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Beer–Lambert law (or Beer–Lambert–Bouguer law)

The absorbance of a beam of collimated monochromatic radiation in a homogeneous isotropic medium is proportional to the absorption path length, l, and to the concentration, c, or — in the gas phase — to the pressure of the absorbing species. The law can be expressed as:
A = log 10 ( P λ 0 P λ ) = ɛ c l
or
P λ = P λ 0 10 − ɛ c l
where the proportionality constant, ɛ, is called the molar (decadic) absorption coefficient. For l in cm and c in mol dm −3 or M, ɛ will result in dm 3 mol −1 cm −1 or M cm −1, which is a commonly used unit. The SI unit of ɛ is m 2 mol −1. Note that spectral radiant power must be used because the Beer–Lambert law holds only if the spectral bandwidth of the light is narrow compared to spectral linewidths in the spectrum.
Source:
PAC, 1996, 68, 2223 (Glossary of terms used in photochemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1996)) on page 2230
See also:
PAC, 1988, 60, 1449 (Nomenclature, symbols, units and their usage in spectrochemical analysis - VII. Molecular absorption spectroscopy, ultraviolet and visible (UV/VIS) (Recommendations 1988)) on page 1452
PAC, 1990, 62, 2167 (Glossary of atmospheric chemistry terms (Recommendations 1990)) on page 2176
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IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
DOI of this term: doi:10.1351/goldbook.B00626.
Original PDF version: http://www.iupac.org/goldbook/B00626.pdf. The PDF version is out of date and is provided for reference purposes only. For some entries, the PDF version may be unavailable.
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