Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ronnier Luo


  • Yi-Chen Chuang
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27851-8_369-1



A spectrometer is an optical instrument designed to measure the spectrum and stimulus of a light source or self-luminous object. The prefix “spectral” is an abbreviation of the phrase “spectral concentration of,” which is defined by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) as the “quotient of the radiometric quantity taken over an infinitesimal range on either side of a given wavelength, by the range”.


Basic Principles

A spectrometer receives light, disperses the light, and converts the optical signals (or more generally, electromagnetic radiation signals) to electrical signals. It provides the radiometric quantities in narrow wavelength intervals. Because many sources have line structures, it is useful to sample the spectrum with narrow bandwidth and wavelength increments [ 1, 2]. In general, spectral irradiance varies from point to point on the surface. In practice, it is important to note how radiant flux varies with...


Electromagnetic Radiation Spectral Radiance Optical Instrument Spectral Irradiance Correlate Color Temperature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Janos, S.: Colorimetry: Understanding the CIE System. Wiley, Hoboken (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    IES, Illuminating Engineering Society. Lighting measurements: a basic approach to understanding the principals of lighting science. Handour. Comp. Nlena and Associates, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.ies.org/pdf/education/IES-Color-3-Webcast-Handout.pdf.
  4. 4.
    Stroebel, L.D., Zakia, R.D.: Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 3rd edn, p. 115. Focal Press, London (1993). ISBN 0-240-51417-3Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Measurement StandardsIndustrial Technology Research InstituteHsinchuTaiwan