Demonstrating Absorption Spectra Using Commercially Available Incandescent Light Bulbs

Birriel, J.J. (2008) Demonstrating Absorption Spectra Using Commercially Available Incandescent Light Bulbs. Astronomy Education Review, 7 (2). ISSN 15391515

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Abstract

In introductory astronomy courses, I typically introduce the three types of spectra: continuous, absorption line, and emission line. It is standard practice to use an ordinary incandescent light bulb to demonstrate the production of a continuous spectrum, and gas discharge tubes to demonstrate the production of an emission line spectrum. The concept of an absorption spectrum is more difficult for students to grasp. A variety of commercially available light bulbs can be used to demonstrate absorption spectra. Here I discuss the use of specialty incandescent light bulbs to demonstrate the phenomenon of absorption of the continuous spectrum produced by a hot tungsten filament. The bulbs examined include the GE Reveal bulb, yellow anti-insect lights, colored party bulbs, and an incandescent “black light” bulb. The bulbs can be used in a lecture or laboratory setting.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Mr Saeed Salimpour
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 12:20
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2017 12:20
URI: http://istardb.org/id/eprint/1012

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