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The programme looks at the technique of spectroscopy and examines some practical applications such as the analysis of steel and the determination of temperatures and composition of stars. The theor...etical basis of spectroscopy is also discussed with the aid of animated diagrams.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S101, Science: a foundation course
Item code: S101; 11
First transmission date: 15-05-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: David Jackson
Contributors: Charles Harding; Jane Nelson; Mike Dworetsky; Jerry Jacobs
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): British Steel Rotherham; Spectroscopy
Subject terms: Spectrum analysis
Footage description: Charlie Harding, inside the British Steel Works at Rotherham introduces the programme. Film shots of the furnace and of a sample being taken for analysis. Shots of the sample being tested for composition by atomic spectroscopy. Jane Nelson and Charlie Harding look at spectra of steel, neon gas, of white light from a hot wire and of light from the sun. They point out the series of dark lines found in these spectra. In order to demonstrate that the dark lines found in atomic spectra are caused by absorption of light at certain frequencies, Jane Nelson illuminates samples of sodium and mercury with sodium and mercury light respectively. She also illuminates the samples with white light and compares the results. Finally, with the aid of an analogy (ball bearing on a slope) she interprets the results of her experiment. Charlie Harding (voice over animated diagrams which illustrate the difference between absorption and emission) continues the interpretation of the experiment above. Jane Nelson looks at the equipment needed to produce an energy level diagram from the spectrum of hydrogen. She then examines the spectrum of hydrogen under ordinary light and then on a fluorescent screen which allows the lines in the ultra violet to be seen. Nelson points out the pattern formed, the Balmer Series. With the aid of an animated spectrum for hydrogen and an animated diagram, Charlie Harding (voice over) offers a theoretical explanation for the Balmer Series as seen above. Harding goes on to interpret another series of spectral lines, the Lyman series. Film shots of a spectroscopic observation being made of a star at the London University Observatory at Mill Hill. Mike Dworetsky and Jerry Jacobs carry out the observations and then analyse the photographic spectrum obtained. Occasional commentary by Charlie Harding (voice over). They go on to explain and demonstrate how, by using a densitometer on the photographic spectrum, the temperature of the star can be calculated. Charlie Harding sums up the programme. He carries out a short demonstration with a bunsen burner of experiments first carried out by Kirchoff and Bunsen which were the precursors of modern atomic spectroscopy.
Master spool number: 6HT/72851
Production number: 00525_1341
Videofinder number: 1186
Available to public: no