Prize Recipient

Brandon C. Collings
Hamilton College


"For his achievements as an undergraduate student at Hamilton College, particularly his research on 'Avalanche Upconversion in LaF3:Tm3+'."


During his senior year at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, Collings chose to do his senior research project on laser spectroscopy of rare earth-based solids, specifically on upconversion mechanisms in lithium-based crystals. Over the course of the semester, he carefully collected experimental data and then tried to fit the numbers to the predictions of a model based on three coupled rate equations. When the model didn't support his data, Collings developed computer programs to test two more sophisticated models, one of which matched his data, resulting in the first detailed treatment of avalanche upconversion in a lithium-based crystal. With his advisor, he presented his results at the May 1994 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics. An article based on his work has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Luminescence.