- a plural of spectrum.
- an array of entities, as light waves or particles, ordered in accordance with the magnitudes of a common physical property, as wavelength or mass: often the band of colors produced when sunlight is passed through a prism, comprising red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
- this band or series of colors together with extensions at the ends that are not visible to the eye, but that can be studied by means of photography, heat effects, etc., and that are produced by the dispersion of radiant energy other than ordinary light rays.Compare band spectrum, electromagnetic spectrum, mass spectrum.
- a broad range of varied but related ideas or objects, the individual features of which tend to overlap so as to form a continuous series or sequence: the spectrum of political beliefs.
Origin of spectrum
Related Words for spectrascope, gamut, sphere, range, continuum, rainbow, scale, span, sweep, field, extent, compass, series, colors, distribution, sequence
Examples from the Web for spectra
Contemporary Examples of spectra
The result is a mosaic of spectra, covering up to 60 different regions.SAMI Is Like Google Earth for the Universe
Matthew R. Francis
July 27, 2014
Historical Examples of spectra
One of the spectra had dark lines and the other bright lines.Pleasures of the telescope
With 188 Illustrations and a table of Spectra in Chromo-lithography.An Outline of English Speech-craft
Their spectra show a complexity of helium and hydrogen bands.
The spectra of all the Algol variables are of the first or Sirian type.
In the same manner and under similar conditions the spectra of many other substances have been reversed.
- the plural of spectrum
- the distribution of colours produced when white light is dispersed by a prism or diffraction grating. There is a continuous change in wavelength from red, the longest wavelength, to violet, the shortest. Seven colours are usually distinguished: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red
- the whole range of electromagnetic radiation with respect to its wavelength or frequency
- any particular distribution of electromagnetic radiation often showing lines or bands characteristic of the substance emitting the radiation or absorbing itSee also absorption spectrum, emission spectrum
- any similar distribution or record of the energies, velocities, masses, etc, of atoms, ions, electrons, etca mass spectrum
- any range or scale, as of capabilities, emotions, or moods
- another name for an afterimage
Word Origin for spectrum
Word Origin and History for spectra
1610s, "apparition, specter," from Latin spectrum "appearance, image, apparition," from specere "to look at, view" (see scope (n.1)). Meaning "band of colors formed from a beam of light" first recorded 1670s.
- The distribution of a characteristic of a physical system or phenomenon, especially the distribution of energy emitted by a radiant source arranged in order of wavelengths.
- The color image presented when white light is resolved into its constituent colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.
- The plot of intensity as opposed to wavelength of light emitted or absorbed by a substance, usually characteristic of the substance and used in qualitative and quantitative analysis.
- The distribution of atomic or subatomic particles in a system, as in a magnetically resolved molecular beam, arranged in order of masses.
- The group of pathogenic organisms against which an antibiotic or other antibacterial agent is effective.
- A range over which some measurable property of a physical phenomenon, such as the frequency of sound or electromagnetic radiation, or the mass of specific kinds of particles, can vary. For example, the spectrum of visible light is the range of electromagnetic radiation with frequencies between between 4.7 X 1014 and 7.5 X 1014 hertz.
- The observed distribution of a phenomenon across a range of measurement. See more at atomic spectrum spectroscopy.