The Beer-Lambert law

Genchem laboratory I      Fall 2009

The Beer-Lambert law

Many applications of the spectrophotometer are made possible by a relationship described in the Beer-Lambert law. For example, the colorimetric assay you used for measuring iron in surface waters and in breakfast cereal is based on this relationship.

For this lab session you have two tasks, both made possible by this Beer-Lambert law: Absorbance = e x concentration x path length, or more succinctly, A=e•c•l .

 Where e is the “molar extinction coefficient” – the amount of light absorbed by a 1 M solution of a particular compound, in a particular solvent, at a particular wavelength, with a light-path (aka pathlength) of 1 cm.

  1. For given solutions of known composition and concentration, find the extinction coefficient for the compound in solution. That is, I give you some solutions, tell you what’s in them, and the concentration, and you find e.

  1. For solutions of known composition, and given the extinction coefficient, find the concentration of the solution. For this part, I give you solution of some compound, tell you e, and you find the concentration.

Read the accompanying discussion of the Beer-Lambert law prior to lab, and in lab you’ll tackle tasks 1 & 2.

Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM