Identification Using Light

Driving Question: How can we design a spectrograph that will be able to identify fake diamonds from real diamonds?

Synopsis: Spectroscopy is used to identify the elements present in a material. Students will construct a spectrometer to determine the wavelength of light from three different lasers. Students will use this information to design a spectrograph that is specifically designed to find two reference spectra characteristics of diamond.

Math Standards: Students will
  • Understand radian measure of an angle as the length of the arc on the unit circle subtended by the angle.
  • Explain how the unit circle in the coordinate plane enables the extension of trigonometric functions to all real numbers, interpreted as radian measures of angles traversed counterclockwise around the unit circle.
  • Explain and use the relationship between the sine and cosine of complementary angles.
  • Use trigonometric ratios and the Pythagorean Theorem to solve right triangles in applied problems.
  • Derive using similarity the fact that the length of the arc intercepted by an angle is proportional to the radius, and define the radian measure of the angle as the constant of proportionality; derive the formula for the area of a sector.
OPT 110 Topics:

     Sources of Light – the spectrum of light sources
     How Light Behaves – interference
     Light in Technology and Industry – lasers, light in manufacturing, light in medicine