Colorimeters and Photometers

Colorimeters and Photometers

A colorimeter is a device used in colorimetry. In scientific fields the word generally refers to the device that measures the absorbance of particular wavelengths oflight by a specific solution.[1] This device is most commonly used to determine the concentration of a known solute in a given solution by the application of the Beer-Lambert law, which states that the concentration of a solute is proportional to the absorbance.

photometer, generally, is an instrument that measures light intensity or optical properties of solutions or surfaces. Photometers measure:

  • Illuminance
  • Irradiance
  • Light absorption
  • Scattering of light
  • Reflection of light
  • Fluorescence
  • Phosphorescence
  • Luminescence


Most photometers detect the light with photoresistors, photodiodes or photomultipliers. To analyze the light, the photometer may measure the light after it has passed through a filter or through a monochromator for determination at defined wavelengths or for analysis of the spectral distribution of the light.

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