phys. 128, 114302 (2008).
M. O. Vieitez, T. I. Ivanov, C. A. de Lange, W. Ubachs, A. N. Heays, B. R. Lewis & G. Stark, Interactions of the 3ppu (v=2) Rydberg-complex member in isotopic N2, J. Chem. Phys. 128, 134313 (2008).
B. R. Lewis, K. G. H. Baldwin, J. P. Sprengers, W. Ubachs, G. Stark, and K. Yoshino, Optical observation of the C, 3ssgF3, and 3ppuG3 3?u states of N2, J. Chem. Phys. 129, 164305 (2008).
G. Stark, K. Yoshino, P. L. Smith, and K. Ito, Photoabsorption cross section measurements of CO2 between 106.1 and 118.7 nm at 295 and 195 K, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Rad. Trans. 103, 67–73 (2007).
M. O. Vieitez, T. I. Ivanov, J. P. Sprengers, C. A. de Lange, W. Ubachs, B. R. Lewis & G. Stark, Quantum-interference effects in the o 1?u(v=1) - b 1?u(v=9) Rydberg-valence complex of molecular nitrogen, Molecular Physics 105, 1543 – 1557 (2007).
G. Stark and P. L. Smith, Spectroscopic Techniques: Ultraviolet, in Springer Handbook of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, edited by G. Drake, Springer Science, New York, pp. 641 – 656 (2006).
G. Stark, K. P. Huber, K. Yoshino, P. L. Smith, and K. Ito, Oscillator strength and linewidth measurements of dipole-allowed transitions in N2 between 93.5 and 99.5 nm, J. Chem. Phys. 123, 214303 (2005).
V. E. Haverd, B. R. Lewis, S. T. Gibson, and G. Stark, Rotational effects in the band oscillator strengths and predissociation linewidths for the lowest 1P – X 1S+g transitions of N2, J. Chem. Phys. 123, 214304 (2005).
Ch. Jungen, K. P. Huber, M. Jungen, and G. Stark, The near-threshold absorption spectrum of N2, J. Chem. Phys., 118, 4517 - 4538 (2003).
J. Rufus, G. Stark, P. L. Smith, J. C. Pickering, and A. P. Thorne, High resolution photoabsorption cross section measurements of SO2, 2: 220 to 325 nm at 295 K, J. Geophys. Res. 108, 2002JE001931 (2003).
B. R. Lewis, S. T. Gibson, J. P. England, G. Stark, and J. B. West, Anomalous isotopic predissociation in the F 3Pu (v = 1) state of O2, J. Chem. Phys. 116, 3286 (2002).
G. Stark, P. L. Smith, K. Yoshino, J. R. Esmond, T. Matsui, and K. Ito, Line oscillator strength measurements in the d(7)-X(0) and e(4)-X(0) bands of CO, Astrophys. J. Suppl. 138, 305 (2002).
J. R. Gillis, A. Goldman, G. Stark, and C. P. Rinsland, Line parameters for the A 2S+ - X 2P bands of OH, J. Quant. Spectr. & Rad. Transfer, 68, 225 (2001).
G. Stark, K. P. Huber, K. Yoshino, M. C. Chan, T. Matsui, P. L. Smith, and K. Ito, Line Oscillator Strength Measurements in the 0-0 Band of the c4' 1S+u - X 1S+g Transition of N2, Astrophys. J. 531, 321 (2000).
G. Stark, B. R. Lewis, S. T. Gibson, and J. P. England, High-resolution oscillator strength measurements of the CO B 1S+ X 1S+ (0,0) and (1,0) vibrational bands, Astrophys. J. 520, 732 (1999).
G. Stark, P. L. Smith, J. Rufus, A. P. Thorne, J. C. Pickering, and G. Cox, High-resolution photoabsorption cross section measurements of SO2 at 295 K between 198 and 220 nm, J. Geophys. Res. 104, 16585 (1999).
G. Stark, B. R. Lewis, S. T. Gibson, and J. P. England, High-resolution oscillator strength measurements for high-v bands of the A 1P(v) - X 1S+(v"=0) system of carbon monoxide, Astrophys. J. 505, 452 (1998).
G. Stark and P. L. Smith, Spectroscopic Techniques: Ultraviolet, in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Reference Book, edited by G. Drake, American Institute of Physics Press, New York, pp. 487-498 (1996).
