Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 4

DETERMINATION OF THE REFRACTIVE INDEX OF

GLASS AND WATER USING A PRISM SPECTROMETER


APPARATUS
1. The spectrometer
A spectrometer is an instrument for dispersing the wavelengths (colours) of incident light
so that a spectrum, or a set of spectral lines, can be viewed and accurately measured. In
this experiment, the dispersing element used is a prism (in more precise work, a
diffraction grating would be used), and the source of light is a sodium lamp. This means
that the light you are using is (almost) monochromatic and after refraction through the
prism only a single spectral line should be seen. In practice, impurities in the lamp filling
often give rise to other spectral lines and you may well see a green and a red line as well
as the prominent sodium yellow line.
The spectrometer consists of a collimator, the prism and a telescope (see figure 1). The
collimator is a tube with a slit at one end and a lens at the other. The slit is accurately
placed at the focus of the lens (by adjustment as described below) so that a parallel beam
emerges towards the telescope. The telescope is focussed on infinity (also as part of the
adjustment described below) so that an image of the slit is formed in the focal plane of
the eyepiece. The prism is placed in the space between collimator and telescope on a
turntable. The telescope can be rotated about the centre of the turntable. Vernier scales
are provided to measure its position. Both the turntable and the telescope can be locked in
position.
2. Adjustment of the instrument
To adjust the spectrometer in the way one would for high quality spectroscopy is a
process too long and experimentally testing for the purposes of this exercise.
Consequently, a much simpler but perfectly effective method of adjustment can be
carried out. Switch on the sodium source and allow it to warm up.
Then :1. Remove the prism from the turntable.
2. Turn the instrument until you can point the telescope at a distant object, e.g. the far
end of the room.
3. Adjust the eyepiece (it slides in and out) until the crosswires are in focus.
4. Focus the telescope on the distant object. Once this has been done the telescope
focussing adjustment must not be touched again.
5. Now put the spectrometer back into the position in which you are going to use it. Make
sure that it is positioned so that you can see through the telescope when it is at least 600
on either side of the line of the collimator.
6. Move the sodium source close to the slit at the end of the collimator.
7. With the telescope in line with the collimator pick up the image of the slit and now
adjust the collimator only to bring the image of the slit into focus.
8. Finally adjust the slit width until its image is just a little wider than the cross wire.

EXPERIMENTS
1. To measure the angle of the prism
Place the prism on the turntable with its frosted side hard against the clamp and rotate the
turntable until the beam from the collimator is roughly bisected by the apex of the prism
as in figure 1.
The beam will be reflected off both sides of the prism (each acting like a plane mirror) so
two images of the slit can be observed, one on each side of the prism.
Adjust the position of the telescope until one of the reflected images is accurately centred
on the crosswires. (At this point you may observe that the slit image is slightly tilted or
not centredvertically in the field of view. This is because the prism turntable is not
levelled so you can bring theimage into an acceptable position by carefully adjusting the
levelling screws under the turntable.)
Read and record the position of the telescope, using the vernier scale to interpolate the
minutes between the degree graduations.
Now, without moving the prism, swing the telescope around until the other reflected
image of the slit is centred on the crosswires and again record the telescope position.
The angle between the two telescope positions is twice the angle of the prism, A. Explain
why this is so. Calculate the angle of the prism, A.
Repeat the above at least twice, moving the position of the prism slightly between each
set of readings, to get a mean value for the angle of the prism.
2. To measure the refractive index of glass
The angle between the beam emerging from the collimator and the position of the
telescope is referred to as the angle of deviation. It is a property of the prism that this
angle goes through a minimum. To locate the minimum, it is necessary to pick up the
image of the slit after refraction through the prism, then rotate the prism, following the
image of the slit with the telescope, until a position of minimum deviation angle is
reached.
With the prism on the turntable as in figure 2, accurately locate a position of minimum
deviation. Adjust the position of the telescope until the image of the slit at the position of
minimum deviation is accurately centred on the crosswires. Read and record the
position of the telescope, using the vernier scale as before.
Now turn the prism table through approximately 1300 and locate the second position
of minimum deviation (the mirror image of figure 2), again recording the position of
the telescope on the scale.

The angle between these two positions of the telescope is twice the angle of minimum
deviation.
Explain why this is so, given that at minimum deviation the light is refracted
symmetrically through the prism, i.e. the angle of the ingoing beam to the side of the
prism is equal to the angle of the outgoing beam to the other side of the prism. Calculate
the angle of minimum deviation, D.
Repeat this at least twice and obtain a mean value for the angle of minimum deviation.
If A is the angle of the prism and D is the angle of minimum deviation at a particular
wavelength of light then, for that wavelength, the refractive index, n , is given by :-

A+ D
sin

n=
A
sin
2
Find the value of n for sodium light ( = 589.3 nm).

3. To measure the refractive index of water


Fill the hollow prism with water and repeat the experiment.
Find the refractive index of water, and compare your result with know results.

4. To measure the refractive index of alcohol


Fill the hollow prism with alcohol and repeat the experiment.
Find the refractive index of the alcohol.

General Comments:
Show a full error analysis. Make sure to comment on any assumptions as well as sources
of error.

Оценить