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Diffraction Grating - Resolving Power

  1. Apr 5, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    4. Light from a mercury discharge lamp contains 2 yellow lines at 577 nm and 579 nm. Find the angle of diffraction for the 577 nm line in second order when passed through a grating having 2400 lines at 80 lines per mm.
    What is the expected dispersion in second order in the vicinity of this line?
    What is the resolving power in second order?

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Ok so the first part was grand. I'm having trouble with the second part,

    [itex]R = \frac{λ}{Δλ} = Nm[/itex]

    This gives me 2 very different answers though. Which one is applicable and why? I mean, they are obviously only equal at one value for m but I dont know.
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2013 #2
    Shameless Bump
     
  4. Apr 6, 2013 #3

    SammyS

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    You're not assuming that Δλ = 2 nm, are you?



    Yes. You waited nearly long enough for a legal bump.
     
  5. Apr 6, 2013 #4
    Yes, I am assuming that Δλ = 2 nm. Why? I assume this is incorrect?
     
  6. Apr 6, 2013 #5

    SammyS

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    2 nm is what you need to be able to resolve. -- i.e. your resolving power needs to be λ/(Δλ) .

    The resolving power of the grating in second order is (m)(N) .
     
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