The atmospheric extinction of light

Hughes, Stephen W., Cowley, Michael, Powell, Sean, & Carroll, Joshua (2015) The atmospheric extinction of light. European Journal of Physics, 37(1), 015601.


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An experiment is described that enables students to understand the properties of atmospheric extinction due to Rayleigh scattering. The experiment requires the use of red, green and blue lasers attached to a traveling microscope or similar device. The laser beams are passed through an artificial atmosphere, made from milky water, at varying depths, before impinging on either a light meter or a photodiode integral to a Picotech Dr. DAQ ADC. A plot of measured spectral intensity verses depth reveals the contribution Rayleigh scattering has to the extinction coefficient. For the experiment with the light meter, the extinction coefficient for red, green and blue light in the milky sample of water were 0.27, 0.36 and 0.47 cm-1 respectively and 0.032, 0.037 and 0.092 cm-1 for the Picotech Dr. DAQ ADC.

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ID Code: 90161
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: atmosphere, extinction, scattering, laser, sunset
DOI: 10.1088/0143-0807/37/1/015601
ISSN: 1361-6404
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd
Deposited On: 12 Nov 2015 01:17
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2016 06:14

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