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GENERAL COMMENTS

    In this lab do not remove the spectrum charts form the wall, and don't necessarily believe the colors ( or even all the numbers ) on those charts.  For one thing,  the charts seem to disagree with each other on a few points, and for another thing, the book publishers aren't always very rigorous about using  "true color" in the printing process.

    Also, please view the fist half of this lab as "more sophisticated optical technique" than what you've done in Phys 203 or 223.   The term "sophisticated" does not just mean that the spectrometer is particularly precise; it also means that you have the non-trivial responsibility of familiarizing yourself with the instrument and with what all the knobs and variables are, so that you can properly align and get best results.  And it means that some dangers are present:  the laser beam (if we forgot to diffuse or attenuate it)  cooling straight through the telescope could damage your eye; also, the black high-voltage tube holder has exposed electrodes which must not be touched while the switch is on.  I should mention that some theory related to the laser is Appendix #1 (which can be viewed as optional reading).

    I like to view the last half of this lab-not so as optics or even as chemistry, but as quantum physics.  Finding the spectral lines and their wavelengths should not merely be categorization but should  reveal some of the inner workings of the atoms form which they came.  Thus, some calculation and discussion (especially related to the appendices)  is in the procedure which I hope will deepen this experience.