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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 6 Issue 4 (2001) pp 235-237

Measurement of the Bulk Modulus of a Liquid Using a Pump–Probe Laser Technique

Christopher D. Lane, David J. Hathcock, Andrew J. Leavitt,Farooq A. Khan,and John E. Hansen*

Department of Chemistry, State University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118
Received October 27, 2000 Accepted January 11, 2001

Published online: 20 July 2001

Abstract. We describe an undergraduate laboratory experiment that uses a time-resolved laser technique. Using pump–probe in a novel way, students determined the bulk modulus of a liquid. Employing the fourth harmonic from a pulsed Nd:YAG laser, an elastic wave is generated in an aqueous solution of N-acetyltryptophan, and the wave propagation is probed by a He–Ne laser. This experiment serves as a rare example of how a bulk property of a condensed phase can be measured using time-resolved optical measurements having relevance to undergraduate physical chemistry or material science laboratory.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; physical chemistry; material science; laser; quantum

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (132 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Student Instructions (64 KB PDF file) 10.1007/ s00897010489b

Issue date: August 3, 2001

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