spec·​tros·​co·​py | \ spek-ˈträ-skə-pē How to pronounce spectroscopy (audio) \

Definition of spectroscopy

1 : the process or technique of using a spectroscope or spectrometer
2 : the production and investigation of spectra

Examples of spectroscopy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wadley and her colleagues used scanning electron microscopes and infrared spectroscopy to identify the fossilized plant materials. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "200,000-Year-Old Bedding Found in South Africa May Be World’s Oldest," 19 Aug. 2020 To find out how ants make their choices, Miller and Susan Whitehead at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) used mass spectroscopy and other techniques to analyze the chemical makeup of elaiosomes. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Don’t crush that ant—it could plant a wildflower," 11 Aug. 2020 With light integration, the circuits could also be used to assess tissue via spectroscopy. Katherine Harmon, Scientific American, "Skinlike Electronic Patch Takes Pulse, Promises New Human-Machine Integration," 11 Aug. 2011 This detects which repeating patterns show up especially strongly — it’s the same mathematics that underlies technologies like X-ray crystallography and radio spectroscopy. Quanta Magazine, "Landmark Math Proof Clears Hurdle in Top Erdős Conjecture," 3 Aug. 2020 And researchers also could improve spectroscopy techniques to possibly measure uranium and lead isotope ratios to get an absolute age, similar to how terrestrial rocks are dated, Haenecour says. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian Magazine, "Meteorite Grains Are the Oldest Known Solid Material on Earth," 13 Jan. 2020 The research team then used infrared spectroscopy at Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste, a research center in Italy, to detect the presence of microplastics inside the animals. Rory Sullivan, CNN, "Microplastics found in gut of animal on one of the most remote islands of the world," 23 June 2020 Fluorescent spectroscopy also can't be easily deployed in the field. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Artificial “tongue” for maple syrup weeds out batches with “buddy” off flavors," 28 May 2020 But there are only four such facilities in the world, according to Masson, and spectroscopy isn't available at all to smaller producers. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Artificial “tongue” for maple syrup weeds out batches with “buddy” off flavors," 28 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spectroscopy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spectroscopy

1869, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for spectroscopy

Time Traveler

The first known use of spectroscopy was in 1869

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Statistics for spectroscopy

Last Updated

6 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spectroscopy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spectroscopy. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for spectroscopy


spec·​tros·​co·​py | \ spek-ˈträs-kə-pē How to pronounce spectroscopy (audio) \
plural spectroscopies

Medical Definition of spectroscopy

1a : the production and investigation of spectra
b : the process or technique of using a spectroscope or spectrometer
2 : physics that deals with the theory and interpretation of interactions between matter and radiation (as electromagnetic radiation)

More from Merriam-Webster on spectroscopy

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spectroscopy

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