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1. Aim
W e try to c alculate the Refrativ e Inde x of t he Prism for v arious w a v elengths of
the Me rc u ry S p ectrum and then plot a Dis p e rsi on and Calibration Curv es u s ing a
Prism Sp ectr om eter.

2. Theory
The sp e ctromete r is an instru men t for analyzin g the sp ectra of Thradiations.
glass -prismsp e ctrome ist er
suitablefor meas uring ra yd e viationands refractiv e
indices Som
. etime s a di raction gr ating is us ed in plac e of the pris m for s tudying
opticalsp ectra.A p rismref ractsthe ligh tin toa singlesp ectrum, whereasthe
di r ac ti on gratin g divides the a v ailab le ligh t in to s evBecause
eral sp eofctra.
slit imagesformedus inga pr is m are gen e rally
brigh terthan thosef orme using d
a grating.S p ectral lines that are to o dim to b e s een with a grating can often b e
seen using a pris m.Unfortunat ely , t he inc rease d brigh tness of the sp ectral line s i s
os et b y a dec r e ase d re solution, sin ce the prism do es n t separate the diere n t li nes
as e ectiv ely as the grating.
Ho w ev er, the brigh ter line s allo w a narro w slit width
to b e use d , whic h par tially comp ensates for th e reduced resolut ion.
Wit h a prism,the angle o f re f raction is not dire ctly prop or tional to the w a v e -
length of the lighTht. e re f ore, to me asur e w a v elength s usin g a prism , a cali bration
graph of the angle of devi ation v ers us w a v elength m ust b e constructed using a l igh t
source wit h a kno wn s p ectr Theum.
w a v ele n gth o f unkno wn s p e ctral lin es c an then
b e i n terp olated from the graph.
Once a calibration graph is c re ated for t he pris m,
futurew a v elengthdete rminationares v alidonly if they are mad w e ith th epr ism
align ed pre cise ly as it w as wh e n the graph w as T opro
e nduce
s uredthat
. this align -
me n t can b e repro duc ed, all me asuremen ts are mad e with the pr is m align ed so that
the ligh t is refr acted at the angle of minim um deviation.
The ligh tto b eexaminedis re n dered parallelb ya collimatorconsist ing of a
tub ewith a s litof adju s table
width at oneendand a c on v e lensat
x the other.
The collimator has to b e f o cused b y adjustin g the p osition of the slit un til i t is at
the fo cal p oin t of t he lens.
The paralle l b eam of ligh t from the c ollimator p ass es
througha glasspris ms tanding on a pr ism -tabwhic
le hcan b erotated,raisedor
lo w e red,
and le v elled.
The prismdeviate tshe comp onencolorsoft the emitted
ligh t b y diere n t amoun ts an d the sp ectru m so pro d uce d is examine d b y me ans of
a te lesc op e, whic h is mou n ted on a rotat ing arm and mo v es o v e r a d ivid ed angular
The theoryof the prismsp ectrome te indicates
r that a sp ec trum of maxim um
den ition is obtain ed when the angu lar deviation of a ligh t ra y p as sing through the
prism is a minim um. Under s uc h c onditions it c an b e sho wn that the ra y p ass es
through the pri sm s ymme tricallyF or a.giv en w a v e le n gth of ligh t tra v ersing a giv en
prism , there is a c haracteristic angle of inc idence for whic h the angle o f deviation i s
Physics Laboratory Report-I

a minim u mThis
. angle d e p e n ds only on the ind e x of refraction of the pr is m and the
angle b et w e en the t w o side s of the p rism tra v erse The
d b yrethe
ligh t. ip
b e t w e en these v ariables is gi v e n b y the equation:
sin((A + m )/ 2)
sin(A/ 2)
wheren is th e inde x of re fraction of the prism;
m is the angle b et w e en the sides of
the prism tra v erse d b y the ligh t; and is the angle of minim umSincen deviation.
v aries with w a v e le n gthn =(in()),
.e. ,the angle of minim um deviation als o v aries,
bu t it is constan t for a n y particular w a v e length.
The tele scop e c an also b e lo c k ed or mo v ed v ery slo wly b y a ne adjus tmen t screw
and the ins trume n is tpro vided
with a hea vybasefor stabilit y T. oobtainsharp
sp ectr al line s the slit width should b e quite sm al l, ab out 0.1-0.3 mm.
The amoun t b y wh ic h the vi sible sp e ctru m spreads out in to its constitue n t colors
dep ends on ho w rapidly the refr activ e inde x of the pris m material v aries with the
w a v elength of the radiation,dn /d.
i. e .This qu an tit y is c al led
the and
is of prim e imp ortance in sp ectroscop y , sinc e if the dis p ers ion is small, radiation of
sligh tly dierin g w a v elengths cannot b e resolv ed in to s eparate and distinct sp ectral
lin es.

