Q:

What is spectral analysis?

A:

Quick Answer

Spectral analysis measures and analyzes the properties of matter based on the material's interactions with electromagnetic energy. In chemistry and physics, this process is known as spectroscopy. Spectroscopy is of particular use in astronomy, where it is used to determine the chemical composition of celestial objects.

  Know More

Full Answer

Visible light, magnetic resonance, infrared radiation, X-rays, gamma radiation and ultraviolet radiation are all elements of spectroscopy. Examining the interaction between matter and these different kinds of light reveals different properties about the matter. Research scientists use spectroscopy to detect different types of matter. Astronomers rely on spectroscopy to see objects that do not emit visible light.

Spectroscopy works because different chemical bonds vibrate at different wavelengths when exposed to radiation. Scientists examine the pattern of vibration to determine the chemical makeup of the matter under analysis. A spectroscope is the instrument researchers use to view this pattern.

In addition to its use in astronomy, spectroscopy is a valuable tool in quantum and high-energy physics, crystallography, laser and maser technology, and determining the age and weathering of exposed wood. Molecular spectroscopy is the technology that led to the development of the laser. Spectroscopic analysis of hydrogen allows the development of quantum electrodynamics and the study of increasingly small subatomic particles.

Learn more about Physics

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Who was Ernest Marsden?

    A:

    Ernest Marsden was a physicist from New Zealand who lived from 1889 until 1970. Marsden made valuable contributions to physics and chemistry by improving the understanding of the internal structure of the atom from observing the path of a-particles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are 5th dimension physics?

    A:

    Fifth-dimension physics focuses on a theoretical fifth dimension beyond the four perceived dimensions of width, depth, height and time. Researchers have a variety of postulates about this dimension, including the idea that it is the space-time fabric.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a "breeder reactor"?

    A:

    A breeder reactor is a type of nuclear reactor. It is unique in that it produces more fissile material (the material used to sustain fission chain reactions) than it consumes while producing energy.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you read a triple-beam balance?

    A:

    To get the mass of an object using a triple-beam balance, sum up the notch readings of the rear beam weight, middle beam weight and front beam weight. Each notch on the middle beam, rear beam and front beam represents 100-gram, 10-gram and 1-gram weight increments, respectively.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore