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Department of Physics, Weber State University

PHYS 3190, Applied Optics Lab

Experiment #11

Revised 11/10/09 the beginning of the year 1666,... I procured me a Triangular glass-Prisme, to try therewith the celebrated Phenomena of Colours Isaac Newton, Optiks Goals: Your main goal is to experiment with the measurement and observation of the interaction of light and atoms - this is known as spectroscopy. You are now fairly far along in your experience in the Applied Optics Lab. It is time to become familiar with using unfamiliar pieces of apparatus, e.g., a spectrometer. You need to develop an attitude of exploring the function of new apparatus, rather than relying on cook-book style instructions. This approach will serve you well with the advanced labs that follow and in life in the lab in general. Sometimes, this means looking up things in your textbooks, in the library or on-line. Equipment: The Jarrell-Ash 0.5 meter grating spectrometer PMT, HV power supply and DMM Gaertner Student Spectrometer 600 l/mm diffraction grating

Hg source He Spectral tube and power supply HR4000 Ocean Optics spectrometer Computer with spreadsheet program

Handling and Safety Notes: The spectral tube power supply operates at over 1,000 volts. You should handle it with respect. Turn the power off before you change tubes. Do not touch the surface of a diffraction grating for any reason. The surface is very delicate and is easily damaged. Use care when working with any spectrometer or other precision instrument. Be attentive to details such as remembering to unlock lock-down screws before moving things and to use care to avoid touching any optical surface. You will need to be especially vigilant since you will be working in the dark for much of the data taking part of this lab. Unbelievably, the Gaertner "student spectrometer" costs $4,715.00! Do not run spectral lamps when you are not taking data. On the other hand, don't constantly turn them on and off, just think about what you are doing and if you will not be needing the spectral source for a few minutes then turn it off. Note that some spectral tube power supplies are finicky, e.g., you will burn out the Hg lamp if you are careless with the start switch. Flip the switch to start, press the start button, then flip the switch to operate mode. You don't need to rush this, just unceremoniously flip it to operate within a few seconds of turn-on. Procedure: Note: We only have one Jarrall-Ash spectrometer and only one computer based spectrometer (Ocean Optics spectrometer). Dont do these experiments all in the same order as the other groups. First a few definitions. Spectroscope = a device you look through with your eye. Spectrograph = a device that uses film to record the spectral lines. Spectrometer and spectrophotometer are often used
2009, John E. Sohl Page 1 of 8 PHYS 3190, Spectroscopy

interchangeably (though some disagree with this) = a device that records light irradiance vs. wavelength. Part I, The Gaertner Student Spectrometer (really, this should be called a spectroscope) Procedure Summary (The three steps below are to orient you to the overall process.) 1. Set up the diffraction grating perpendicular to the incoming light. 2. Measure the Hg spectrum and use the known wavelengths (see the reference material at the end of this lab) to determine the grating constant, a. 3. Measure the He spectrum and determine the wavelengths. Compare those to the accepted values to determine your accuracy. Detailed Procedure and Background (Read this first completely before you start.) The Gaertner student spectrometer is shown in Figure 1. In principle, the function is fairly straight forward. You have a lens (L2) that focuses on a slit in front of the spectral tube causing the light to arrive at the grating (or prism) as parallel light. The parallel light that leaves the grating leaves at an angle that is dependent on the wavelength. The relation is the standard one, , where m is the order, the wavelength, a the spacing between slits, the angle of the diffracted beam and, finally, is the angle of the incident beam. Ideally, will be zero and that term can be ignored. The light leaving the diffraction grating (or prism) is going out at various angles to which the viewing telescope can be rotated to pick up that light. Those parallel rays are then focused to an image of the original slit at the focal point of the first lens. Inside the viewing telescope is a crosshair that can be centered on this image which forms your view of the spectral line. In practice, it is a bit more finicky. Your slit adjustment is important. If the slit is too small, you dont get very much light throughput. If the slit is too large, your wavelength resolution gets worse. The grating really does need to be as exactly centered as possible and is often not zero even though it looks like it is. Also the input telescope and the output telescope are often not exactly aligned on axis. It is easy to have the entire grating tipped a bit which changes your angle measurements slightly. Finally, you are attempting to read a vernier scale with poor lighting.

