Spectrometry from a distance
Since Bohr found the relationship between optical spectra and the structure of atoms spectroscopy is an important tool in Physics. Furthermore, also in elementary optics and for the understanding of color perception the analysis of spectra is a fundamental component. Every student should have the opportunity to study optical emission spectra.
Since spectrometers are expensive and accurate calibration is necessary to achieve quantitative spectra, we developed a remotely controlled laboratory. Students can carry out real experiments via the internet. They can choose from six standard light bulbs like tungsten incandescent light bulbs, halogen incandescent lamps, cold white and warm white compact fluorescent lamps, light-emitting diode lamps or special bulbs. The light from the bulbs is collected with a cosine-corrected fiber optic irradiance probe and analyzed with a commercial spectrometer. The probe can be positioned in front of the bulb in a field of 1 x 1.5 square meters. This allows further experiments like analyzing the decrease of spectral intensity with the squared radius or the spatial spectral radiant emittance. With fluorescent lamps, differences can be noticed between the light coming from the gas discharge and light coming from the fluorescent layer.
The development of this remote-lab experiment is strongly connected to our research interests, especially to the following topics:
- Inquiry-based learning
- Assessment of experimental competencies from a distance
- Cognitive processing of diagrams