Spectrum Definition

Chemistry Glossary Definition of Spectrum

A spectrum is a set of wavelengths of light or electromagnetic radiation.
A spectrum is a set of wavelengths of light or electromagnetic radiation. DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY, Getty Images

Spectrum Definition

A spectrum is defined as the characteristic wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation (or a portion thereof) that is emitted or absorbed by an object or substance, atom, or molecule.

Plural: Spectra

Examples of a spectrum include the rainbow, the emission colors from the Sun, and the infrared absorption wavelengths from a molecule.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Spectrum Definition." ThoughtCo, Jul. 24, 2017, thoughtco.com/definition-of-spectrum-604654. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, July 24). Spectrum Definition. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-spectrum-604654 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Spectrum Definition." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-spectrum-604654 (accessed May 24, 2018).