If the source be a point or a line, and a collimating lens be used, the incident waves may be regarded as plane.
Thus if a horizontal slit is illuminated by an arc lamp, and the light - rendered parallel by a collimating lens - is transmitted through the sodium tube and focused on the vertical slit of a spectroscope, the effect of the sodium vapour is to produce its refraction spec trum vertically on the slit.
By directing the telescope to a distant object, or to the intersection of the webs of a fixed collimating telescope (see Transit Circle), it is easy to measure the effect of a small change of zenith distance of the axis of the telescope in terms both of the level and of the micrometer screw, and thus, if the levels are perfectly sensitive and uniform in curvature and graduation, to determine the value of one division of each level in terms of the micrometer screw.
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