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Public Lab Research note

Spectrometry 1st week plan

by Alex-McCarthy | April 05, 2011 22:24 05 Apr 22:24 | #156 | #156

1st week plan for research in low cost spectrometry for pollution detection

Build/Test: • Build a new spectroscope following current plans to better understand how to make the process more reproducible, easier. o Black PVC to reduce light interference in tube? o Control size of slit by using piece of paper to evenly space razor blades? • Design a standardized sample holder mounted to spectroscope for liquid samples • Test accuracy of spectrum by analyzing known spectrums: sunlight, printed color samples, dyes of known wavelengths o Try several cameras to see if discrepancies are originating from instrument or from cameras inability to take true color photos o Find actual color value of peaks on spectrograph; compare them to peaks in known spectrums. • Test dissolved oil of different concentrations, and relate intensities in spectrographs Supplies: materials for new spectroscope (black PVC?), blank DVD

Goal: increase resolution of spectroscope • 2 diffraction gratings? (Further spilt spectrum?) • DVD vs. CD? (DVDs have more grooves)

Research: • What PAHs specifically are typical of pollution in test location (gulf oil spill, Gowanus canal, ect) • Find spectrographs of these PAHs online, or from MIT • Obtain samples of these PAHs for testing? • What wavelength is the CD adsorbing? • Use spectroscope to analyze vegetation health? • Use spectroscope to find relative smog densities in cities? • Use spectroscope to find plankton density? • How useful is the sun as a reproducible light source for spectroscope? o Is direct light to bright? Use reflected, or filtered light to lessen intensity?


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