A close-up on spectrophotometry


Stephanie Foster (10) prepares to insert a sample of a solution into the spectrophotometer. The students used a kimwipe to remove any fingerprints from the outside of the cuvette, as the fingerprints might create errors in the data.

Emily Rey and lakecentralnews

Over the course of the week, Mrs. Roberta Harnish’s, Science, Chemistry Honors classes participated in a spectrophotometric lab. Spectrophotometry is the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.

“I was kind of nervous to start the lab because I didn’t want to get the measurements wrong, but as the lab went on I became more comfortable with it,” Sean Meyer (10) said.

The lab involved the use of a spectrophotometer which sends specific wavelengths through a liquid sample, and a sensor determines how much of the light went through. In this specific lab, the tool was used to determine the concentration of food dye in different samples.

“I thought the [spectrophotometer] we used was really different and cool,” Gianna Mills (10) said.

Mrs. Harnish has been doing this lab for quite a few years.

“I like doing this lab because it gets the students involved with instrumental analysis. It’s also part of the [Indiana University] curriculum,” Mrs. Harnish said.

As the end of the class neared, students collected their data and cleaned up their stations.

“It was an interesting lab,” Roger Kaufman (10) said.