Spectrophotometers: Building and exploring the instrument

Build your own spectrophotometer to discover how you can measure substances with light

  • High School
taylors_university
essex_university
ottawa_university
arizona_university

Labster is used by 1000s of amazing schools and universities

Learn more

About This Simulation

This targeted mini-simulation is part of the larger “Spectrophotometry: Learn the Beer-Lambert law with absorbance experiments.”

The spectrophotometer is an unsung hero of many important discoveries in chemistry, life sciences, and beyond. In this simulation, you’ll explore the mechanics at the heart of the technique.

Build your spectrophotometer

Go under the hood of the spectrophotometer and solve the puzzle of how its components fit together. Can you figure out which pieces do what, and how they all work together in the finished instrument?

Over four brief missions, you’ll cover the core concepts of photometric investigation (including why different substances require different instrument settings), the relationship between concentration and absorbance, and how light can be harnessed as a powerful diagnostic tool for scientific exploration.

Explore the instrument without worrying about mistakes!

During the spectrophotometer building mission, you can try out different configurations and see how they impact the lightpath used to measure a sample -- all without worrying about expensive mistakes. Try out different ideas, and learn as you go! The complexity of the spectrophotometer’s components and function increases over four levels of interaction, guiding you from photometric first principles to data interpretation for protocol optimization.

Interpret absorbance spectra to find your experiment’s optimal settings

Once your instrument is up and running, you’ll need to determine the optimal settings for running an experiment. Using absorbance spectra of some compounds of interest, you’ll interpret the data and figure out how to best measure a substance of interest using specific wavelengths of light. Can you master the technique and unlock the full potential of spectrophotometry?

RELATED SIMULATIONS

Spectrophotometry: Learn the Beer-Lambert law with absorbance experiments

Enzyme Kinetics

Explore Spectrophotometers: Building and exploring the instrument Virtual Lab Simulation

ENQ Screenshot 1
ENQ Screenshot 3
ENQ Screenshot 6
ENQ Screenshot 5

How do virtual labs work?

Engage students in science through interactive learning scenarios. Simulate experiments, train lab techniques, and teach theory through visual experiences that enhance long-term learning outcomes.

  • 250+ Web-based simulations that can be played on laptops and tablets without installing any software

  • Teacher dashboard to automate grading and track student progress

  • Embedded quizzes to help students master science content

  • Library of learning resources, lab reports, videos, theory pages, graphics and more

Get started now!
You can explore and assign simulations to your students right away.

  • Access to over 250 Labster simulations for free.
  • Exclusive educator access to all of Labster Course Manager content.
  • 30 days for free, no credit card needed.
  • Invite your students to play simulations and get their feedback.
course manager

Integrate with your LMS

Labster integrates with all major LMS (Learning Management Systems) so that educators can use their gradebooks to track students’ performance data and students can keep a record of their work.

Learn more
canvas
blackboard
moodle
google_classroom
schoology
sakai
brightspace
clever
classlink