Spectroscopy in a Suitcase teacher's resource: UV / Visible Spectroscopy


UV-visible spectroscopy is a technique that readily allows one to determine the concentrations of substances and therefore enables scientists to study the rates of reactions, and determine rate equations for reactions, from which a mechanism can be proposed. As such UV spectroscopy is used extensively in teaching, research and analytical laboratories for the quantitative analysis of all molecules that absorb ultraviolet and visible electromagnetic radiation.

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

The electromagnetic spectrum ranges from radio waves with wavelengths the size of buildings down to gamma rays, the size of atomic nuclei. White light forms a small part of this spectrum and is composed of a range of different wavelengths which can be dispersed using a prism into its component colours. The colour an object, or a solution, appears will depend on which light is transmitted or reflected in the visible spectrum and which light is absorbed. Using a UV-visible spectrometer and a range of food dyes you will test how the absorbance wavelength value relates to the colour of the solution.


For more information, visit the our SpectraSchool website.