In the first unit of our Math/Science class, Light & Sound, we have been studying how we see light in our universe. Some ways we have done this were visiting the Adler Planetarium’s astronomy theater, learning how light triggers sensors in laser tag, and building spectrographs. A spectrograph is a device that splits light into a spectrum that shows all the colors it contains. Scientists use spectrographs to measure light from stars that are light years away to discover properties of the stars such as the chemical composition or distance from Earth. What amazed me was how by measuring the light of galaxies to calculate their distances, scientists were able to support the theory that the universe is expanding. Learning about what lies light years away can teach us so much about our whole universe’s past, present, and future. The powerpoint below goes through the process of building a spectrograph.