Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member

Robert A. Schill, Jr.

Number of Pages



The Nevada Shocker is a pulsed power machine composed of a 540 kV (maximum), 4.54 kJ (maximum) Marx Bank in series with a 50 ns pulse forming Blumlein activated by a self breaking water switch. The energy released by the water dielectric Blumlein is guided by a water-filled coaxial line to a vacuum chamber containing a parallel plate diode. A cylinder of Rexolite plastic is sandwiched in between the parallel plate diode electrodes. The applied field mechanically stresses the electrodes on a molecular level generating a shock wave that changes the localized index of refraction. Further during discharge, the applied electric field also results in a change in index of refraction. Interferometers may be used to detect small, localized changes at each point in time. This thesis provides a preliminary study of interferometry probing the characteristics of Rexolite plastic under stress on a prototype of the setup modeled on the environment housing the Nevada Shocker.


Detector; Interferometry; Measure; Optical; Perturbations; Plastics; System

Controlled Subject

Electrical engineering

File Format


File Size

6287.36 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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