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Spectrometer Educational Kit


  • Designed for Education, Demonstration, and Classroom Use
  • Easy-to-Use Kits Include Components Plus Educational Materials
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Spectrometer Educational Kit
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EDU-SPEB2/M Educational Kit Showing the Spectrum of a White Light LED Source
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Spectrometer Educational Kit

  • Designed for Educational, Demonstration, and Classroom Use
  • Includes Extensive Manual for Easy Assembly and Use
  • Choose from Educational Kits Containing Imperial or Metric Components

Experiment

  • Build a Grating-Based Spectrometer with 600 lines/mm or 1200 lines/mm Reflective Gratings
  • Build a Prism-Based Spectrometer with an Equilateral Dispersing Prism
  • Study the Spectral Makeup of the Included White LED or Various User-Provided Light Sources

Thorlabs' Spectrometer Educational Kit includes the components to build a grating-based or dispersing prism-based spectrometer. This educational kit is offered in both an imperial and metric version. Although grating- and prism-based spectrometers can both be used to observe the spectra of various light sources, they function using very different physical principles. The grating spectrometer provides insights into interference and the wave nature of light, while the prism spectrometer provides the opportunity to study various ray optics concepts, such as an optical material's index of refraction and dispersion.

Thorlabs Educational Products

Thorlabs' educational line of products aims to promote physics, optics, and photonics by covering many classic photonics experiments, as well as emerging fields of research. Each educational kit includes all the necessary components and a manual that contains both detailed setup instructions and extensive teaching materials. These lab kits are being offered at the price of the included components, with the educational materials offered for free. Technical support from our educational team is available both before and after purchase.

Purchasing Note: Both English and German language manuals/teaching information are available for our educational kits. The imperial and metric versions of the kit include the English manual. For the metric kits, a German language manual will be added based on your shipping location. Please contact Tech Support if you would like the German manual included with the imperial version of the kit. As with all products on our website, taxes are not included in the price shown below.

The EDU-SPEB2(/M) Educational Spectrometer Kit includes all of the components necessary to build a grating-based or dispersing prism-based spectrometer, including two diffraction gratings with different groove densities (600 lines/mm and 1200 lines/mm) and an equilateral dispersing prism. Either imperial or metric versions are available. LEDs, lasers, gas discharge tubes, light bulbs, and many other light sources can all be analyzed with this kit. A white LED and a bandpass filter are included. The LED is a spectrally broad light source, which in combination with the bandpass filter can also provide a narrow spectral line.

Grating-Based Spectrometer Setup
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Grating-Based Spectrometer Setup

Grating-Based Spectrometer

The grating-based spectrometer uses a reflective ruled diffraction grating to separate the spectral components of light. As seen in the photo to the right, the light is focused on an adjustable slit using one focusing lens. The light exiting the slit passes through another lens and is incident on a diffraction grating. Light is diffracted off of the grating and is incident on the viewing screen. Since the angle of diffraction is wavelength dependent, light diffracting off of the grating is separated into different wavelengths and appears at different locations on the screen. Both emission line and broadband sources can be analyzed, and the wavelength of spectral components can be calculated.

Grating Spectrometer Setup
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A drawing illustrating how students can determine θk by measuring the location of a spectral line.

The experiment is set up so that the simple grating equation can be used:

Spectrometer Grating Equation

where θk is the angle at which the light incident on the grating leaves the grating, k is the diffraction order, λ is the wavelength of the light forming the spectral line, and g is the groove density of the grating. Students can calculate θk by measuring the distance between the grating and the plane of the slit and the distance between the light path entering the slit and first order spectral line, as shown in the figure to the left. They can then use this number to determine the wavelength of the spectral lines visible on the screen.

Additionally, the interference properties of the diffraction grating can be studied with this spectrometer.

