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How does a colorimeter work?

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Quick Answer

A colorimeter works by shining a light onto the sample and measuring how much light leaves; this figure is then compared to a standard control amount. A known reagent is introduced to the sample and the color that develops as a result of the reagent is used to determine the sample's transmission of light.

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Full Answer

The colorimeter measures light transmission in units of absorbance or percent transmission. Colorimeters follow Beer's Law to provide the units of absorbance. Beer's Law is a chemistry equation used to measure a sample's absorption by looking at the amount of light that enters and leaves, the absorptivity and the curvature of the sample's container.

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