3. Procedure
The Setup

Fir st the tele scop e has to b e f o cussed d istan t ob jects i.e innit y a nd t his
has to b emain tained u n tilthe e xp eri men
is ot v er,
so as not to refo cus
again T . hen , the c ross-wire s s hould b e fo cuss ed b y mo vin g the ey e- p iec e of
the tele sc op e.
Adjust the Collimate r s uc h that the image seen in the t elesc op e is sharp of
the s lit w ithout the prism.
Measuring the Angle of Prism A: Place the pr ism on the Prism T able
and lo c k the pris m tab le in the p osition so the the incide n t b eam falls on
oneof the e d ges of th eprism .No w,mo v the e tele scopand e lo c atethe
images of the slit and n ote do wn th e Angles. The dierenc e b etee n b oth
the angl es isA.2 He n c e, hal f of the diec e wi ll giv A. e u s
No w, c h o ose an angle of incide nce othe r than the pre ious c hosen one and
with e y leo cateap rro xim a tely
the angleat wh ic h the sp e ctrums tartsto
mo v e in the opp osite direct ion as th e p rism tab le is rotated, and lo c k the
prism tab le. No w,us ingthe telesc op e xthe
, tele scopon e one of the
sprectrumlines,and t henu s e the neadju s tmen f orthe
t mo v em enof t
prismtab eto mo v the e tab leso that w eget the preciselo cati on of the
angle whe re the line s tarts to mo v e i n the opp osite direction , and n ote the
angle for t his.
Wit hout disturbin g an ything, re mo v e the prism an d get the meas u re of the
angle of the direct image of the slit in the te lesc Theop dierence
e. betwen

the se t w o angles
is theAngleof Minim um Deviation m for this sp ectral
lin e. Re p eat
the s a mefor all the sp ectrallinesth atare giv enb ythe
me rcury lamp.
F rom ab o v e d ata w e c an calculate the refractiv n ofethe
prism for
v ariou s w a v elengt
F orhs.
theCalibration Curve , plot a graph ofm v ersus
. F or theDispersion Curve, plot a graph ofn v ersus .
W ecan alsocalculateth eC auc h ys c ons tanAtsand B b ydoin ga le ast
square s t of the data to the Cau c h y F orm n=A + B2 . W ecan als o
calculate the R esolving P oR)wofe th
r( e pris m using the t w o y ello w lines of

the me r c ury sp ectrumR =as d where = (1 + 2)/ 2 andd = 2 1.

4. Observations and Results

The Spectrum: The Sp e ctru obtaine
m d
for the M erc u ry
lampthat w as
visiblewith the re olutionof the prismis as follo ws,giv e fnrom Left to
Righ t as obs erv ed:
Red (W eak, 623.437n m),Y ello w1(W e ak,579.065nm), Y ello w2(Strong,576.959n m),Gree n (V ery
Strong, 546.074 nm),Blue Green(V ery W eak,491.604n m),Blue(V ery Strong,435.835n m),
Violet(S trong,404.656nAll m).the rep orted w a v elength v alues are informa-
tion that w as gathered from b o oks and ar tic le s.
Angle of the Prism: The m easured angle i.e A =.2 Hence , the angl e of
the prismA=
The angles of minimumdeviation and the Refractive index of the
prism of the various wavelenghts

S.No W a v elength
nm Angle of M inim um De viation
m Re f activ e index
1 623.437 38o540 1.522
2 579.065 38o590 1.523
3 576.959 36020 1.524
4 546.074 39o190 1.527
5 491.604 39o290 1.529
6 435.835 39o560 1.534
7 404.656 40o130 1.537
F romthis, th eCa librationand the Disp ersion
Cur v ew asplottedfor the
data, and the graphs are giv en at the e n d of d o c umen t.
The b e h a viour of t he Disp ersion c u rv e c an b e se en that the fall is not rapid
o v e r thes e range of w a vlengt hs, hence, it is not a v ery h e a vily slopin g l ine
whic h implies that the disp ersion of v ariou s s p e ctral line donot v ary a lot
fromeac hoth e i.e
r whic his manifes tedb ythe closenessof the refractiv e
index for the range of w a v e lengths.
The Calibr ationCurv eis almosta sraigh ltine s h o wing
that the e ect of
w a v elength on the Angle of Minim um De viation is almost This curv
can h e lp u s in kno wing the w a v ele n gth of a sp ect ral line wh ose w a v elength
is unkno wn but the Angle of minim um Devi ation meas ured u s ing the same
apparatu s.

The Calibration Curve

The Dispersion Curve