Using the Mini Spectroscope
Here are two spectra I photographed directly from a mini-spectroscope
made from a slice of audio CD.
The lights used were of the fluorescent tube kind.
The first tube is a standard tube and the second one is
one advertised as full spectrum, it is brighter and whiter.
In both cases the 3 visible signature lines of mercury vapor (Hg)
are clearly identifiable (435, 546 and 577,579 of HgI).
These lines are marked black on the underlying scale.
Most of the mercury light is actually emitted in the short UV at 253.7 nm (not shown on the scale).
The phosphors coating the tube fluoresce under this UV and reemit
the light in the visible region. Clearly the full-spectrum lamp makes more
generous use of the phosphors: the green and red lines are prominent
and a blue line can also be detected.
The common phosphor lines are marked by color lines on the scale.
By using a DVD instead of an audio CD the yellow doublet at 577,579 nm
can be resolved, but it is not easy to photograph.
Coleman fluorescent camping lantern:
Ott-Lite full spectrum work light:
Source: Mercury Lines (NIST)
| Mercury (Hg) |
| Color || Wavelength (nm) || Ion |
| Short UV ||253.652|| Hg I |
| Long UV ||365.015|| Hg I |
| Long UV || 404.656 || Hg I |
| Violet ||433.922|
| Hg I |
| Green ||546.074|| Hg I|
| Yellow ||576.960|
| Hg I|
| IR ||708.190|
| Hg I ||
Source Phosphors (Stanford Materials)
| Common Phosphors |
| Color || Peak Wavelength (nm) || Phosphor |
| Blue || 450|
| (Sr,Ba,Ca)10(PO4)6Cl2 : Eu |
| Green || 542|
| (La,Ce,Tb)PO4: Ce,Tb |
| Red || 611 || Y2O3: Eu|