2018 BFY III Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: W16: Shoebox Spectrographs (Dirt cheap light/spectroscopy labs)
Abstract: Spectrographs (a device used to take pictures of spectra) are typically expensive and fragile.  Our shoebox spectrograph is quite different.  It is made of scrap corrugated cardboard, a DVD fragment, duct tape, and a cheap camera (we usually use a $30 webcam but a phone with a camera will also work).  Despite the inexpensive parts, the shoebox spectrograph can be remarkably accurate (based upon the "quality" of the component parts) and incorporated in a variety of experiments.  Of course, one could take spectral photos of atomic sources if they are available (wavelength measurements can be accurate within a nanometer and we can resolve the Hg 576.96nm line from the Hg 579.07nm line).  Our dirt cheap spectrograph can also be used to observe the Fraunhofer lines in sunlight, perform dandelion flower reflection spectroscopy, and analyze laser induced fluorescence of Play Doh.  

Attendees of this proposed workshop will construct their own spectrographs out of pre-cut cardboard and then learn how to calibrate and use them.  Calibration does require a known spectra (atomic lines or the Fraunhofer lines will do), a computer (with a spreadsheet program), and an imaging program (we use ImageJ which is free).  Then a single experiment can be done such as analysis of laser induced fluorescence of Play Doh.
Abstract Type: Workshop

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Timothy Grove
2101 E. Coliseum Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN 46835