Figure 1. The Gaertner-Peck student spectrometer, a.k.a., the Gaertner student spectrometer.
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The viewing telescope, see Figure 2, is interesting and you should understand how it works. There are two focus adjustments for the viewing telescope (the one on the left in Figure 1, the right telescope contains the slit used to admit light from the source). One focuses the spectral line and one focuses the crosshair. The first is fixed and set with a tightened and hidden screw. The crosshair can be focused by sliding the eyepiece in and out. This type of eyepiece is known as a Gauss eyepiece. A thin piece of glass, D, is located between the lenses of the eyepiece, L1 and L2, at an angle of 45 degrees to the optic axis. This acts as a partial mirror, or beam splitter, which reflects light from the small lamp along the telescope axis towards the objective. This illuminates the crosshair. Anyway, focus the crosshair for your eyes. Dont worry about the spectral lines being at an angle, just make your measurements at the cross of the crosshair.

Figure 2. The Gauss eyepiece, you can use the flashlight to illuminate the crosshair in place of the "lamp." Align the viewing telescope at 180 and align the spectral source with the spectrometer entrance slit. Look through the viewing scope and you should see the 0th order line. Adjust the position of the spectral source relative to the entrance slit to maximize the brightness of the 0th order fringe. Swing the viewing telescope around to line up the crosshair with the 0th order fringe. This is your true zero position. Make a careful note of the position, if this value is off then every one of your readings will be in error. (We will do a quick and dirty measurement today. A better measurement would be to observe the lines from both sides of the 0th fringe, i.e., plus and minus orders, then take an average. This would reduce zero-order offset errors.) If you are having troubles seeing the 0th order try adjusting the slit opening knob next to the input to the spectrometer. You will want to set the diffraction grating as close to the center of the support table as possible. You will also want to make sure that the incident light is at 90.0. You can do this by setting the viewing telescope to 90.0 and sighting along the top of it to see if your diffraction grating is in line.

Figure 3. A sample data table using Excel to analyze your spectral data. There are, of course, a lot of hidden calculations going on for most of these cells. This is only part of the table I used to calibrate the spectrometer by finding the actual a (the grating constant) using the known mercury data. Make a data table in Excel (or similar) that has columns such as Order, Color/Description and
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Angle, my data table is shown in Figure 3 as an example. Think carefully about what the units are for your angular measure! The spectrometer is in units of degrees and arc-minutes and Excel thinks in terms of radians when you use sine and cosine. You can see how I did this for one data point in Figure 3 since cell C4 is highlighted, the actual measurement was 180E 17'. Use Excel to do all your calculations and to determine the final wavelength values. Slowly swing the viewing telescope to whatever side is the easiest to use. As you get to each spectral line carefully center the crosshair and read the angle scale to as high a precision as you can by using the Vernier scale. (The interferometers lab in the optics lab manual introduced the Vernier scale, if you need a refresher.) Again, think about what the units are that you are reading off of the scale. Do this for as many atomic lines as you can see. Adjust the slit opening to make the faint lines brighter and the strong lines narrower. Every thing is based on the equation on page 2. What you will do is set N as close to zero as you can so that you can ignore the last term. To determine the value for the grating constant, a, you will need to use the known wavelength values from the Hg spectrum. Now that you have determined a you can use your measurements for the angles for the (unknown) He spectrum to determine the He wavelengths. Use the spreadsheet to determine the wavelength of your lines, dont forget to adjust the angles that you measured for the zero offset and remember that the angle you calculate with must be the difference from zero angle which is actually marked as 180 on your spectrometer. Look at the reference data section of this handout to determine which lines you have measured and to determine your percent error from the accepted values. Print out a data table for your lab notebook that includes all your data and results in one table. For those atomic lines that you were able to measure in both the first and second order, and for positive and negative orders (i.e., to either side of the zeroth order) you should take an average to obtain your best value for the wavelength of that particular atomic line. Note that the values in the reference section are air wavelengths. You must be attentive to your data sources because most spectroscopic references list the air values and not the vacuum values. The error is small but important. Since the index of refraction of air is about 1.00028 the shift is significant. For example, the He Ne laser line of 632.8 nm in vacuum is actually 632.6 nm in air. For any research grade instrument, this is an easily detectable difference. Since we are not at sea level, to be really accurate we would need to make a slightly different adjustment since our index of refraction of air is different. Also, the relative intensity column in the reference tables at the end of this document should be used only as a guide. The intensity of any line will depend on many things including the type of discharge and the temperature of the discharge. Other things such as the pressure in the tube will also affect the appearance of the spectral lines. Procedure Summary (Time to actually do the experiment.) 1. Set up the diffraction grating perpendicular to the incoming light. 2. Measure the Hg spectrum and use the known wavelengths (see the reference material at the end of this lab) to determine the grating constant, a. This is the calibration step. 3. Measure the He spectrum and determine the wavelengths using your calculated value for a. Compare those to the accepted values to determine your accuracy. Question 1. How accurate do you think your measurements are? What sources of error do you think you might have?

