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C1.3.6—Similarities and differences of absorption and action spectra


Here are experiments our science specialists have selected to support this IB* topic.

Plant Pigments

Experiment #14 from Investigating Biology through Inquiry

In this Preliminary Activity, you will use a SpectroVis Plus spectrophotometer to determine and analyze the visible light absorbance spectrum of spinach extract. You will also determine and analyze the fluorescence spectrum of the same spinach extract sample. In fluorescence spectroscopy, a sample can be “excited” with a chosen wavelength of light and the resulting fluorescence from the sample can be measured and quantified.

After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about plant pigments, visible light spectra, and fluorescence before you choose and investigate a researchable question dealing with visible light spectra and/or fluorescence spectra of plant pigment. Some topics to consider in your reference search are:

  • plant pigment
  • visible light
  • spectrophotometer
  • visible light spectrum
  • chlorophyll
  • carotenoids
  • anthocyanin
  • fluorescence

Experiment Idea

Investigate Plant Pigments and Olive Oil

Educational Standard
International Baccalaureate (IB) 2025
C Interactions and interdependence
Level of organization
1 Molecules
C1.3 Photosynthesis
Standard level and higher level

* The IB Diploma Program is an official program of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) which authorizes schools to offer it. The material available here has been developed independently of the IBO and is not endorsed by it.