New answers tagged spectroscopy
Most commercial spectrometers use gratings rather than prisms, but that's a side issue. To answer your main question: the optics inside a spectrometer re-image the entrance slit onto the detector elements. In the case of your 1x128 detector, the entrance "slit" is really a small hole which is optically matched to a single pixel in the image plane. The ...
The prism doesn't reflect light, it refracts the light. Different wavelengths will be refracted (bent) by different amounts. In the visible spectrum, this will produce the familiar rainbow pattern we're all familiar with. If you direct the refracted light at a linear detector, each pixel of the detector will measure the optical power at a different ...
You would expect it to radiate roughly a black body spectrum, but with lower intensity due to the thinness. You would also be able to see through it to things beyond. So if you had a container like that in front of you, you would see the background with a slight overlay of black body spectrum.
A spectrometer measures emission spectrum, as the light is focused on its entrance slit, dispersed and registered at different wavelengths. A spectrophotometer measures absorption spectrum of a sample placed inside. The light from a built-in broadband light source is dispersed, sent through a sample and registered at different wavelengths.
In astronomy, a spectrometer takes the light from an object, passes it through a slit, which then defines the input to a dispersive element. As a result a (generally unknown) amount of light is lost outside the slit, so it becomes difficult to estimate the absolute flux as a function of wavelength. In a spectrophotometer you do not use an entrance slit, so ...
A spectrometer tells you which wavelengths of light is absorbed and which wavelengths of light is reflected. A spectrophotometer measures the relative intensity of the light absorbed or reflected at a particular wavelength of light.
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