High-Dispersion CCD Astronomical Spectroscopy in an Undergraduate Lab

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Session 2 -- Education
Display presentation, Monday, 30, 1994, 9:20-6:30

[2.03] High-Dispersion CCD Astronomical Spectroscopy in an Undergraduate Lab

S.J.Ratcliff, A.A.Ambuske (Middlebury Coll.), S. Kono (Bowdoin Coll.), R. Lu (Caltech)

Experiments in high-dispersion spectroscopy are accessible to undergraduate students in astronomy, provided appropriate instrumentation is available. As part of a project to develop exercises, techniques, and instrumentation for astronomical spectroscopy, we have performed several experiments using a CCD camera as the detector, and with a combination of spectrograph configurations (both commercial and assembled from individual optical/mechanical components) and methods of light insertion (including relay mirrors and optical fibers). We show that the lack of a large telescope and of a commercial long-focal length spectrograph, both of which are expensive, is not an absolute impediment to the performance of these experiments. This work is therefore likely to be of interest to those who have CCD cameras but lack the other two instruments. The equipment also serves well for experiments in spectroscopy of laboratory sources, such as the Zeeman effect in mercury. This work was supported in part by NSF grant DUE-9252109, and in part by The Pew Charitable Trusts through a grant to the New England Consortium for Undergraduate Science Education.

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