How does a spectrophotometer work?

How does a spectrophotometer work?

Overview

This short animation demonstrates the inner workings of a spectrophotometer.

A lamp provides the source of light. The beam of light strikes the diffraction grating, which works like a prism and separates the light into its component wavelengths. The grating is rotated so that only a specific wavelength of light reaches the exit slit. Then the light interacts with the sample. From this point, the detector measures the transmittance and absorbance of the sample. Transmittance refers to the amount of light that passes completely through the sample and strikes the detector. Absorbance is a measurement of light that is absorbed by the sample. The detector senses the light being transmitted through the sample and converts this information into a digital display.

Related
Performance Verification of a Balance
eLearning
This lab will give you a chance to practice working with an analytical balance. You will weigh four... more
pH Meter Calibration
eLearning
In this interactive activity, you will learn how to perform a 3-point calibration of a pH meter... more
Pipetting
eLearning
You've just been hired as a quality assurance inspector for a research testing company. Your job is... more
Scientific Notation
eLearning
In science, it is not unusual for us to use either very large or very small numbers in our... more