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Chemistry LibreTexts

13: Molecular Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy generally is defined as the area of science concerned with the absorption, emission, and scattering of electromagnetic radiation by atoms and molecules, which may be in the gas, liquid, or solid phase. Visible electromagnetic radiation is called light, although the terms light, radiation, and electromagnetic radiation can be used interchangeably.  Spectroscopy played a key role in the development of quantum mechanics and is essential to understanding molecular properties and the results of spectroscopic experiments. It is used as a “stepping stone” to take us to the concepts of quantum mechanics and the quantum mechanical description of molecular properties in order to make the discussion more concrete and less abstract and mathematical.