Abstract

A servo-method is described which can provide an equal-energy or equal-quanta spectrum, as well as any other type of spectral energy distribution desired for biological or physical experiments, by installation of the appropriate empirically determined cam. A grating monochromator driven by a reversing motor provides a continuous spectrum which may be scanned repeatedly at selected bandwidths, the visible range being traversed in 15 sec with a maximum error of plus or minus 3%. Also the system can be made to produce spectra which elicit responses of arbitrarily fixed magnitude from retinal preparations, equal-response spectra. The results would be in terms of deviation from an equal-energy, equal-quanta, or any other type of chosen spectrum depending on the cam employed. This servo-method has the advantage of immunity to the aging of lamps and filters and permits replacement of a defective lamp by another of the same or of an entirely different type without calibration being required. An alternative to the use of mechanical cams, intended to produce similar results employing the photoformer principle, also is described briefly.

© 1961 Optical Society of America

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