Laboratory Physics: Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy is critical to astrophysics across the electromagnetic spectrum. At the CfA theoretical atomic and molecular calculations are used to produce lists of spectral features that can be observed and modeled by astronomers. Laboratory experiments are also important, to test the atomic and molecular theory and in some cases to help improve the accuracy of the calculations. An observed spectrum from an astronomical source we are trying to understand may contain a complicated mix of species. Laboratory astrophysics allows us to develop lists for each species of wavelengths (or energies), expected line strengths, and other properties.

  Laboratory Astrophysics Spetrum

Theoretical spectrum of a planetary nebula, including lines of Hydrogen and neutral and ionized Helium.


Section Photo