Wilmot 503, Spectral Sources

What happens in this laboratory?

In this lab, students explore the application of digital spectroscopy to study the colors contained within different sources of light. The spectrometer used in this lab will direct light of different wavelengths at different angles much the same way a prism creates a rainbow from sunlight. A digital sensor in the device reads the separated wavelengths or colors and displays a spectrum on the computer screen. Students find that various light sources have very different contents of colors from what might be expected. Understanding of the spectral nature of light plays an important role in astronomy and optical communications among other areas of technology.

When do students use this lab?

Students use this lab in the spring of their third undergraduate year in the lab course OPT 204. The equipment and analysis used in this lab may be used in further optics experiments, Capstone projects and research. These topics are also further studied in advanced optics degrees.

The Institute of Optics

The Spectral Sources Lab is housed in the Institute of Optics, which offers BS degree programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Committee of ABET, as well as MS and PhD degrees in optics.

Our students use scientific analysis and modern technology to solve problems in:

  • Imaging
  • Communications
  • Photonics
  • Quantum technology

They also get broad hands-on laboratory and design experience at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Ready to study optics and optical engineering? Come join our vibrant and diverse student body and get everything you need to join a thriving high-tech industry!

Apply to the Optics Program