First pass at a spectroscopy demonstration

Last year, when I taught instrumental analysis, I gave very conventional lectures. This year, I would like to try to build and simulate instruments instead of just talking about them. With that in mind, I bought a light box from amazon that I can use for several projects. I hope to build a spectrophotometer and a fluorimeter at least. Maybe I can also build some demonstration equipment for electrochemistry. Plus, this gives me the opportunity to teach simulation.

I made a short video about my first challenge to my students. I placed a diffraction grating in front of the light from a diffuser in front of a slit. The results was a nice rainbow. I used ImageJ to take a line scan. That’s one way to get to a spectrum.


2017-01-09 08_42_51-Plot of IMG_1610-crop.png

The optical components need to be locked into place, the distance in pixels need to be calibrated to wavelength, and the sensitivity won’t ever be great, but I think it will be adequate to show some principles of spectroscopy. And it will definitely be adequate to show how light gets transformed to digital data and how that data can be processed.