Thursday, January 14, 2010

Week 18, Day 3: Lab Again-I see the light...or at least spectral bands.

EVEN BLOCK- Finish Alien Planet and View Spectral lines in glowing gases. Cool.

The spectroscope lab allows you to see these spectral bands(shown at top right) in a dark room.  I do this lab to show students how Astronomers can determine what elements or compounds are in a star by putting their light through a spectroscope.

The photo below left shows students looking through the spectroscope tubes at the glowing gas tube (it's like a mini fluorescent light). We actually do this in the dark. I don't use the tubes anymore. We just pull the ends off and hold them up like a fancy monocle (I spent 12 years fighting the long tube and could not see easily and it was fixed by just using the end cap with the specturm film).

This is such a fun activity.  The students love the glowing colors and the dark spectral lines seem really wierd in a cool way (kinda like seeing a Yorkshire Terrier wearing Stormtooper armor).

I hope this helps.

Love to teach and teach with passion.

Remember, It's not magic, It's Science!

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