An optical instrument for forming and examining the spectrum of a light source. The instrument contains a narrow slit through which the light enters. The slit is placed at the focus of a positive lens called the collimator lens to form a beam of parallel rays. The beam of light falls on a dispersing element (prism, grating, or grism) which separates the light into its colors. This spectrum can be observed with an ocular (in the spectroscope) or recorded on a detector (in the spectrograph).