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.