Prism-Based Spectrometer Setup
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Prism-Based Spectrometer Setup

Prism-Based Spectrometer

The prism-based spectrometer uses an equilateral dispersing prism to separate the spectral components of light. As seen in the photo to the right, light is focused on an adjustable slit using one focusing lens. The light exiting the slit passes through another lens, which focuses it onto the viewing screen after passing through the equilateral dispersing prism. Light of different wavelengths is refracted at different angles through the prism, so the light is separated into its spectral components when viewed on the screen. As with the grating-based kit described above, both emission line and broadband sources can be analyzed.

Additionally, the refractive properties of the prism can be studied. For example, the index of refraction of the prism can be found by measuring the angle of minimum deviation. The angle of minimum deviation is represented by γ in the figure to the lower left. It is defined as the angle between the light entering and exiting the prism when the light passing through the prism is parallel to the prism's base. For the prism used in this experiment, the angle of minimum deviation is related to the refractive index n by the following equation:

Angle of Minimum Deviation

Students can measure the angle of minimum deviation by adjusting the position of the screen and prism angle to produce the sharpest possible image of the incident light source. The x and y distances shown in in the figure to the right can be measured to determine γ, which is then used to calculate the refractive index n of the prism.

We also offer similarly priced compact CCD-based spectrometers, which can be used for demonstration and provide quantitative spectral measurements.

Angle of Minimum Deviation
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The diagram above shows the relationship between the angle of minimum deviation and the light entering the prism.
Angle of Min Deviation Measurement
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A diagram showing how the angle of minimum deviation can be measured using the educational spectrometer kit.

Spectrometer Kit Components

Thorlabs' Spectrometer kit has been carefully engineered to be easy to set up and to give clear, reliable results. The kit is built using stock Thorlabs components, making it possible to expand the scope of the experiment by purchasing additional components.

Light Sources Note: The LEDW7E white LED is included in this spectrometer kit together with a bandpass filter. This combination enables investigation of a spectrally broad light source as well as a narrow spectral line. Many other light sources including LEDs, lasers, gas discharge tubes, and light bulbs can be analyzed. If you would like to use a lamp with the spectrometer, the QTH10 Quartz Tungsten-Halogen Lamp provides a compact, economical option. The lamp's 10 W bulb has a lower intensity than the LEDW7E LED, but still produces a detectable spectrum.

Diffraction Gratings Handling Warning: Optical gratings can be easily damaged by moisture, fingerprints, aerosols, or the slightest contact with any abrasive material. Gratings should only be handled when necessary and always held by the sides. Latex gloves or a similar protective covering should be worn to prevent oil from fingers from reaching the grating surface. No attempt should be made to clean a grating other than blowing off dust with clean, dry air or nitrogen. Solvents will likely damage the grating's surface.

Purchasing Note: Both the imperial and metric versions of the kit include the English manual. For the metric kits, a German language manual will be added based on your shipping location. Please contact Tech Support if you would like the German manual included with the imperial version of the kit.

Specials: We are happy to provide alternative versions of this kit, such as a reduced version which includes only the parts that are required to build a basic spectrometer. Please contact our Technical Support with inquiries.

The spectrometer kit is offered in both an imperial (EDU-SPEB2) and a metric version (EDU-SPEB2/M). For components listed in the table to the right that have a different part number in the imperial and metric kits, the metric part number and dimensions are indicated by parentheses. This kit can be configured as either a grating- or prism-based spectrometer, and it includes diffraction gratings with two different groove densities and an equilateral dispersing prism.

