Joseph von Fraunhofer
|Died||7 June 1826 39) (aged|
|Known for||Fraunhofer diffraction, Fraunhofer lines, Fraunhofer distance|
Joseph Ritter von Fraunhofer ( // ; German: [ˈfraʊnˌhoːfɐ] ; 6 March 1787 – 7 June 1826 ) was a Bavarian physicist and optical lens manufacturer. He made optical glass and achromatic telescope objective lenses, invented the spectroscope, and developed diffraction grating. In 1814, he discovered and studied the dark absorption lines in the spectrum of the sun now known as Fraunhofer lines.
The German research organization Fraunhofer Society is named after him and is Europe's biggest Society for the Advancement of Applied Research.
Joseph Fraunhofer was the 11th child, born in Straubing, in the Electorate of Bavaria, to Franz Xaver Fraunhofer and Maria Anna Frohlich.He was orphaned at the age of 11 and started working as an apprentice to a harsh glassmaker named Philipp Anton Weichelsberger. In 1801, the workshop in which he was working collapsed, and he was buried in the rubble. The rescue operation was led by Prince-Elector Maximilian Joseph. The prince entered Fraunhofer's life, providing him with books and forcing his employer to allow the young Fraunhofer time to study.
Joseph Utzschneider was also at the site of the disaster, and would also become a benefactor to Fraunhofer. With the money given to him by the prince upon his rescue and the support he received from Utzschneider, Fraunhofer was able to continue his education alongside his practical training.In 1806, Utzschneider and Georg von Reichenbach brought Fraunhofer into their Institute at Benediktbeuern, a secularised Benedictine monastery devoted to glassmaking. There he discovered how to make fine optical glass and invented precise methods for measuring optical dispersion.
It was at the Institute that Fraunhofer met Pierre Louis Guinand, a Swiss glass technician, who instructed Fraunhofer in glassmaking at Utzschneider's behest.By 1809, the mechanical part of the Optical Institute was chiefly under Fraunhofer's direction, and Fraunhofer became one of the members of the firm that same year. In 1814, Guinand left the firm, as did Reichenbach. Guinand would later become a partner with Fraunhofer in the firm, and the name was changed to Utzschneider-und-Fraunhofer. During 1818, Fraunhofer became the director of the Optical Institute. Due to the fine optical instruments developed by Fraunhofer, Bavaria overtook England as the center of the optics industry. Even the likes of Michael Faraday were unable to produce glass that could rival Fraunhofer.
His illustrious career eventually earned him an honorary doctorate from the University of Erlangen in 1822. In 1824, Fraunhofer was appointed a Knight of the Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown by King Maximilian I, through which he was raised into personal nobility (with the title "Ritter von", i.e. knight). The same year, he was also made an honorary citizen of Munich.
Like many glassmakers of his era, he was poisoned by heavy metal vapors, resulting in his premature death. Fraunhofer died in 1826 at the age of 39. His most valuable glassmaking recipes are thought to have gone to the grave with him.
One of the most difficult operations of practical optics during the time period of Fraunhofer's life was accurately polishing the spherical surfaces of large object glasses. Fraunhofer invented the machine[ which? ] which rendered the surface more accurately than conventional grinding. He also invented other grinding and polishing machines and introduced many improvements into the manufacture of the different kinds of glass used for optical instruments, which he always found to have flaws and irregularities of various sorts.
In 1811, he constructed a new kind of furnace, and during his second melting session when he melted a large quantity of glass, he found that he could produce flint glass, which, when taken from the bottom of a vessel containing roughly 224 pounds of glass, had the same refractive power as glass taken from the surface. He found that English crown glass and German table glass both contained defects which tended to cause irregular refraction. In the thicker and larger glasses, there would be even more of such defects, so that in larger telescopes this kind of glass would not be fit for objective lenses. Fraunhofer accordingly made his own crown glass.
It was thought that the accurate determination of power for a given medium to refract rays of light and separate the different colors which they contain was impeded by the absence of precise boundaries between the colors of the spectrum, making it difficult to accurately measure the angle of refraction. To address this limitation, Fraunhofer performed a series of experiments for the purpose of producing homogeneous light artificially, and unable to effect his object in a direct way, he did so by means of lamps and prisms.
By 1814, Fraunhofer had invented the modern spectroscope.In the course of his experiments, he discovered a bright fixed line which appears in the orange color of the spectrum when it is produced by the light of fire. This line enabled him afterward to determine the absolute power of refraction in different substances. Experiments to ascertain whether the solar spectrum contained the same bright line in orange as the line produced by the orange of fire light led him to the discovery of 574 dark fixed lines in the solar spectrum. Today, millions of such fixed absorption lines are now known.
