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Ultraviolet and Visible Light Spectrometers

  1. John L. Hardwick

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap562.pub3

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Hardwick, J. L. 2009. Ultraviolet and Visible Light Spectrometers. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. 319–352.

Author Information

  1. University of Oregon, Department of Chemistry, Eugene, OR, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


A wide variety of instruments exist for recording the intensity of light as a function of wavelength. In the visible and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum, these include dispersive spectrometers (based on gratings and prisms) and nondispersive spectrometers (usually interferometric in nature). A discussion of the main kinds of visible and ultraviolet spectrometers is given along with their advantages and drawbacks in terms of resolution, accuracy, efficiency, and ease of use. Considerations for choosing the design of an optical spectrometer are outlined, and the main aberrations associated with common optical designs are discussed.


  • spectrometer;
  • grating;
  • prism;
  • interferometer;
  • spectroscopy;
  • absorption