Spectroscopy in a Suitcase teachers’ resource: Infrared spectroscopy


One of the first scientists to observe infrared radiation was William Herschel in the early 19th century. He noticed that when he attempted to record the temperature of each colour in visible light, the area just beyond red light gave a marked increase in temperature compared to the visible colours. However it was only in the early 20th century that chemists started to take an interest in how infrared radiation interacted with matter; the first commercial infrared spectrometers were manufactured in the USA during the 1940s.

Find out more about the Royal Society of Chemistry's Spectroscopy in a Suitcase scheme by visiting the SpectraSchool website.

Type of Activity

group work



Age Group

16 to Undergraduate
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Information on IR spectroscopy


For more information, visit the our SpectraSchool website.