Have you ever noticed the dispersion of an object’s light into its component colors? If you’re a student pursuing astronomy as your subject of study, this experiment will always cross paths with you. This phenomenon is spectroscopy. To understand what spectroscopy is at the bigger scale, here is a guide to follow. Spectroscopy means the dispersion of an object’s light into its component colors. The term spectroscopy refers to the analysis of the interaction between matter and any portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Spectroscopy is the phenomenon used to determine the physical properties of that object. These physical properties include characteristics like temperature, mass, luminosity, and composition. To learn more about the term spectroscopy and its importance, keep reading.
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The Electromagnetic Spectrum
To understand the phenomenon of spectroscopy better, let’s understand what an electromagnetic spectrum is. It is a band on which the light waves are arranged in the increasing energy. On one side of this spectrum, you’ll find radio, tv, and microwave signals, while on the other end of the scale lies high energy, that is, UV, x-ray, and gamma-ray photons. To comprehend the picture of how the universe works, the astronomers study these waves through the phenomenon of spectroscopy.
In general, there are distinctive classes of spectra: continuous and discrete.
Who Discovered Spectroscope?
At first, a German chemist named Robert Wilhelm Bunsen and a German physicist Gustav Robert Kirchoff invented spectroscope in 1859. It was then used to identify materials that emit light when heated.
What Does a Spectroscope Do?
A spectroscope is an instrument used to find out what the stars composed of. The main purpose of a spectroscope is to disperse or separate white light from a star and form a wide spectrum of colors. When the colors emerge out, black lines appear in the spectrum.
Why is Spectroscopy Important?
Spectroscopy is an essential topic in quantum physics and mainly useful for astronomers.
- Astronomers determine the temperature, density, mass, and motion of an object in the space or coming towards Earth through spectroscopy.
- Doppler Effect in a spectral line tells us the speed of the object coming towards Earth.
- It transforms light into a spectrum using a prism that can be observed through a telescope.
Basic Principle of Spectroscopy
To further understand the importance of spectroscopy, it is also essential to read through the basic principles that form it.
- It defines different techniques that use radiation to obtain information on the structure and properties of matter.
- All spectroscopic techniques show a beam of electromagnetic radiation onto a sample and observe the response to the stimulus.