Color Knowledge

Colorimeter vs Spectrophotometer

  A colorimeter is generally any tool that characterizes color samples to provide an objective measure of color characteristics.  In chemistry, the colorimeter is an apparatus that allows the absorbance of a solution at a particular frequency (color) of visual light to be determined.  Colorimeters hence make it possible to ascertain the concentration of a known solute, since it is proportional to the absorbance.
A spectrophotometer is a photometer (a device for measuring light intensity) that can measure intensity as a function of the color, or more specifically, the wavelength of light.  There are many kinds of spectrophotometers.  Among the most important distinctions used to classify them are the wavelengths they work with, the measurement techniques they use, how they acquire a spectrum, and the sources of intensity variation they are designed to measure.  Other important features of spectrophotometers include the spectral bandwidth and linear range.  The most common application of spectrophotometers is the measurement of light absorption.

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