Microphone detection of pulsed atomic and molecular beams

J. G. Choi, G. J. Diebold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a high-vacuum environment a microphone can act as a detector for atomic or molecular beams. Here, the response of the microphone to beams with gaussian temporal profiles is investigated. Using linear response theory, an analytic expression is found for the microphone output voltage for pulsed beams of arbitrary duration. Evaluation of this expression for pulses long compared with the period of oscillation of the lowest-frequency mode of vibration of the microphone diaphragm shows that the output follows the temporal profile of the pulse, with an amplitude proportional to the momentum flux in the pulse. For pulses that approximate delta functions in time, the microphone gives a somewhat distorted, damped sinusoidal response with a peak amplitude proportional to the impulse per area in the gas burst. An experiment was done that demonstrates the response of an electret microphone to a short burst of argon atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Physics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1982 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement is made to the donors of the Petroleum Research Fund administeredb y the American Chemical Society for support of this research.T he use of apparatuss upplied by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the Department of Energy is also acknowledged.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Microphone detection of pulsed atomic and molecular beams'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this