9 Morningside Rd. Wakefield Ma. 01880 ---call 781 245 2897
For Sale a symbolic Spectroscope of the type used in
Edison's development of the light bulb.
This fine spectroscope is a
prism type, giving a brilliant spectrum of ample length and sharpness
suitable for the use in becoming familiar with the solar spectrum for
observing and charting flame spectra, and analyzing gems from their
AST ITEM # 463 $565
The light from a low pressure electric discharge
tube running at about 1/300 of an atmosphere of air and a few milliamps of
current is shown on the right side of the photo below.
It has a purple to white color when viewed by the unaided eye.
When viewed thru a spectroscope the light is sorted out into a rainbow bar code such as shown on the left side of the photo.
The colors range from deep blue through yellow green to dark red.
When air is heated, such as by the passage of electric current, some of the molecules break apart into individual atoms.
Both atoms and the molecules when heated hot enough will give off light with their own unique bar code of colors.
Since air is a mixture of molecules of , nitrogen, oxygen with traces of carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane and the rare gases argon thru xenon the spectrum is quite a complicated set of colored bar codes.
The light from lightning, electric sparks, the northern lights and during the growth of the fireball of atomic and hydrogen bombs give is not grossly different than the spectra shown below.
Studying the spectra in the laboratory using spectroscopes has given the Scientist and engineer an understanding and some times control of the processes which affect the protection of our power grid, radio communication, and the design of weapons of mass destruction, metallurgy, forensic analysis
Last but not least spectroscopes and spectroscopy for the most part is the basic tool with which we have developed understanding our world and universe.
On the right are pictures of the spectra and Scale viewed through this spectroscope for Hydrogen, Water vapor, Nitrogen, Air and Mercury. The Graph in the lower center is used to convert the scale readings to wavelength.
Detailed photos of the various parts of a spectroscope.
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A laboratory set up to study the chemical, electrical, and optical properties of gases
The spectroscope is one of the most powerful important inventions man has yet created. Yet it has been totally ignored by almost every man and woman in the home the street and the laboratory.
Just think what it represents;
Most every instrument; on the Hubble, in every observatory, aboard all of our planetary probes, chemical labs and factories, crime labs, paint stores, hospitals testing labs, the list goes on and on and on.
They all have and use spectro-
They have been used to measure
the chemical composition of our sun,
their magnetic fields
their velocity ( the expanding universe)
the presence of planets around other stars
They have been used to discover and quantify all of the chemical elements in the period table. For example they told Madam Curie that radium broke down into helium etc Edison used them to make light bulbs etc.etc
They gave us quantum mechanics
They have given us glimpse of how our body and brain works
They gave us high quality steel sophisticated alloys, plastics, etc.
The list goes on and on and this is just the tip of what they do for us, to us with every breath we take.
Are they important? You Bet. and you can have one of your very own.
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Copyright 1/11/2005 Jim & Rhoda Morris
Permission Granted with acknowledgement when used for academic purposes.