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

In the experiment, you will study the rate of the reaction of FD and C Blue #1 (Blue #1 is denoted by E number E133 in food stuff) with sodium hypochlorite (NaClO). Since this reaction is very visible, you will use a spectrophotometer to quantitatively follow the rate of disappearance of the coloured reagent. Your data will allow you to determine the rate law and to propose a possible mechanism for the reaction.


For more information, visit the our SpectraSchool website.