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Part II, The Jarrell-Ash Spectrometer, a.k.a., the Ebert Spectrometer The Jarrell-Ash spectrometer, shown in Figure 4, is based on the Ebert design. Figure 5 is an optical diagram. Figure 6 is the overall setup. Normally wed want to use the computer to scan and collect our data, but for this experiment well do it manually. Please be gentle with this device, it is worth thousands of dollars. The light detector is a photomultiplier tube (PMT). You will need to apply about -900 to -1,100 volts to make it work. (Notice the minus signs!) You can read the output with a Figure 4. The Jarrell-Ash half-meter grating spectrometer. The three top screws will allow you to open it up to see inside. simple DMM. Here is an overview of manual usage of this instrument with the PMT for a light detector: Apply about -900 V to the PMT and connect the output to a DMM. Pick one of the brighter spectral lines from your sample (look at the table or look at your lines themselves using some other spectrometer or simply look through a diffraction grating). Note that the dial readout is in units of angstroms, D. Turn the knob on the spectrometer until the wavelength is very close to Figure 5. Jarrell-Ash spectrometer. The masks in front of the that of the bright spectral line you concave mirror are not shown for clarity. picked. Adjust the wavelength knob until you have maximized the amplitude of the reading on the DMM. Now adjust the PMT voltage to give you a strong reading, but dont exceed about 1 volt of output from the DMM. Now, slowly scan across the visible spectrum and make a note of the wavelength and intensity of all the spectral lines you come across. Scan the spectrum carefully and make sure you get the center of the lines as best as you can. Think carefully about gear backlash and try not to allow that to affect your measurements. Question 2. How well did your readings agree with what you expected from the reference tables below? Figure 6. Experimental setup for manually scanning the spectrometer.
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Part III, The Ocean Optics Spectrometer HR4000 Turn on the computer and connect the spectrometer USB cable. Use the blue fiber optic to measure the spectral lines from the lamp. To access the spectrometer click on the SpectraSuite icon. Use the blue fiberoptic cable to sample the He spectrum. Dont bother doing the Hg calibration spectrum. Data collection is a bit odd, your instructor will help you set it up. Export a copy of the spectrum to analyze in a spreadsheet. This will let you print out a much better looking graph then you would get by printing through the software itself. The exported file is actually a text file with some column headers and a pair of columns wavelength in nm and intensity in arbitrary units between 0 and 4095. Change the extension of the file to .csv and open it in Excel and analyze the data. Your final graphed results should look something like Figure 7. Make a data table showing the wavelengths you detected as compared to the wavelengths in the reference table along with percent errors. (To obtain the best results you can use Excel to curve fit the peaks for precise locations. You dont have to do this, but it is a very good skill to learn, your instructor can help you if you wish. See Figure 8 for an example of this. Using Excel Solver you can fit directly to a Gaussian, again, your instructor can help you with this.) Question 3. How well did your results agree with the reference tables below?

Figure 7. Sample Hg spectrum using the Ocean Optics spectrometer and plotted with Excel.

Figure 8. Example of using a parabola as a first order approximation to a Gaussian to do a curve fit.

Final Comments Spectroscopy is an enormous field. In this lab you only did emission spectra and in only a very limited way. The reverse of this is absorption spectroscopy which includes laser spectroscopy as just one method of many. Some types involve both absorption and emission, for example fluorescence spectroscopy. There are hundreds of tricks and methods involved in doing spectroscopy all of which allow us to probe the energy structure of atoms and molecules or to use existing knowledge of energy structure to determine the chemical content in unknown samples. The list of open problems, applications and methods is endless. As one example of an open problem, the Sun has millions of spectral lines that we dont understand. About a million of those are thought to be due to iron alone. Good spectroscopists have a lot of job security!

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Reference Material
NIST = National Institute of Standards and Technology (used to be National Bureau of Standards). You can see the visual spectra of several gas discharges on line at: You can generate all sorts of atomic data including energy level diagrams by going to:

Table I. Hg I. NIST Atomic Spectra Database (This table contains the accepted values of the Hg lines in the visible range of the spectrum as measured in air at sea level.) Rel. Int. Wavelength (spark Aki ( 108 s-1 ) Air () discharge) 4 046.56 1800 2.110 -1 4 077.83 150 4.010 -2 4 108.05 40 3.010 -2 4 339.22 250 2.8810 -2 4 347.49 400 8.410 -2 4 358.33 4000 5.5710 -1 4 883.00 5 4 889.91 5 4 916.07 80 5.810 -2 4 970.37 5 4 980.64 5 5 025.64 2.710 -4 5 102.70 20 5 120.64 40 5 137.94 20 5 290.74 20 5 316.78 5 5 354.05 60 5 384.63 30 5 460.74 1100 4.8710 -1 5 549.63 30 5 675.86 160 5 769.60 240 2.3610 -1 5 789.66 100 5 790.66 280 5 803.78 140 5 859.25 60 5 871.98 20 6 072.72 20 6 234.40 30 5.310 -3 6 716.43 160 4.310 -3 6 907.52 250 2.810 -2

Table II. He I. NIST Atomic Spectra Database (This table contains the accepted values of the He lines in the visible range of the spectrum as measured in air at sea level.) Rel. Int. Wavelength (spark Aki ( 108 s-1 ) Air () discharge) 4 009.27 1 2.7910 -2 4 026.191 4 026.191 4 026.191 4 026.36 4 120.82 4 120.99 4 143.76 4 387.929 4 437.55 4 471.479 4 471.479 4 471.479 4 471.68 4 713.146 4 713.38 4 921.931 5 015.678 5 047.74 5 875.62 5 875.97 6 678.15 50 50 50 5 12 2 3 10 3 200 200 200 25 30 4 20 100 10 500 100 100 3.2510 -3 2.9310 -2 1.1710 -1 6.5010 -2 1.4310 -2 4.7810 -3 4.9510 -2 9.0710 -2 3.1310 -2 6.9710 -3 6.2810 -2 2.5110 -1 1.3910 -1 5.8910 -2 1.1810 -2 2.0210 -1 1.33810 -1 6.5510 -2 2.9410 -1 3.9210 -1 6.3810 -1

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