The January 2018 issue of The Physics Teacher saw two articles that featured the RSpec Explorer as a supplementary lab apparatus. The RSpec Explorer provides live video spectrum analysis with which teachers can demonstrate how to investigate features of a diffracted light source. In this article I provide an introduction to the device as well as a variety of suggestions for using it, some of which go beyond its originally intended design.

1.
J.
Birriel
and
D.
King
, “
Fluorescence spectra of highlighter inks
,”
Phys. Teach.
56
,
20
(
Jan.
2018
).
2.
J.
Howe
and
D.
Sitar
, “
Using RSpec in an introductory bright star spectroscopy lab activity
,”
Phys. Teach.
56
,
56
(
Jan.
2018
).
3.
The author is not receiving compensation from any vendor for the publication of this article.
4.
The RSpec Explorer can be purchased from its inventor (Tom Field) directly via FieldTestedSystems.com, or through the vendor Arbor Scientific.
5.
A homemade version of the RSpec Explorer has been described by
Ralph D.
Lorenz
in his article titled “
A simple webcam spectrograph
,”
Am. J. Phys.
82
,
169
(
Feb.
2014
).
6.
I will not do much astronomy here, but for an example see
M.
Birchard
,
Z.
Pruett
,
K.
Smith
, and
D.
Sitar
, “
Introductory laboratory visual back and camera upgrade
,”
Phys. Teach.
54
,
250
(
March
2016
).
7.
Of course, the software can tell you the wavelength if you place the light source on the sampling line.
8.
This is similar to by
J.
Kuhn
and
P.
Vogt
, “
Diffraction experiments with infrared remote controls
,”
Phys. Teach.
50
,
118
. (
Feb.
2012
).
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