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Optical Spectroscopy

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In this lab, the students use a Jarrell-Ash high-resolution, scanning diffraction grating spectrometer and accompanying strip chart recorder to observe and analyze the visible spectra of a number of elements. The lab is divided into two parts.

Pt 1 - The students produce a strip chart recording of the visible spectrum of a number of known substances (Hg, Ne, Na, etc) and identify each of the lines in each of the spectra using the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. They then try to identify the elements in an unknown spectral source by the same method.

Pt 2 - Using a Macintosh/MacScope the students take a profile of one bright, well isolated line. hey use the program CONVOLVE to try to fit the isolated line to both a Gaussian and a Lorentzian profile. In this way they try to determine the principle method of broadening.

Computer programs: CONVOLVE

Course Level

Senior: P76

Student Handouts


Number of set-ups available: 1

Per lab station:

1 Jarrell Ash 0.5 meter Ebert scanning spectrometer/photomultiplier
1 cover for spectrometer
1 Jarrell Ash electronic strip chart recorder/pen
1 paper for strip chart recorder
1 Macscope computer (with dust cover on a rolling cart
1 Macscope interface box
1 BNC to banana (female) adaptor
1 Mac to modem cable (to connect interface box to Macintosh
1 power supply transformer for interface box
MacScope software (strip chart version)
1 MacScope User's Manual
1 Daedalon power supply for Osram gas discharge tubes
1 mercury discharge tube
1 sodium discharge tube
1 neon discharge tube
1 General Electric power supply for unknown gas discharge tube
1 unknown gas discharge tube
1 RS-232 computer line to Kiewit
1 Spectra Physics 155 laser
1 adjustable height platform
1 stopwatch
1 Handbook of Chemistry and Physics




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