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## Main Question or Discussion Point

Continue reading...Introduction

In this article we will discuss the fundamentals of the diffraction grating spectrometer. The operation of the instrument is based upon the textbook equations for the far-field interference (Fraunhofer case) that results from a plane wave incident on a diffraction grating. It is rather remarkable how the standard textbook equations can be used to tell most everything one needs to know in order to understand the complete operation of the instrument. It is hoped that upon reading this article, the reader will have a good understanding of how a diffraction grating spectrometer works.

For a diffraction grating spectrometer, the grating is the dispersive element instead of a prism. In very simple form, the primary maxima from a diffraction grating for wavelength ## \lambda ## are found at angles ## \theta ## that satisfy ## m \lambda=d \sin{\theta} ##, with ##m=## integer. The result is different...