What Is Lambda Max?


Lambda max is the wavelength at which the maximum fraction of light is absorbed by a solution. Lambda (λ) is a Greek letter that scientists use as the symbol for wavelength.

Color and Energy

  • The absorbance of light gives solutions their color. The color and energy of light can be determined from its wavelength.

Light is Absorbed by Electrons

  • Electrons in atoms and molecules move around the nucleus in regions called orbitals or energy levels. An electron can move up to the next level if it is given the exact amount of energy required to be in the next level. Light can provide that energy.

Solvent Effects

  • When light is shone on a solution, some of the energy of light absorbed is affected by and transferred to the solvent. The light absorbance is spread out around a central maximum wavelength--lambda max.

Local Lambda Max

  • There is usually more than one absorbance peak for a substance. Each local absorbance peak may be referred to as a local maximum.

Lambda Max in the UV

  • Most solutions also do absorb, or solely absorb, ultraviolet (UV) light. The wavelengths most strongly absorbed typically occur in the UV. Often people refer to absorbance peaks of visible light as lambda max even when a stronger peak may occur in the UV region.


  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Wonker
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • The Lagrangian Method in Economics

    A classic problem in economics is how to maximize utility despite limited resources, such as time and money. The Lagrangian method uses...

  • Definition of a Light Sensor

    The light sensor is a unique tool that can come in handy for numerous uses such as measuring objects and detecting objects....

  • The Modern Theory of Light

    At the turn of the 20th century, new discoveries about the nature of light contradicted old models, creating controversy among physicists. During...

  • What Is a Lambda Sensor?

    Most people don't take into account how much maintenance is required to keep a car running properly. They take care of things...

  • Definition of Lambda Air-Fuel Ratio

    A car's engine is dependent on proper air-to-fuel ratios for peak combustion rates within the engine's interior. A value of measurement that...

  • How to Write Lambda

    Lambda represents the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet, with the Roman letter "L" representing a variant of this letter. The lambda...

  • How to Calculate X-Ray Energy

    X-rays are a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, with a wavelength from 0.01 to 10 nm. Sources of X-ray radiation are used...

  • How to Calculate Concentration From Extinction Coefficient

    In order to find the concentration ("c") of a chemical in solution using measurements of light absorption, you must know three things....

  • How to Multiply All Elements in a List With Python

    One of the nice features common to many of the latest programming languages like Python is support for lambda functions and functional...

  • Symptoms of a Faulty Lambda Sensor

    A Lambda sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in a vehicle's fuel exhaust. If the oxygen level is too high or...

  • Starting a Pressure Washer

    Watch as a seasoned professional demonstrates how to start a pressure washer in this free online video about home maintenance.

Related Searches

Check It Out

Can You Take Advantage Of Student Loan Forgiveness?

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!