To Catch a Crook: The Spectrophotometer in the Crime Lab Reply

If you’ve ever seen an episode of “Law and Order” or “CSI,” then you likely possess a basic understanding about how forensic science plays a role in helping solve a crime. From fingerprints to mud stuck in tire treads, evidence of all types can help investigators figure out what happened and who is responsible.

Would you believe that one of the tools used by forensic scientists to solve crimes is actually a tool commonly used by professional painters? It’s true: you may think that a spectrophotometer exists simply to help match colors at the paint store or confirm color at a paint manufacturing facility, but in reality, spectrophotometers have a wide range of uses, including in the crime lab as forensic scientists work to understand what happened in a criminal event.