Continuing to investigate, Fraunhofer detected dark lines also appearing in the spectra of several bright stars, but in slightly different arrangements. He ruled out the possibility that the lines were produced as the light passes through the Earth’s atmosphere. If that were the case they would not appear in different arrangements. He concluded that the lines originate in the nature of the stars and sun and carry information about the source of light, regardless of how far away that source is.He found that the spectra of Sirius and other first-magnitude stars differed from the sun and from each other, thus founding stellar spectroscopy.
These dark fixed lines were later shown to be atomic absorption lines, as explained by Kirchhoff and Bunsen in 1859.These lines are still called Fraunhofer lines in his honor; his discovery had gone far beyond the half-dozen apparent divisions in the solar spectrum that had previously been noted by Wollaston in 1802.
Fraunhofer also developed a diffraction grating in 1821, after James Gregory discovered the phenomenon of diffraction grating and after the American astronomer David Rittenhouse invented the first manmade diffraction grating in 1785.Fraunhofer was the first who used a diffraction grating to obtain line spectra and the first who measured the wavelengths of spectral lines with a diffraction grating.
Ultimately, however, his primary passion was still practical optics; he once wrote that "In all my experiments I could, owing to lack of time, pay attention to only those matters which appeared to have a bearing upon practical optics".
Fraunhofer produced various optical instruments for his firm.This included the Fraunhofer Dorpat Refractor used by Struve (delivered 1824 to Dorpat Observatory), and the Bessel Heliometer (delivered posthumously), which were both used to collect data for stellar parallax. The firm's successor, Merz und Mahler, made a telescope for the New Berlin Observatory, which confirmed the existence of the major planet Neptune. Possibly the last telescope objective made by Fraunhofer was supplied for a transit telescope at the City Observatory, Edinburgh, the telescope itself being completed by Repsold of Hamburg after Fraunhofer's death.
In optics, aberration is a property of optical systems, such as lenses, that causes light to be spread out over some region of space rather than focused to a point. Aberrations cause the image formed by a lens to be blurred or distorted, with the nature of the distortion depending on the type of aberration. Aberration can be defined as a departure of the performance of an optical system from the predictions of paraxial optics. In an imaging system, it occurs when light from one point of an object does not converge into a single point after transmission through the system. Aberrations occur because the simple paraxial theory is not a completely accurate model of the effect of an optical system on light, rather than due to flaws in the optical elements.
Diffraction refers to various phenomena that occur when a wave encounters an obstacle or opening. It is defined as the bending of waves around the corners of an obstacle or through an aperture into the region of geometrical shadow of the obstacle/aperture. The diffracting object or aperture effectively becomes a secondary source of the propagating wave. Italian scientist Francesco Maria Grimaldi coined the word diffraction and was the first to record accurate observations of the phenomenon in 1660.
Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behaviour of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. Because light is an electromagnetic wave, other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves exhibit similar properties.
An optical spectrometer is an instrument used to measure properties of light over a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, typically used in spectroscopic analysis to identify materials. The variable measured is most often the light's intensity but could also, for instance, be the polarization state. The independent variable is usually the wavelength of the light or a unit directly proportional to the photon energy, such as reciprocal centimeters or electron volts, which has a reciprocal relationship to wavelength.
In optics, a diffraction grating is an optical component with a periodic structure that splits and diffracts light into several beams travelling in different directions. The emerging coloration is a form of structural coloration. The directions of these beams depend on the spacing of the grating and the wavelength of the light so that the grating acts as the dispersive element. Because of this, gratings are commonly used in monochromators and spectrometers.
In optics, chromatic aberration (CA), also called chromatic distortion and spherochromatism, is a failure of a lens to focus all colors to the same point. It is caused by dispersion: the refractive index of the lens elements varies with the wavelength of light. The refractive index of most transparent materials decreases with increasing wavelength. Since the focal length of a lens depends on the refractive index, this variation in refractive index affects focusing. Chromatic aberration manifests itself as "fringes" of color along boundaries that separate dark and bright parts of the image.
A refracting telescope is a type of optical telescope that uses a lens as its objective to form an image. The refracting telescope design was originally used in spy glasses and astronomical telescopes but is also used for long focus camera lenses. Although large refracting telescopes were very popular in the second half of the 19th century, for most research purposes, the refracting telescope has been superseded by the reflecting telescope, which allows larger apertures. A refractor's magnification is calculated by dividing the focal length of the objective lens by that of the eyepiece.
Astronomical spectroscopy is the study of astronomy using the techniques of spectroscopy to measure the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, including visible light and radio, which radiates from stars and other celestial objects. A stellar spectrum can reveal many properties of stars, such as their chemical composition, temperature, density, mass, distance, luminosity, and relative motion using Doppler shift measurements. Spectroscopy is also used to study the physical properties of many other types of celestial objects such as planets, nebulae, galaxies, and active galactic nuclei.