EDU-SPEB2 in Prism Configuration
EDU-SPEB2(/M) Kit Componentsa
Item # Description Qty.
LEDMT1F LED Mount 1
LEDW7E White LED, Pkg. of 5 1
SMR05 (SMR05/M) Lens Mount without Retaining Lip for Ø1/2" Optics 1
SM05L03 SM05 Lens Tube, 0.30" Thread Depth 2
DS5 5 VDC USB Power Supply 1
LB1471 Ø1" Bi-Convex Lens, f = 50 mm 1
LB1676 Ø1" Bi-Convex Lens, f = 100 mm 1
LMR1 (LMR1/M) Ø1" Lens Mount with Retaining Ring 2
- Ø1/2" Bandpass Filter, 532 ± 0.6 nm CWL, 3 ± 0.6 nm FWHM 1
VA100 (VA100/M) Adjustable Slit 1
GR25-0605 600 lines/mm Reflective Diffraction Grating 1
GR25-1205 1200 lines/mm Reflective Diffraction Grating 1
KMSR (KMSR/M) Kinematic Mount for 1" Rectangular Optics 2
PS858 Equilateral Dispersing Prism, 20 mm 1
KM100PM
(KM100PM/M)
Kinematic Prism Mount 1
PM3 (PM3/M) Clamping Arm for Prism Mount 1
EDU-VS1
(EDU-VS1/M)
Viewing Screen 1
MB1824 (MB4560/M) Optical Breadboard, 18" x 24" (45 cm x 60 cm) 1
RDF1 Rubber Damping Feet, Set of 4 4
PH3 (PH75/M) Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post Holder, 3" (75 mm) Long 7
TR3 (TR75/M) Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Optical Post, 3" (75 mm) Long 7
PH2 (PH50/M) Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Post Holder, 2" (50 mm) Long 1
TR2 (TR50/M) Ø1/2" (Ø12.7 mm) Optical Post, 2" (50 mm) Long 1
BA1 (BA1/M) Post Holder Base, 1" x 3" x 3/8" (25 mm x 75 mm x 10 mm) 3
BA2 (BA2/M) Post Holder Base, 2" x 3" x 3/8" (50 mm x 75 mm x 10 mm) 3
BE1 (BE1/M) Ø1.25" (Ø31.8 mm) Pedestal Base Adapter 2
CF125 Clamping Fork 2
TPS5 Laser Safety Screen, 12" x 12" (305 mm x 305 mm) 1
USB-C-72 72" USB 2.0 Type-A Extension Cable 1
SPW603 Spanner Wrench for SM05 Retaining Rings, 1" Long 1
SPW606 Spanner Wrench for SM1 Retaining Rings, 1" Long 1
  • All required hex keys are included with this kit.

Imperial Kit: Included Hardware and Screws

Item # Description Qty.
SH8S025a 8-32 x 1/4" Long Cap Screw 1
SH25S038b 1/4"-20 x 3/8" Long Cap Screw 10
SH25S050b 1/4"-20 x 1/2" Long Cap Screw 4
SH25S063b 1/4"-20 x 5/8" Long Cap Screw 6
W25S050c 1/4" Washer 10
BD-3/16L 1/4"-20 Ball Driver 1
- 5/64" Hex Key 1
- 9/64" Hex Key 1
  • This kit contains the number of screws indicated in the Qty. column. Replacement screws, which are sold in packages of 50, are available by ordering the Item # listed.
  • This kit contains the number of screws indicated in the Qty. column. Replacement screws, which are sold in packages of 25, are available by ordering the Item # listed.
  • This kit contains the number of washers indicated in the Qty. column. Replacement washers, which are sold in packages of 100, are available by ordering the Item # listed.

Metric Kit: Included Hardware and Screws

Item # Description Qty.
SH4MS06a M4 x 6 mm Long Cap Screw 1
SH6MS10b M6 x 10 mm Long Cap Screw 10
SH6MS12b M6 x 12 mm Long Cap Screw 4
SH6MS16b M6 x 16 mm Long Cap Screw 6
W25S050c M6 Washer 10
BD-5ML M6 Ball Driver 1
- 2.0 mm Hex Key 1
- 3.0 mm Hex Key 1
  • This kit contains the number of screws indicated in the Qty. column. Replacement screws, which are sold in packages of 50, are available by ordering the Item # listed.
  • This kit contains the number of screws indicated in the Qty. column. Replacement screws, which are sold in packages of 25, are available by ordering the Item # listed.
  • This kit contains the number of washers indicated in the Qty. column. Replacement washers, which are sold in packages of 100, are available by ordering the Item # listed.

We cordially thank Antje Bergmann and Stefan Reich (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) for sharing their design for an educational spectrometer.

Do you have ideas for an experiment that you would like to see implemented in an educational kit? Contact us at techsupport@thorlabs.com; we'd love to hear from you.


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