Introduction: Pizza Box Spectroscope

About: I had been interested in DIY activities since my childhood. One of my DIY activity - astronomy and telescope making took me on a path to join professional body of astronomers.

You can make a nice spectroscope using pizza box and discarded or damaged CD. There is nothing special about the pizza box except that it is one-time-use-and-throw box (after its use no one wants it really) and that it is broad but not very thick. You can use any other box.

Step 1: Open the Pizza Box

The pizza box that we used was 35 cm x 25cm and 2cm think. In fact you can make two spectroscopes using a box this big. We opened the box and folded it length wise and cut into two half.

Step 2:

There is hole cut in the box, presumably for moisture and heat to escape else the pizza would get soggy. We cut a slit on top of the box about a centimeter from the hole and a square window exactly opposite to this hole.

Step 3:

Black paper is pasted in side and ......

Step 4:

.. and outside to seal any light leakage in the box

Step 5: Cut the CD or DVD - This Time Using Pair of Scissors

Take a damaged CD and cut it as shown here. Then using a stiff plastic material scrape away the paint This a delicate operation. Need to be done carefully and slowly so as not to damage the surface. This piece is then insert into the slit of the pizza box.

The spectroscope is now ready.

Step 6: Photograph the Spectra

Place the spectroscope on a table pointing to a CFL source.  You will see the spectrum that you can photograph using a camera.

Note - try to put the camera on a stand and switch off the flash mode.