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Diffraction - Experiment to determine the wavelength of monochromatic light | 12th Physics : UNIT 7 : Wave Optics

Chapter: 12th Physics : UNIT 7 : Wave Optics

Experiment to determine the wavelength of monochromatic light

The wavelength of a spectral line can be very accurately determined with the help of a diffraction grating and a spectrometer.

Experiment to determine the wavelength of monochromatic light

The wavelength of a spectral line can be very accurately determined with the help of a diffraction grating and a spectrometer. Initially all the preliminary adjustments of the spectrometer are made. The slit of collimator is illuminated by a monochromatic light, whose wavelength is to be determined. The telescope is brought in line with collimator to view the image of the slit. The given plane transmission grating is then mounted on the prism table with its plane perpendicular to the incident beam of light coming from the collimator. The telescope is turned to one side until the first order diffraction image of the slit coincides with the vertical cross wire of the eye piece. The reading of the position of the telescope is noted.

Similarly the first order diffraction image on the other side is made to coincide with the vertical cross wire and corresponding reading is noted. The difference between two positions gives 2θ. Half of its value gives θ, the diffraction angle for first order maximum as shown in Figure 6.67. The wavelength of light is calculated from the equation,


Here, is the number of rulings per metre in the grating and m is the order of the diffraction image.


You would have noticed the colourful appearance of the compact disc. On the read/writable side which is polished, there are many narrow circular tracks with widths comparable to the wavelength of visible light. Hence, the diffraction takes place after reflection for incident white light to give colourful appearance. The tracks act as reflecting grating.


 


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