Michal Bulak

Date of Graduation

Spring 2017


Master of Science in Materials Science


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Committee Chair

David Cornelison


With the James Webb Space Telescope and other space-based missions launching in the next few years, the astrophysics community awaits an exciting time. This work is an answer to a call for the laboratory contributions necessary to analyze the data of unprecedented accuracy. I performed a laboratory analysis of an analogue of a hot super earth atmosphere. This type of an extra solar planet has a rocky composition and has extremely high temperature (from 1500˚C – 5000˚C). I performed infrared spectroscopy on the gas phase vapor above a mixture of two binary systems: SiO2 with Al2O3 and CaO with SiO2. They are simplified systems that are representations of atmospheres of exoplanets of the specified type. The results are the identification of gaseous AlOSi – a radical that is possibly a constituent of an atmosphere along with an estimate of its opaqueness; first identification of three infrared lines of gaseous CaSiO3 – a salt that has not had an experimental infrared characterization. I hope these findings will aid the modelling of hot rocky planet's atmospheres.


infrared spectroscopy, hot rocky exoplanets, atmosphere, adduct, radical, aluminum silicate, calcium silicate

Subject Categories

Materials Science and Engineering


© Michal Bulak

Open Access