• (Canada, British) IPA: /ˈspektɹəm/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈspɛkt(ʃ)ɹəm/

spectrum (plural spectra)

  1. A range; a continuous, infinite, one-dimensional set, possibly bounded by extremes.
  2. Specifically, a range of colours representing light (electromagnetic radiation) of contiguous frequencies; hence electromagnetic spectrum, visible spectrum, ultraviolet spectrum, etc. [from later 17th c.]
    • 2010 October 30, Jim Giles, Jammed!, in New Scientist,
      Current 3G technologies can send roughly 1 bit of data - a one or a zero - per second over each 1 Hz of spectrum that the operator owns.
  3. (psychology, education) The autism spectrum.
  4. (chemistry) The pattern of absorption or emission of radiation produced by a substance when subjected to energy (radiation, heat, electricity, etc.).
  5. (mathematics, linear algebra) The set of eigenvalues of a matrix.
  6. (mathematics, functional analysis) Of a bounded linear operator A, the set of scalar values λ such that the operator A—λI, where I denotes the identity operator, does not have a bounded inverse; intended as a generalisation of the linear algebra sense.
  7. (abstract algebra, algebraic geometry) The set, denoted Spec(R), of all prime ideals of a given ring R, commonly augmented with a Zariski topology and considered as a topological space.
    hyponyms en
  8. (obsolete) Specter, apparition. [from early 17th c.]
  9. The image of something seen that persists after the eyes are closed.
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