Feb 12th, 2020 — Biology • Chemistry • Physics

What is the Difference Between Spectroscopy and Microscopy?

Most of us have used a microscope at some point during our education, but not everyone has used a spectroscope or spectrometer. While they share similar names, spectroscopy and microscopy are used for different purposes. The main goal of microscopy is to improve the visibility of a structure that is too small for the naked eye to observe. Microscopy uses specific lenses to improve the visibility of very fine particles, such as those from tissues, plants, organisms, or blood.

The primary goal of spectroscopy is to determine how electrons respond to light energy. While microscopy is used to visualize objects, spectroscopy is used to determine the spectral lines and/or energy of a sample. Spectroscopy uses electromagnetic radiation at specific wavelengths to investigate a sample's absorbance or transmittance, which enables us to identify the structure, molecular composition, or arrangement of the sample. Below, you will find a comparison of the two processes. For more information, visit our What is Spectroscopy? information guide or check out our other blog posts, "Who Discovered Spectroscopy?" and "What is Spectroscopy Used For?"

spectroscopy vs microscopy
Microscopes enlarge structures that are too small for the naked eye using special lenses. Microscope images allow us to investigate the structure of small organisms and microscopic processes, such as cell division.
what is the difference between spectroscopy and microscopy?
Absorbance spectrums are produced after a sample is tested with a spectrophotometer.  The spectrum of a sample’s absorbed wavelengths is known as its absorption spectrum, and the quantity of light absorbed by a sample is its absorbance.


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