PHY 4264L Prism Spectrometer Optics Lab Manual
The amount by which the visible spectrum spreads out into its constituent colors depends on how rapidlythe refractive index of the prism material varies with the wavelength
of the radiation, i.e.
. Thisquantity is called the dispersion and is of prime importance in spectroscopy, since if the dispersion issmall, radiation of slightly differing wavelengths cannot be resolved into separate and distinct spectrallines.
The term resolving power applied to spectrum-producing devices means the ability of the instrument to formseparate images of two closely adjacent spectral lines. It is deﬁned by the equation
is the resolving power and
is the smallest wavelength separation which separable with theinstrument in question.
1. Make all necessary adjustments of the spectrometer as detailed in the attached appendix -
.2. Determine the refracting angle,
of the prism and use this value in subsequent calculations. Toﬁnd the angle of the prism
, illuminate the slit with a light source, rotate the table until thecorresponding apex of the prism faces the collimator. Lock the table wit LOCK B, and rotate thetelescope to ﬁnd the reﬂected image of the slit in each face of the prism in turn. The angle betweenthese two telescope positions is twice the angle
. It is left to you to justify this relation andinclude the justiﬁcation in your lab notebook.Figure 4: Measuring the Prism Angle