DIY Spectroscopy




Introduction: DIY Spectroscopy

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.

Step 1: Design in English, Italian and French

To make this spectroscope you need to download this pdf file.  If you wish you may also download the Italian or French version.
Print this sheet on a A4 paper.

You will need

1) Pair of scissors
2) A sharp knife
3) Some glue (a glue stick will do)
4) A black card sheet
5) A DVD or CD

Step 2: Glue the Printout

The first step is to glue the printout on a sheet of black card sheet.  And press the sheet so that it becomes flat.

After the sheet is properly glued

Write your name on the card sheet.

This is particularly helpful if you as a science teacher would like to get lots of children make their spectroscope.

Step 3: Cut the Sheet

Now using a pair of scissors cut the sheet along the external lines.

And the using a sharp knife - cut away the window at  "Eye" and "towards the light"

Use a ruler to make a straight cuts

With this step - all the cuts are over -

we start gluing the spectroscope

Step 4: Gluing the Spectroscope

We now glue the four past of the spectroscope

First apply glue on the side marked A' and B'
This should be done on the 'white' side.

The glue the base - it is to be done on the 'black side'

Step 5: Fixing CD/DVD

We are almost there now -

make two folds at 'eye' and insert a CD or DVD.

You may insert a small piece of the DVD/CD

Step 6: Use It Now

Your spectroscope is ready

Now what remains is to use it -  it will not take too much of time for you get used to see spectra.

Hold the spectroscope horizontally in the direction of the source in such a way that 'towards the light' window is towards the source of light.  Please eye at the eye window and now slowly lift the spectroscope with eye fixed to the eye window.

Soon you will see the spectrum.

Step 7: Spectra of Cfl Source

Step 8: Solar Spectra

It is possible to see the absorption lines, called Fraunhofer Lines in the solar spectrum.

By making the entrance slit narrow and then pointing the spectroscope you can observe the fraunhofer lines.

Step 9: Sodium Spectra

Watch this movie  - first it shows the general setup for taking a movie of sodium spectrum.

The source was common table salt stuck to a wire mesh with some drop of water and now burning in the flame of a candle.

First you will see a normal continuous spectrum of the candle flame and then in between you will see sharp sodium lines. I have placed the spectroscope on a stand and replaced eye with a simple digital camera.

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    9 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I build it and got great images (spectrum's) .
    Love the instructable!

    Bill WW
    Bill WW

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks Alpha - this is one Instructable I will definitly make!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks very much (sorry for the delayed reply - I have been traveling and busy with other work) - could you send me a picture of your spectroscope.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Sure .. I will even do better ...
    Here are some pictures I took with it as well .
    Feel free to post on page .

    Summary Spectrometer.jpg

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks very much (sorry for the delayed reply - I have been traveling and busy with other work)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    jajajja, awesome, you use it for identify chemical elements?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    you could identify some elements in the solar spectra - but I have not tried other elements - if you do, do let me know too