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Stanford Research test gear and possible use for the photon counter


I just saw your latest video regarding the unboxing of a Stanford Research multi-channel scaler/integrator.
Yes the typical use is the measurement of excited photon energy states and decay to base state, typically using a 3cm diameter ruby disc as essentially a 500 nm laser.  One other particular use for an instrument such as this, is in astronomy where a green laser is projected into the night sky, and the backscatter can determine the correction for an active mirror array, compensating for water vapor density in the atmosphere.  A photomultiplier with a rotating aperture takes rapid successive measurements of the photon density due to the backscatter at the particular frequency of light.  Once the data is collected the SRS device can use the math functions to plot an exponential decay curve to measure the location of the inflection points on the laser light energy decay function.  Anyway, that's what is one possible use for a nerdly astro-geek such as myself could put the scaler.

As to SRS instruments in general, I have fond memories of the two years practically glued to the SR360 function generator, as it produced a very stable and accurate sweep in both linear and logarithmic curves, since I was doing audiometric analysis of something called the Head-Related Transfer Function.  That is basically the measurement of audio signals bouncing around your head when you have been fitted with a hearing aid device.  I was working on advanced DSP on a new chipset that had a network of 24 or 40 independently clocked multi-processor arrays, all on a 1x1 mm die.  The prototype device had a master clock of 800MHZ, but was intended to go to 1GHz.  Anyway, the company funding died away and the project was cancelled.  But I imagine you have been through that sort of mill before.

J.R. Stoner


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