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Beer's law

Beer's law [for August Beer], physical law stating that the quantity of light absorbed by a substance dissolved in a nonabsorbing solvent is directly proportional to the concentration of the substance and the path length of the light through the solution; the law is sometimes also referred to as the Beer-Lambert law or the Bouguer-Beer law. Beer's law is commonly written in the form A = ε cl, where A is the absorbance, c is the concentration in moles per liter, l is the path length in centimeters, and ε is a constant of proportionality known as the molar extinction coefficient. The law is accurate only for dilute solutions; deviations from the law occur in concentrated solutions because of interactions between molecules of the solute, the substance dissolved in the solvent.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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