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A spectrophotometer is a device used in spectrophotometry, the study of electromagnetic spectra. Spectrophotometry deals with visible light, near-ultraviolet and near-infrared. Electromagnetic spectroscopy comprises time-resolved spectroscopic methods, while spectrophotometry does not.

Spectrophotometry allows measuring the intensity of light as a function of the color. More specifically, it basically measures the wavelength of light. Vital features of Spectrophotometers are measurement of spectral bandwidth and linear array of absorption. Perhaps the most ordinary application of Spectrophotometers is the measurement of light absorption, however they can also be developed to measure diffuse or specular reflectance.