K. Yoshino, G. Stark, J. R. Esmond, P. L. Smith, K. Ito, and T. Matsui, High-Resolution Absorption Cross Section Measurements of Supersonic Jet-Cooled Carbon Monoxide Between 92.5 and 97.4 nm, Astrophys. J. 438, 1013 (1995).
G. Stark, J. W. Brault, and M. C. Abrams, Fourier-transform Spectra of the A2S+ - X2P Dv = 0 Bands of OH and OD, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 11, 3 (1994).
K. Huber, Ch. Jungen, K. Yoshino, K. Ito, and G. Stark, The f Rydberg Series in the Absorption Spectrum of N2, J. Chem. Phys. 100, 7957 (1994).
P. L. Smith, G. Stark, K. Yoshino, and K. Ito, High-Resolution Oscillator Strength Measurements for the A(v)-X(0) Bands of Carbon Monoxide with 11 <= v <= 14, Astrophys. J. 431, L143 (1994).
G. Stark, K. Yoshino, P. L. Smith, J. R. Esmond, K. Ito, and M. H. Stevens, High-Resolution Absorption Cross Section Measurements of Carbon Monoxide at 20K Between 96.7 and 98.8 nm, Astrophys. J. 410, 837 (1993).
K. P. Huber, G. Stark, and K. Ito, Rotational Structure in the Hopfield Series of N2, J. Chem. Phys. 98, 4471 (1993).
M. Eidelsberg, J. J. Benayoun, Y. Viala, F. Rostas, P. L. Smith, K. Yoshino, G. Stark, and C. A. Shettle, Recalibration of the Absorption /Photodissociation Spectra of CO and Its Isotopes Between 91 and 115 nm, Astron. Astrophys. 265, 839 (1992).
J. M. Thomas, G. Stark, and D. H. Katayama, An Analysis of the kinetics for the N2 (A 3S+u, v') + CO (X 1S+, v"=0) energy transfer reaction and an upper limit for the rate constants of the reactions CO (a 3P , v'=0 and 1) + CF4", J. Phys. Chem. 96, 8445 (1992).
G. Stark, P. L. Smith, K. Ito, and K. Yoshino, High-Resolution Photoabsorption Cross Sections of E 1P - X 1S+ Vibrational Bands of 12CO and 13CO, Astrophys. J. 395, 705 (1992).
G. Stark, P. L. Smith, K. P. Huber, K. Yoshino, M. H. Stevens, and K. Ito, Absorption Band Oscillator Strengths of N2 Transitions Between 95.8 nm and 99.4 nm, J. Chem. Phys. 97, 4809 (1992).
P. L. Smith, G. Stark, K. Yoshino, K. Ito, and M. H. Stevens, Laboratory Absorption Spectra of Molecules at Interstellar Cloud Temperatures: First Measurements on CO at 97 nm, Astron. Astrophys. 252, L13 (1991).
P. L. Smith, K. Yoshino, W. H. Parkinson, K. Ito, and G. Stark, High-Resolution, VUV (147-201 nm)Photoabsorption Cross Sections for C2H2 at 195 and 295 K, J. Geophys. Res. 96, 17529 (1991).
G. Stark, K. Yoshino, P. L. Smith, K. Ito, and W. H. Parkinson, High-Resolution Absorption Cross Sections of Carbon Monoxide Bands at 295 K Between 91.7 and 100.4 nm, Astrophys. J. 369, 574 (1991).
K. Yoshino, G. Stark, P. L. Smith, W. Parkinson, and K. Ito, High-Resolution Spectra and Photoabsorption Coefficients for Carbon Monoxide Bands Between 94.0 nm and 100.4 nm, Journal de Physique Suppl. 3, 49, C1-37 (1988).
G. Stark, K. Yoshino, and P. L. Smith, A High-Resolution Study of the Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectrum of CS: The B 1S+- X 1S+ System, J. Mol. Spectrosc. 124, 420 (1987).
S. P. Davis, D. Shortenhaus, G. Stark, J. Phillips, and R. Hubbard, Oscillator Strength Determinations of the CN Red System, Astrophys. J. 303, 892 (1986).
G. Stark and S. P. Davis, The Oscillator Strength of the C2 Swan Bands, Zeit. Phys. A 321, 75 (1985).