The emission spectrum of a chemical element or chemical compound is the spectrum of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation emitted due to an atom or molecule making a transition from a high energy state to a lower energy state. The photon energy of the emitted photon is equal to the energy difference between the two states. There are many possible electron transitions for each atom, and each transition has a specific energy difference. This collection of different transitions, leading to different radiated wavelengths, make up an emission spectrum. Each element's emission spectrum is unique. Therefore, spectroscopy can be used to identify elements in matter of unknown composition. Similarly, the emission spectra of molecules can be used in chemical analysis of substances.
Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behavior of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. Because light is an electromagnetic wave, other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves exhibit similar properties.
In physics and optics, the Fraunhofer lines are a set of spectral absorption lines named after the German physicist Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787–1826). The lines were originally observed as dark features in the optical spectrum of the Sun.
Optics began with the development of lenses by the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians, followed by theories on light and vision developed by ancient Greek philosophers, and the development of geometrical optics in the Greco-Roman world. The word optics is derived from the Greek term τα ὀπτικά meaning "appearance, look". Optics was significantly reformed by the developments in the medieval Islamic world, such as the beginnings of physical and physiological optics, and then significantly advanced in early modern Europe, where diffractive optics began. These earlier studies on optics are now known as "classical optics". The term "modern optics" refers to areas of optical research that largely developed in the 20th century, such as wave optics and quantum optics.
Chromadepth is a patented system from the company Chromatek that produces a stereoscopic effect based upon differences in the diffraction of color through a special prism-like holographic film fitted into glasses. Chromadepth glasses purposely exacerbate chromatic aberration and give the illusion of colors taking up different positions in space, with red being in front, and blue being behind. This works particularly well with the sky, sea or grass as a background, and redder objects in the foreground.
A telescope is an optical instrument using lenses, curved mirrors, or a combination of both to observe distant objects, or various devices used to observe distant objects by their emission, absorption, or reflection of electromagnetic radiation. The first known practical telescopes were refracting telescopes invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century, by using glass lenses. They were used for both terrestrial applications and astronomy.
In optics, a dispersive prism is an optical prism, usually having the shape of a geometrical triangular prism, used as a spectroscopic component. Spectral dispersion is the best known property of optical prisms, although not the most frequent purpose of using optical prisms in practice. Triangular prisms are used to disperse light, that is, to separate light into its spectral components. Different wavelengths (colors) of light will be deflected by the prism at different angles, producing a spectrum on a detector. This is a result of the prism's material index of refraction varying with wavelength. By application of Snell's law, one can see that as the wavelength changes, and the refractive index changes, the deflection angle of a light beam will change, separating the colors of the light spatially. Generally, longer wavelengths (red) thereby undergo a smaller deviation than shorter wavelengths (blue) where the refractive index is larger.
Spectrochemistry is the application of spectroscopy in several fields of chemistry. It includes analysis of spectra in chemical terms, and use of spectra to derive the structure of chemical compounds, and also to qualitatively and quantitively analyze their presence in the sample. It is a method of chemical analysis that relies on the measurement of wavelengths and intensity of electromagnetic radiation.
Great refractor refers to a large telescope with a lens, usually the largest refractor at an observatory with an equatorial mount. The preeminence and success of this style in observational astronomy defines an era in modern telescopy in the 19th and early 20th century. Great refractors were large refracting telescopes using achromatic lenses. They were often the largest in the world, or largest in a region. Despite typical designs having smaller apertures than reflectors, great refractors offered a number of advantages and were popular for astronomy. It was also popular to exhibit large refractors at international exhibits, and examples of this include the Trophy Telescope at the 1851 Great Exhibition, and the Yerkes Great Refractor at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.
Modern spectroscopy in the Western world started in the 17th century. New designs in optics, specifically prisms, enabled systematic observations of the solar spectrum. Isaac Newton first applied the word spectrum to describe the rainbow of colors that combine to form white light. During the early 1800s, Joseph von Fraunhofer conducted experiments with dispersive spectrometers that enabled spectroscopy to become a more precise and quantitative scientific technique. Since then, spectroscopy has played and continues to play a significant role in chemistry, physics and astronomy. Fraunhofer observed and measured dark lines in the Sun's spectrum, which now bear his name although several of them were observed earlier by Wollaston.
Georg Merz was a Bavarian optician and manufacturer of astronomical telescopes and other optical instruments.
A prism spectrometer is an optical spectrometer which uses a dispersive prism as its dispersive element. The prism refracts light into its different colors (wavelengths). The dispersion occurs because the angle of refraction is dependent on the refractive index of the prism's material, which in turn is slightly dependent on the wavelength of light that is traveling through it.
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